Psychiatry: A Blind Spot of Polish Democracy

Wednesday, 12 November 2014, 4:00pm - 5:30pm, IWM library
In my presentation I will discuss the project I am currently involved in entitled Psychopolitics: Psychiatry and Modernization Processes in Poland After 1989. I will start by sketching the theoretical and historical background of the project, particularly focussing on non-medical, that is, cultural and political meanings of psychiatry. I will then present the central thesis of the project – the incompatibility of psychiatry and modernization processes in Poland after 1989 – and outline the “Polish case” showing how the social, political, cultural and, to a lesser extent, economic modernization processes which commenced after the collapse of communism have failed to affect psychiatry. In conclusion, I will propose how the adverse status of psychiatric patients can be changed and insist that the project of building a therapeutic society must urgently be launched in Poland.

Łukasz Andrzejewski is a Ph.D. candidate in Philosophy at the University of Wrocław and a Józef Tischner Junior Visiting Fellow at the IWM.