ISPP Early Career Committee Newsletter — Issue 1, 2022
Welcome to our brand new ISPP ECC Newsletter!!
For Issue 1, 2022, we’ve made a few changes to try to streamline the Newsletter. Rather than having the full newsletter sent to your email (which can be rather long), you can now click to read more for each of the contributions, and you’ll be directed to the full version of the newsletter on Medium. We hope to make further improvements to the look of the Newsletter in the near future — watch this space!
Dr. Julie Wronski (University of Mississipi, USA)
With only a couple months to go until the Annual Meeting, and I hope you are as excited as I am to reconnect in person in Athens, Greece. The Early Career Committee officers are busy putting together some excellent roundtables, social hours, and networking opportunities for the junior scholars in attendance.
First, I would like to congratulate the winners of the ECC Travel Awards. Out of an extremely competitive pool of 99 applications, the ECC provided funds for19 early-career scholars to assist with expenses related to the annual meeting in Athens. Our award-winning scholars hail from multiple disciplines (e.g., political science, psychology, social science, and international studies) and countries including the United States, Chile, Brazil, Australia, Israel, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.
The Mentoring Luncheon coordinators, Nina Spälti and Rongbo Jin, are thrilled to host the event in-person again. They are matching 75 early career scholars with 25 mentors. They are also offering a new format for the luncheon, where individual mentors will take their small group of mentees off-site for lunch. This new format should provide more flexibility and safety given COVID-19, and offer a more informal setting for the mentoring conversations.
The Professional Development team, led by Henriette Mueller and Jasper van Assche, is offering three roundtables covering timely and important topics of particular interest to junior scholars. These include an authors-meet-editors style workshop on publishing in academic journals, a roundtable on navigating career transitions post-PhD, and a discussion about developing a social media presence as an early-career scholar. And last, but not least, the ECC is hosting its popular Social Hour where people can relax among colleagues from around the world. If you plan on attending the annual meeting in Athens, I hope to see you at one or more of these events.
If you are interested in the work that the ECC does, please consider applying to be an ECC officer. There are positions available on the mentoring luncheon, newsletter, professional development, and web resources committees, as well as an opening for the Chair-Elect position during the 2022–2023 cycle. The official call for ECC applications will open shortly. Please keep an eye out over email and social media for further information and the application link. Speaking of social media, if you are not already following the ISPP ECC on Twitter (@PolPsyISPP), I encourage you to do so. Our Web Resources Coordinator, Daniel Valdenegro, has worked tirelessly throughout the year to ensure that new content highlighting the accomplishments of early career ISPP members is disseminated over social media.
Finally, I want to thank Tijana Karic for her support as Chair-Elect, and Mukadder Okuyan for her continuous guidance as Ex-Officio Chair. I want to acknowledge the efforts of our Newsletter editors, Amena Amer and Felipe Vilanova, who have put together a compelling issue on “Developments and Emerging Trends in Political Psychology in the Global South.” This issue highlights research trajectories, advice, and opportunities for scholars who focus on the Arab, Latin American, and Asian-Pacific regions.
I hope you enjoy the newsletter, and I look forward to seeing you in Athens.
ISPP — ECC Chair 2021–2022
University of Mississippi, USA
Mid-2022 Theme: Developments and Emerging Trends in Political Psychology in the Global South
Trends, Trajectories, and Barriers to the Development of an Indigenous Arab Political Psychology
Dr. Vivienne (V.) Badaan (American University of Beirut)
The Arab region consists of 22 countries spanning two continents, constituted of a multitude of ethnicities, religions, practices, and systems of governance. It is because of this diversity is that it is imperative to indigenize political psychological research in our region — a process that will certainly challenge current epistemic hegemonies in political psychology. It also implies a shift from heavy dependence on experimental paradigms and theoretical dogma, and an openness to qualitative methodologies and grounded theories. This, of course, will create strain, resistance, and challenges, on multiple levels. In this piece, I outline some challenges that an indigenous Arab political psychology faces, followed by thoughts on local phenomena ripe for investigation from a political psychological lens.
Barriers to the Development of Indigenous Political Psychology in the Arab World
1. A voyeuristic emphasis on radicalization and terrorism studies. A dominant trend in political science research on the Arab world, generally, and political psychology, specifically, is an emphasis on religious radicalization, terrorism, and political violence. Most of this research is also produced by scholars who are non-Arabs (predominantly, researchers from the Global North), or who do not work primarily in the Arab region, adding a layer of disconnect from the political realities on the ground (e.g., Crenshaw, 2009; Kruglanski et al., 2014).
