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Madness and Leadership
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Madness and Leadership

From Antiquity to the New Common Era

9781784719579 Edward Elgar Publishing
Savvas Papacostas, The Cyprus Institute of Neurology & Genetics, Cyprus
Publication Date: 2015 ISBN: 978 1 78471 957 9 Extent: 256 pp
Madness and Leadership studies leaders and followers from social, cultural, and biologic perspectives and explores aspects of their personalities that induce them to assume their respective roles. It proposes that leadership and followership are evolutionary adaptations, developed to enhance survival and group cohesion; that leaders possess certain biologically-derived personality traits which set them apart and alert followers, consciously or unconsciously, of their status. Important factors that enhance leader emergence have been linked through evolution and are constituents of all societies past and present. Within political theories and historical examples, this book carries the discussion on leadership into a new direction by suggesting that mild psychopathology is one of its central components.

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Why have multitudes of followers throughout history become attracted to leaders who demand sacrifice, campaigns of war or other adventures with unpredictable outcomes? Why do they command such powerful control over their followers? Madness and Leadership studies leaders and followers from social, cultural, and biological perspectives and explores aspects of their personalities that induce them to assume their respective roles.

It proposes that leadership and followership are evolutionary adaptations, developed to enhance survival and group cohesion; that leaders possess certain biologically derived personality traits which set them apart and alert followers, consciously or unconsciously, of their status. Important factors that enhance leader emergence have been linked through evolution and are constituents of all societies, past and present. Within political theories and historical examples, this book carries the discussion on leadership into a new direction by suggesting that mild psychopathology is one of its central components

This pioneering multidisciplinary exploration of mental illness and leadership will give readers a better understanding of leadership phenomena, with a critical approach explaining why time and again followers choose leaders with psychological shortcomings. Papacostas’s biopsychosocial perspective will appeal to social scientists, linguists, neuroscientists, historians, and scholars and academics of leadership studies.
Contents
Contents: 1. Introductory Remarks about Leaders and Leadership 2. Genes, Behavior, and the Human Speciation Event 3. Paranoia and Historical Interpretation 4. Social Deviance and the Limits of Tolerance 5. The Role of Language in Defining Normal Behavior 6. Abnormal Behavior 7. Politics and Mental Illness 8. Psychotic Disorders and Paranoia 9. Society and its Leaders 10. Postscript – A Personal Note References Index

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