Dr. Renz-Polster is a pediatrician, author and associate scientist at the Mannheim Institute for Public Health (MIPH) at the University of Heidelberg, which he helped establish 2005 through 2011. Training and fellowship in the US (1995-2002), thesis in Pakistan. Research in the fields of health promotion in preschool settings as well as child development from an evolutionary perspective. Besides pediatric practice and developmental councelling he recently presented papers on positional plagiocephaly and on cranial development from an evolutionary perspective. He is well known in Germany to a broader audience through his books on child health and development, including "Gesundheit für Kinder" and "Kinder verstehen", the latter examining child development through the lens of human ethology. Furthermore, he runs a popular blog on living with children (www.kinder-verstehen.de) in which he frequently comments on societal debates around raising children. This year he has presented a widely discussed book on the biographical roots of right wing authoritarianism: "Erziehung prägt Gesinnung" (parenting shapes politics).
Politics on the nappy-changing table. The role of attachment in the development of authoritarian attitudes
The human attachment system has to amalgamate extremely divergent developmental trajectories. None of the higher mammals is born more immature than the human offspring. At the same time humans have to prepare through their development for an undefined, "blurry" future.
In this preparation for an emergent future one social question figures prominently - the adaptation to the current cultural system of social dominance and power. Who would be surprised if the human attachment system wasn´t at the same time a reflection and molding matrix for the currently favoured power structures?
Indeed, there is empirical evidence that attachment experiences also correlate with political attitudes and preferences - and may well deliver the first building blocks for a dateless yet highly topical conflict: the fight between liberalism and authoritarianism.