2. A heavy reliance on quantitative, especially experimental, methodologies. Political (and social) psychology has a heavy paradigmatic focus on quantitative methodologies, and especially on experimental research. Most quantitative research adopts theories and methods developed in the Global North, assumes cultural universalism, and ignores the crucial need for culturally sensitive research (see Saab et al., 2020, for an analysis of quantitative methodological hegemony in Arabic social psychology). For us to produce any meaningful research on the Arab region, we must rely on culturally responsive research approaches. Indigenizing research in the region will be accompanied by a focus on qualitative methodologies such as ethnography, phenomenology, narrative, and grounded theory. This leads us to the next, more pragmatic barriers that relate to conducting indigenous, culturally-sensitive research in the region.
3. The lack of funding to indigenous scholars from the Arab region. Political psychological funding is highly competitive, privileges larger institutions (predominantly in North America or Western Europe), and renowned scholars (who tend to come from these prestigious institutions of the Global North). This minimizes the chance for Arab scholars to obtain the funds necessary to conduct thoughtful, meaningful, and innovative research.
4. Publication barriers to the dissemination of meaningful knowledge generated by Arab scholars, from the Arab region, about the Arab world. These barriers include the lack of interest in localized knowledge (as compared to “hot topics”, often determined by editors and leading scholars from the Global North), the dismissal of non-quantitative methodologies, the linguistic barriers to publishing in top-tier journals in the field (which disadvantages non-native English speakers), and editor and reviewer biases toward research that, to them, comes from obscure locations on non-WEIRD samples. See Bou Zeineddine et al. (2021) for a rich discussion on the last two points as applied to the field of social psychology.
Trends and Trajectories for Arab Political Psychology
The Arab world presents scholars from/in the region with a wealth of phenomena ripe for scientific examination, many novel in scope, others diverging from hegemonic systems of already existing knowledge. Below, I present some ideas that scholars from our region have been thinking about and working on.
1. It is clear that dominant collective action models in the psychological literature do not neatly replicate in the Arab region. At the same time, the Arab region consistently witnesses widespread protest movements, that are often met with state repression. Thus, it is imperative to ask, what predicts (and prohibits) collective action in repressive contexts (e.g., Adra et al., 2020; Ayanian et al., 2021).
2. Gender inequality and feminist collective action have taken a backseat in the political psychology of the Global North, where an assumption of (near) gender equality and post-feminism exist. However, gender inequality is still quite abrasive in the Arab region (Yassine-Hamdan & Strate, 2020), and there are multiple patriarchies — social, economic, political, and religious — that govern gendered relations (Joseph, 1996). This creates a pressing need to examine gendered politics and inequality in the Arab world.
3. The study of prejudice in the political psychological literature has predominantly focused on racism, sexism, and, in more recent times, on religious prejudice (especially anti-Muslim attitudes) as well as prejudice toward refugees (many of whom are Muslim). However, sectarianism is a very prevalent and pervasive form of prejudice in the Arab world. Common approaches to the reduction of prejudice, such as intergroup contact, are not relevant in such contexts. As such, there is an imperative need for research on the phenomenon of sectarianism, its predictors and manifestation, and on how we can tailor interventions to reduce it (e.g., Siegel & Badaan, 2020).
4. Finally, and most importantly, it is crucial to highlight that, with indigenizing political psychology in the region, it is crucial to examine the societal, political, and psychological manifestations of long histories of colonization. For instance, from the 1920s till the 1970s, most Arab countries fought de-colonial wars and gained independence from Britain, France, and Spain. What is the political psychological cost of long histories of colonization? Similarly, Palestine continues to experience a reality of settler colonialism and apartheid. Most of the existing social psychological literature on Palestine approaches is from the lens of intergroup relations, with no mention of occupation, apartheid, and settler colonialism. As an active colonial context, researchers in the region could focus on the Palestinians’ lived realities, their resistance to oppression, their ideas about liberation, and their struggle against normalization (e.g., Albzour et al., 2019; Albzour et al., 2022).
To conclude, I reiterate the necessity of indigenizing political psychological research in the Arab world, so that the knowledge produced is culturally responsive and reflective of local social, cultural, and political dynamics. This includes phenomena such as collective action in repressive contexts, feminist movements within a multifaceted patriarchal system, sectarian prejudice, and the neocolonial and settler colonial realities in the region. To achieve that, we should center the epistemic knowledge of Arab scholars, promote qualitative research, enhance funding opportunities for Arab scholars (especially from regional institutions), and acknowledge and remedy publication barriers to the dissemination of a culturally grounded political psychology from the Arab world.
