How to tame the political animal book cover

How to Tame the Political Animal

The Missing Piece

by John Bell

Format: Paperback (264pp)

ISBN: 978-1-899398-99-7

  • Price: £14.99

In stock

194 in stock

What’s behind the narcissistic behaviour of political leaders, wild opinion on social media, and polarised debates? How to Tame the Political Animal: The Missing Piece is a journey of discovery of the underlying behaviour patterns that makes us politically self-centered, and, effectively, less human.

From the holy sites in Jerusalem to popular revolutions in the Arab world, this book builds on John Bell’s extensive experience as a diplomat and mediator in the Middle East to show how we ignore this key dimension of our politics at our peril. By breaking down the ingredients of what constitutes our political ego and how they work, this book provides us with the means to master it.

“A better grasp of human nature can be the source of stability, contentment and great meaning and achievement in our lives – if we bother to understand and master it.

This book is about this missing piece, that most human of dimensions that is at the centre of all our politics, and yet often casually ignored. It is about what lies behind our actions, basic and powerful drives that sideline common sense, and are ignored at our peril. They impel great flights of fancy through our tribal, national and ideological groups. They thrive in a world of ‘us and them’, misguided trajectories of cultural identity. In extremis, these motives evolve into radicalised and violent behaviour of unfathomable strains. One term for it is simply our ‘ego’, but it is more than that, it is what drives us to survive and thrive…”  John Bell


  • Preface: The Golden Gate
  • Adventures on a Blue Line
  • The Hidden Dimension
  • The Magnified Self
  • We are all involved
  • Mastering the Political Ego
  • Transforming our Group Mind
  • A Larger Purpose

The Missing Piece is the first in a series, Towards a more Human Politics, that provides a sounder foundation for politics in order to help us leave the labyrinth of self-interest.

About the author

John Bell has worked for three decades on Middle East politics, diplomacy and mediation, including with the United Nations, the Canadian Government and international NGOs. He is Director and Co-Founder of The Conciliators Guild, an organisation that disseminates knowledge to widen the lens of perception in politics, and help increase tolerance. His writings about the Middle East are published widely in newspapers, journals and websites across the world. He is also the co-editor of a book, Track Two Diplomacy and Jerusalem – The Jerusalem Old City Initiative, Routledge, 2017.

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