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‘Visions of another world’: Franco Basaglia and German reform 

‘Visions of another world’: Franco Basaglia and German reform
‘Visions of another world’: Franco Basaglia and German reform

Chantal Marazia

, Heiner Fangerau

, Thomas Becker

, and Felicitas Söhner

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date: 24 May 2022

This chapter explores Franco Basaglia’s relation with German psychiatry, from his early infatuation with the anthropo-phenomenological tradition to the disputes with the social psychiatric movement during the 1960s and 1970s. After an overview of Basaglia’s criticism of German psychiatric schools and institutions, the chapter focuses on his personal links, most notably with progressive psychiatrists and with the anti-psychiatric movement SPK (Sozialistisches Patientenkollektiv). Finally, it analyses Basaglia’s reception, by both the medical establishment and the actors of psychiatric reform. Contrary to the current narrative of a mutual influence, the chapter argues that Basaglia can hardly be regarded as a genuine inspiration for German psychiatric reform, and was retrospectively refashioned as such.

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