After spending more than twenty years in Madagascar, Mannoni returned to France after World War II where he, inspired by Lacan, published several psychoanalytic books and articles. In 1964, he followed Lacan into the École Freudienne de Paris, where he remained (with his wife Maud Mannoni) a loyal supporter to the end.
Arguably his most well known work, Prospero and Caliban: The Psychology of Colonization, deals with colonization and the psychology of the colonizer and the colonized. Mannoni saw the coloniser, with his "Prospero complex" as one in regressive flight from a father complex, using splitting and the scapegoating of the colonised to evade personal problems; the colonised as hiding resentment behind dependency.
The book was later criticized by writers such as Frantz Fanon for underestimating the socio-materialistic roots of the colonial encounter. Nevertheless, it was to influence a generation of Shakespeare directors like Jonathan Miller, who considered that Mannoni "saw Caliban and Ariel as different forms of black response to white paternalism".
Another of Mannoni's well-known works was "Clefs pour l'imaginaire ou l'Autre Scène", Seuil, 1969.
- Prospero and Caliban (1956)
- Freud: Theory of the Unconscious. Originally published in French as Freud par lui même. Éditions du Seuil (1968)
- 'The Decolonization of Myself' Race, VII 1966:327-35
- E. Roudinesco, Jacques Lacan (1999) p. 293 and 403
- V. M. Vaughan ed., The Tempest (1999) Appendix 2 p. 335-9
- V. M. Vaughan ed., The Tempest (1999) Appendix 2 p. 339
- P. Nayar, Franz Fanon (2013) p. 37-8 and p. 50
- C. Alexander, Shakespeare and Race (2000) p. 166
- Miller quoted in S. Orgel ed., The Tempest (2008) p. 83