Ian Hughes

Ian Hughes

Trace Literary Agency is pleased to introduce Dr. Ian Hughes author of Disordered Minds: How Dangerous Personalities are Destroying Democracy.

Trump and Brexit forcefully remind us that psychology is central to politics. Yet public discussion on the wave of populism sweeping the United States and Europe has yet to cohere into any meaningful insights into the role of the psychology of the leading actors, or of the mass psychology of the voters, behind these momentous events.

In his new book, Disordered Minds, Ian Hughes brings together his training in science, psychology and political science to deal precisely with these issues and help us understand how democracy is in danger of being trumped by fascism.

The book has four key arguments:

That individuals with dangerous personality disorders, when the circumstances are right, pose a grave threat to society.

That democracy is the only defense we have against such dangerous individuals.

That we live in a dangerous time because democracy has been undermined and such individuals are again winning power at the ballot box.

That the only answer is to rebuild democracy and to recommit ourselves to the values that underpin it.

Ian’s credentials for writing this book are his background as a scientist, his postgraduate training in psychoanalysis, and his experience as a government policy advisor in science and technology policy for the Irish government. Ian has a record of scientific and popular publication, and has been lead author on a previous book - Power to the People: Assessing Democracy in Ireland’ (New Island Books, Dublin 2007).

Ian’s motivation for writing the book stems largely from his experience growing up in Northern Ireland during 'the Troubles' there, when he saw very clearly how a society can spiral into conflict when democracy fails, and how a minority can emerge, once the violence starts, who gain positions of power simply because of their propensity for ruthlessness.

Ian has been interviewed by Rob Kall for his “Bottom Up Radio Show”. Rob told Ian that it is very unusual for him to interview someone before their book is published, but he thinks that the book is something special: “This is such a brilliant book, pulling together a big picture, like no other books on this topic I’ve seen”. You will see from Rob’s bio on Huffington Post, that coming from him, this is quite a compliment. In addition he has been interviewed on Doug Bennett’s Unspun Radio Show.

His writing has appeared on journal.ie and factsandarts.com.  His blog,disorderedworld.com, has been shortlisted in the top ten political blogs in Ireland in 2013, 2014 and 2016, and he has over 10,000 followers on is Twitter account @disorderedworld.  More recently he has been published in the Village Magazine (Ireland) and online with Psychology Today:


Ian has had input from two independent peer reviewers for his book - Professor John Barry who is a professor of politics in Queens University in Belfast, and Professor Jan Rosier who is a professor of organisational behaviour at University College Dublin. Both John and Jan have been extremely complimentary about the originality and readability of the book, and have stressed its importance in helping people understand the anxious times in which we are living.

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