Adra, A., Harb, C., Li, M., & Baumert, A. (2020). Predicting collective action tendencies among Filipina domestic workers in Lebanon: Integrating the Social Identity Model of Collective Action and the role of fear. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 23(7), 967–978. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1368430219885180
Albzour, M., Bady, Z., Elcheroth, G., Penic, S., Riemer, N., & Green, E. G. (2022). Talking to a (segregation) wall: Intergroup contact and attitudes toward normalization among Palestinians from the Occupied Territories. Political Psychology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/pops.12816
Albzour, M., Penic, S., Nasser, R., & Green, E. G. (2019). Support for” normalization” of relations between Palestinians and Israelis, and how it relates to contact and resistance in the West Bank. Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 7(2), 978–996. https://doi.org/10.5964/jspp.v7i2.877
Ayanian, A. H., Tausch, N., Acar, Y. G., Chayinska, M., Cheung, W. Y., & Lukyanova, Y. (2021). Resistance in repressive contexts: A comprehensive test of psychological predictors. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 120(4), 912–939. https://doi.org/10.1037/pspi0000285
Bou Zeineddine, F., Saab, R., Lášticová, B., Kende, A., & Ayanian, A. H. (2021). “Some uninteresting data from a faraway country”: Inequity and coloniality in international social psychological publication. Journal of Social Issues. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/josi.12481
Crenshaw, M. (2009). Intimations of mortality or production lines? The puzzle of” suicide terrorism”. Political Psychology, 30(3), 359–364. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9221.2009.00699.x
Joseph, S. (1996). Patriarchy and development in the Arab world. Gender & Development, 4(2), 14–19. https://doi.org/10.1080/741922010
Kruglanski, A. W., Gelfand, M. J., Bélanger, J. J., Sheveland, A., Hetiarachchi, M., & Gunaratna, R. (2014). The psychology of radicalization and deradicalization: How significance quest impacts violent extremism. Political Psychology, 35, 69–93. https://doi.org/10.1111/pops.12163
Saab, R., Ayanian, A. H., & Hawi, D. R. (2020). The status of Arabic social psychology: A review of 21st-century research articles. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 11(7), 917–927. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550620925224
Siegel, A. A., & Badaan, V. (2020). # No2Sectarianism: Experimental approaches to reducing sectarian hate speech online. American Political Science Review, 114(3), 837–855. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003055420000283
Yassine-Hamdan, N., & Strate, J. (2020). Gender inequality in the Arab World: A comparative perspective. Contemporary Arab Affairs, 13(3), 25–50. https://doi.org/10.1525/caa.2020.13.3.25
Advances of Political Psychology in Latin America and the Prospects after the COVID-19 Pandemic
Dr. Salvador A.M. Sandoval (Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo)
In Latin America, research from a political psychology perspective has roots dating back several decades in many countries, but the systematic practice of political psychological research dates back to the late 1970s. Certainly one major impulse for political psychological inquiry was the impact of authoritarian regimes that dominated major Latin American countries and the concerted efforts of both Catholic Church and grass roots organizations to conduct consciousness raising with the support of university students and professors. Since this activism took on the form of community organization and consciousness raising, it attracted social psychologists, initially improvising approaches based on social psychological theories and anchored on Paulo Freire´s ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed’ methodology. Furthermore, the engagement of social psychologists was inspired by the Jesuit social psychologist, Ignacio Martin-Baró, who defended the need of adapting social psychological knowledge to the endeavors of fomenting justice and social change. This call was definitely imprinted in the tradition of contemporary Latin American Political Psychology after his assassination by an El Salvador death squad in 1989.
From these beginnings, Political Psychology gained an institutional foothold in some important universities in the region in graduate courses and research groups especially in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Costa Rica and Chile. By late 1990s Political Psychology was consolidating its institutional base in Brazil with the founding of academic associations sponsoring annual meetings. In the continental context, the Interamerican Society of Psychology, a decades old academic association, served as an initial vehicle for political psychologists to meet and exchange research and applied practices. From these experiences emerged the Brazilian Association of Political Psychology (ABPP), in 2000, and published the first issue of its journal, Revista de Psicologia Politica, in 2001.
In 2003, Argentinian political psychologists inaugurated the electronic journal of political psychology, Revista Electronica de Psicologia Politica. Both journals have been continuously publishing Latin American studies to the present.
