Uitgelicht onderzoek

Dit project is Engelstalig.

The study Trauma in Historical Context compares he Dutch (and/or Anglo-Saxon) development with other societies which must recover from large-scale violence. This can be violence by a foreign occupier, but also violence between groups of citizens. Especially the former Soviet zone, Asia, Africa and European countries such as Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Spain seem to be relevant.

Entrance extermination camp Auschwitz in Poland

Researchers: dr. Jolande Withuis en dr. Annet Mooij (Mooij Research)
Duration: 2006-2010 
Publication: The politics of war trauma. The aftermath of World War II in eleven European countries (Amsterdam; Aksant 2010).

More information

When we look at the discovery of the war trauma, not as a medical-psychological achievement but as a historical-sociological phenomenon, what stands out most is the success of trauma-thinking. This success demands an explanation and an international historical comparison.

We are interested in the social dynamic that apparently sometimes causes a political interpretation of the past violence to be replaced with a psychological paradigm (although this was not the case, for instance, with our neighbours to the south). We are in search of the social functions of trauma (which are apparent in the United States with regard to the social problem of Vietnam veterans), and the relationship between trauma and world view (their wartime past only began to bother some communists after the fall of the Berlin wall).

We are also interested in questions such as: does a trauma-culture also occur in less individualized societies? Are the PTSD-countries, as Ian Buruma suggests in his interesting article 'The Joys and Perils of Victimhood', ruled by a new religion of secular suffering? And which historical circumstances are involved in the emergence of the self-identification as victims?

The project Psychological consequences of war and welfare policy. A comparative European Research Project has been subsidized by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.