Wilson Center Experts

Coline Covington

Senior Scholar
Africa Program

Expertise:
United Nations
;
Africa
Affiliation:
Independent Scholar, Visiting Research Fellow, Open University, UK
Wilson Center Project(s):
A Psychoanalytic Understanding of On-going Political Conflict and Implications for Peace Building in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Term:
Nov 01, 2011
-
May 31, 2013

Coline Covington has worked as a Jungian analyst in private practice for over twenty years in London. Born in the US, Coline came to England after receiving her B.A. in political theory from Princeton University. She went on to do an M.Phil. in criminology at Cambridge University and a Ph.D. in sociology at LSE. She worked for many years as a consultant to local government agencies throughout the UK in setting up programmes for young offenders as alternatives to prison. In conjunction with the Metropolitan Police, Coline set up the first mediation scheme between victims and offenders in the UK.

Coline is former chair of the British Psychoanalytic Council, an association of member institutions representing psychoanalytic psychotherapy training organizations throughout the UK. She is a Training Analyst of the Society of Analytical Psychology, of the British Association of Psychotherapists, and of the London Centre for Psychotherapy. She is also former Editor of the international Journal of Analytical Psychology.

Coline has published numerous papers on analytic work. She has co-edited, Terrorism and War: Unconscious Dynamics of Political Violence, published by Karnac in 2002 with an Introduction by Lord Alderdice. In addition, she has co-edited, Sabina Spielrein: Forgotten Pioneer of Psychoanalysis, published by Routledge in 2003. She is a regular columnist for the internet newspaper, The First Post, www.thefirspost.co.uk

For the last two years, Coline has been doing research on the Democratic Republic of Congo, trying to develop a psychoanalytic approach to understanding the on-going conflict within the DRC and its implications for peace building. Since March 2011, Coline has been a Visiting Research Fellow in International Politics and Development at the Open University, based on her research on the DRC.

Coline has recently been invited to become a member of International Dialogue Initiative (IDI), founded by Lord John Alderdice, Prof. Dr. Vamik Volkan, and Dr. Robi Friedman. IDI is a small group of experts and scholars from diverse disciplines and countries who meet biannually to examine large group differences in an attempt to understand the effect of past trauma on present concerns and the contribution of large group identity anxieties to divisiveness and conflict.

In October 2011, Coline was appointed as a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC for a two year period.

For further information see Coline’s website: www.coline-covington.co.uk.

Project Summary

This project aims to develop a psychoanalytic approach to understanding on-going political conflict, focusing on the DRC as the primary locus of research. The DRC exemplifies the problem of a history of violence and trauma that has been transmitted from one generation to the next and has become embedded in the socio-political psyche, arguably, to the point of becoming normative so that a state of violence is perpetuated. The research will address the questions as to whether a psychoanalytic perspective can offer aid organizations, INGO’s and the DRC government new insights into strategies for peace building and the most effective forms of intervention. The work of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars to promote leadership and state building in the DRC is of special interest.

Major Publications

Covington, C.; Williams, P.; Arundale, J.; Knox, J..(2002).Terrorism and War: Unconscious Dynamics of Political Violence. Karnac: London. 

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