In 2011, at the first meeting of Latin American political psychology research groups held in Argentina, the Iberian-Latin American Association of Political Psychology (AILAPP) was organized as an important step to organizing scholars from most of the region into collaborative endeavors. While the Brazilian association had played an important, but limited, role in providing some regional networking opportunities, the AILAPP was intended to promote broader continental participation through its conferences and workshops. To date both associations have regularly held their conferences, highlighting the importance of both their presence and the space they facilitate for researchers in the region, continuing to organise even with the restrictions imposed by the pandemic when both associations to organized remote meetings. As a consequence of pandemic restrictions many political psychological research groups were prompted to organize online seminars both nationally and internationally. These seminars, in addition to expanding the level of intellectual exchange, also have served to enhance networking between researchers based across the globe and we would encourage this to continue as this becomes a permanent feature of future Latin American academic networking.
Of the more important challenges facing the development of the field of political psychology in Latin America, the rise of effective internet networking and meetings has contributed to bridging the collaboration gap prevalent in a region marked by low government funding for the sciences which greatly restricted the possibilities of in-person participation in academic meetings. Internet meetings will allow for greater collaboration and regular discussions of theoretical perspectives and methodological practices in light to the characteristic diversity of this part of the world. Furthermore, the increased interchanges will also encourage more participation in the North Atlantic Political Psychology community as internet meetings will allow for greater contact with scholars from other parts of the world.
Finally, a persisting challenge that Latin American political psychologists face is incorporating the field into the broader social sciences in the region. Traditionally Latin American social sciences have been reluctant to acknowledge the contributions of Political Psychology, preferring the more structuralist approaches to the study of politics and social change. Thus, greater integration of political psychology research into Latin American social sciences will also contribute to expanding the scope of social science analyses. This challenge has been a topic of concern within both the Latin American and Brazilian Political Psychology associations and with the end of the pandemic restrictions more should be done to overcome this lack of integration. Hence, some advice for political psychologists in Latin America and in the Global South more broadly is to seek collaborations actively, elevating their voices in-person or online and highlighting the struggles and barriers that we face. By establishing regional and international partnerships, we will allow the area to flourish within an unequal playing field, and always look forward to promote academic equality.
Adrianne Aron; Shawn Corne (eds.). Writings for a Liberation Psychology. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674962477. Retrieved April 25, 2011.
Associação Brasileira de Psicologia Politica -ABPP. https://psicologiapolitica.org.br/
Asociación Ibero-latinoamericana de Psicologia Politica, http://www.ailpp.org/
Revista de Psicologia Política. https://psicologiapolitica.org.br/revista-psicologia-politica/
Revista Electrónica de Psicologia Política. http://www.psicopol.unsl.edu.ar/
Francis Simonh Bries (University of the Philippines Diliman)
How do people participate in politics online? What motivations, dispositions, and contexts lead them to participate the way they do?
These questions are at the center of my dissertation for which I received the Researchers in the Global South Grant from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues and the Dissertation Research Award from the American Psychological Association in 2021. Earlier that year, I was privileged to present the theoretical framework of my project through the International Society of Political Psychology’s Asia-Pacific Virtual Seminar Series.
Political psychologists and allied social scientists have long been interested in the structure and predictors of political participation. In recent years, we shifted to investigations of online political behavior and their translation into offline activities. Indeed, notions such as digitally-networked participation , the citizen communication mediation model , and online–offline integration  reflect our extensive investigations of online political behavior.
What my dissertation contributes is an exploration of political participation within the unique context of Philippine politics which hopefully can resonate with the experiences of citizens in other countries. First, two years into the COVID-19 pandemic and with much of the country still in quarantine, online political participation is the most (if not the only) feasible option for many Filipinos. Second, given the extent of its citizens’ online activity, the Philippines is simultaneously the “social media capital of the world” and “patient zero of the global disinformation pandemic” . Finally, the study takes place within a dynamic political landscape preceding the country’s national and local elections this May 2022.
In existing studies, we believe that online political participation plays a mostly supporting role to offline activities, but the physical constraints resulting from the pandemic motivated me to consider what new activities have emerged in the meantime. For instance, last year alone, Philippine cyberspace saw more visual artists using their work to feature social issues as well as citizens using memes as forms of opinion expression . Similarly, “community pantries” (citizen-initiated food banks for neighbors in need) that started in the nation’s capital soon spread throughout the country . Citizens have also been more active in tagging and direct messaging officials through social media to seek help or express their opinions on government performance. Finally, online rallies have complemented physical protests as COVID-19 cases increased in the country .
