A cartel is a small study and research group of 3 to 5 members

As Lacan observed in his adjunct to The Founding Act, ‘The worst objection that can be made to Societies in their existing form is the drying up of work, manifest even in the quality, that they cause among the best of people. The success of the School will be measured by the production of work that is acceptable in its proper setting.’ A cartel is a small study and research group of 3 to 5 members who elect to work together and choose a ‘plus one’ to lead and animate the life of the cartel, with an aim to produce a material output of high quality. The Lacan Circle encourages publication of people’s work in several ways: its journal Psychoanalysis Lacan; the publications of the New Lacanian School, such as The Lacanian Review; presentations at study days, and so on. Cartels are intended to facilitate research and study in the Freudian Field; they are registered with the NLS via the LCA.

Contributions by cartels or their members to the newsletter of the NLS cartels, Newsletter 4+one, are welcome. For enquiries contact Frank Rollier,

What is a Cartel? 

A Cartel is the original mode of working suggested to psychoanalysts and those who want to study psychoanalysis. It is a working group that relies on several organising principles that were defined by Jacques Lacan and that take each one’s specific relationship to knowledge into account, which he can elaborate when it is a matter of unconscious causality.

Four people choose each other to work

For the creation of a cartel Lacan suggested three people as a minimum, five maximum, with four being the ‘right measure’. In 1980 he specified the number four. It is the reference number for the majority of cartels today. Meetings happen at a rhythm that is decided between the cartel members, called ‘cartelisands’.

The ‘Plus-One’

The ‘Plus-One’ is chosen by the cartelisands and according to Jacques Lacan is the person “in charge of selection, discussion and the outcome to be accorded the efforts of each” (Foundation Act of the Ecole Freudienne de Paris, of the 21st June 1964). His function is crucial to support the work of each cartelisand with tact, to face difficulties and to maintain a distance between knowledge and truth.

The theme of Work

The creation of a cartel gives each one the opportunity to choose a theme of work: the reading of a seminar, the elaboration of a concept or of a case, the connection between psychoanalysis and other fields, etc. To each person’s theme a common theme is added that becomes the title of the cartel.

Everyone’s own Product

The work carried out does not lead to a collective product on a knowledge taken from the group. It is rather a matter for each one, according to the moment of his relation to psychoanalysis, to emit what could be noted of what was being able to be modified in his relation to analytic knowledge.


A cartel cannot last longer than one or two years. Its necessary conclusion allows the avoidance of noticeable inertia in working groups that become eternal and hinder the appearance of a new knowledge for the subject. The scansion is produced as an event of the cartel that concludes.

/Source NLS website/


Five Variations on the Theme of “Provoked Elaboration”, Jacques-Alain Miller



The clinical setting

Plus-one Russell Grigg
24 Dalgleish St., Flemington, VIC 3031
+61 421 030 699 Formations of the unconscious in the clinical setting
Member Barbara Milech
122 Heytesbury Rd, Subiaco, WA 6008
+61 407 623 004 Anxiety and the sinthome
Member Mia Lalanne
122 Heytesbury Rd, Subiaco, WA 6008
+61 8 9266 7084 Interpretation and the cut in relation to the unconscious
Member Suzanne Smith
122 Heytesbury Rd, Subiaco, WA 6008
+61 407 623 004 Love in the transference