Drive and Agency: a Private Law Investigation

Freud coined a definition of drive as “psychical representative”. Contri explained it as 'the law of motion towards satisfaction', opening the way to scientific research in the field of legal studies. It is possible to compare this concept with the legal concept of 'agency relationship'. In civil law, agency is the power that the interest holder (principal) confers to another (agent) in order to have its proper interest satisfied through the latter's juridical activity. Is it possible to consider the juridical relationship between principal and agent as “Subject-Other relationship” described by psychoanalysis? Can the “agency partnership” be described as a “Subject-Other pact or alliance”? We analyze the source of voluntary agency: the power of attorney, which – at least in civil law legal systems – is valid and effective even in the absence of an underlying contract of mandate. The concept of 'pact’ or 'alliance' developed by psychoanalysis describes a partnership yet not a contract.