Moreover, together with established factors such as traits, media usage, and political efficacy, we should also explore predictors which reflect important political circumstances. For example, duty-based (e.g., obeying laws) and engaged (e.g., understanding others with different beliefs) citizenship norms  have featured prominently in online discussions on what types of political participation a “good Filipino” should and should not do. At the same time, attitudes toward key social issues (e.g., effectiveness of COVID-19 responses, distance learning policies) can cause significant (dis)agreement among citizens which then shapes political participation, voting behaviors, and even familial and social relationships.
Essentially, my dissertation follows earlier work by revisiting the psychological and political factors underlying online political participation while “chasing after” its ever-changing forms . More pragmatically, I hope that insights from this study can inform interventions encouraging political participation across platforms, especially by reminding citizens about how their political engagement influences the resilience of democratic societies given the many challenges they face at present .
Information About the 2022 ISPP Annual Meeting
ECC Mentoring Luncheon
ISPP will be hosting a Mentoring Luncheon event at the 2022 ISPP Annual Conference in Athens, Greece. The Mentoring Luncheon is organized annually to facilitate one-to-one meetings between early career scholars and leading academics and researchers in their field. One of the main goals of this event is to facilitate long-term connections, for career development and research advice beyond the individual’s supervisors at her or his respective institution. This event has attracted increasing numbers of participants over the years, as emerging scholars recognize the value of engaging with leading researchers. The leading scholars provide their time on a voluntary basis, which is highly appreciated by the early career scholars.
After two years of Virtual Mentoring event during the pandemic, we are excited to announce that Mentoring Luncheon is back in person this year. We are working with the new format of the mentoring luncheon where individual mentors will take their mentees to a mutually-agreed upon spot off-site for lunch. We hope this new format provides more flexibility and safety in the time of COVID, as the small groups can find outdoor seating or other socially distant venues.
Please note: This event can accommodate only 75 early career mentees and 25 mentors (100 total persons). Registering for the event when you registered for the conference does NOT guarantee your participation in the Mentoring Luncheon event. You will need to receive confirmation of your registration for this event from the luncheon organizers.
Nina Spälti & Rongbo Jin
Mentoring Program Coordinators
Early Career Scholars Roundtables
1) Roundtable: The Dissertation is done, now what?
This roundtable of scholars and editors will provide advice on the publications of dissertations and research articles. The conversation will also include advice on when it’s ok to walk away from a publication and spark discussions on how promotion and tenure committees view projects coming out of the dissertation.
2) Roundtable: Opportunities and Challenges during Career Trajectories
What are the challenges that young scholars encounter in transitioning from Ph.D. candidate to postdoc or assistant professorship, and how could they best be navigated and turned into opportunities? What are the best research, teaching, and publication dissemination practices during the tenure-track process? The roundtable will bring together scholars from different career phases, i.e., postdoc, assistant professor, and associate/full professor, from both political science and psychology, providing advice and best practices for promoting research, building a tenure application, social media use, blogging research, developing a personal website, managing Google Scholar, etc.
3) Roundtable: Getting Started: Leveraging Your Research through Social Media
Developing a strategic social media presence can be challenging, especially as an early-career scholar. How to best present your research and convey key messages online? How to connect to other scholars in your field and build a growing and inclusive research network through social media? How to engage meaningfully across various platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn? Bringing together both communication and social media experts and scholars researching social media, this roundtable will examine the role and impact of social media on career development and provide strategies for navigating the intricacies of social media successfully as an early-career scholar.
Henriette Müller & Jasper Van Assche
Professional Development Coordinators
ECC on the Web
The ISPP invites you to stay engaged with the ECC online through the society’s Twitter (@PolPsyISPP), Facebook(https://fb.com/PolPsyISPP), Linkedin (https://www.linkedin.com/in/intlsocpolpsych), blog (https://ispp.org/category/ispp-blog/) and medium (https://polpsyispp.medium.com/) sites. Stay up-to-date on conferences, publications, open positions, and discussions of interest to scholars in political psychology through our social various media!
We are always on the look-out for new and interesting articles to be featured in our ECC blog. Articles can range from communicating your research to a more general audience to writing about current social issues in the world through an interdisciplinary, political, sociological, and/or psychological lens. If you are willing to contribute, please get in touch with us through the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’d love to hear from you!