Report to BOD, IAAP
Division 11, Political Psychology Report.
By Di Bretherton, President.
The Division of
Political Psychology made a strong contribution to the Conference program in
While we strongly support the use of the website to help manage the Conference there were some problems with its administration and maintenance that made it difficult to register changes and additions in the lead up to the Conference. This became very important after 9/11 when concern to respond to the issue of terrorism became salient.
The Division was able to respond by offering a pre-conference workshop, led by Di Bretherton and Mike Wessells, which was well attended, highly evaluated and contributed to IAAP funds. We would like to thank Lyn Chua for her help in administering this workshop. However, two important suggestions for addresses (by Jose Prieto and Mike Wessells) on terrorism were submitted to the website but omitted from the program. Mike Wessells excellent talk was slotted in at the last moment, but did not receive the formal recognition and publicity it deserved. The talk by Jose Prieto, to everyone’s loss, was not scheduled.
During the past
decade there has been an association between the Division of Political
Psychology of the IAAP and the Committee for the Psychological Study of Peace
(CPSP) of the International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsS).
The parent bodies rotate meetings every second year and in the intervening
years the CPSP holds a much smaller Symposium on the contributions of
psychology to social process such as reconstruction after conflict,
reconciliation and peace building. This is a highly productive association in
that it allows for continuity, enabling an annual meeting for at least some
members. Between these meetings people
can keep in contact through the CPSP list serve, which is maintained by Takehiko Ito in
As acknowledged by debates on the IAAP list serve it is challenging to maintain a truly global focus. Academics from well-funded universities in more affluent countries have greater opportunity to attend international gatherings, than do those from poorer countries. Hence the practice of holding conferences and symposia in different countries is, among other things, a means of bringing international psychology to psychologists in different parts of the world by turn.
In this sense one
of the key contributions to better global understanding and the reduction of
armed conflict and political violence, was in my view the fact that holding
Since this meeting
I am sorry that
family pressures have led to the need for me to resign as President of the
Division. Klaus Boehnke
will take over this role. He has already been added to the IAAP list serve and
will attend the Board meetings in
Form my experience as a member and office bearer I would make three recommendations:
1) It is important to support and further develop the association between the Division of Political Psychology of the IAAP and the Committee for the Psychological Study of Peace of the IUPsS. While the academic fit is not without some rough edges at a pragmatic level the association enables annual face-to-face meetings and provides continuity. Inclusion of psychologists for poorer areas and conflict zones and long-term relationship building.
2) It is important to support and further develop systems that enhance electronic communication between meetings eg the IAAP list serve for Board members and the CPSP list serve to help keep contact between face-to-face meetings.
3) It may be more useful to employ mentoring strategies, which reach out to and guide new members (such as the building of Indonesian participation described above) rather than holding recruiting drives to increase membership.
In conclusion I would like to thank Jose Prieto for his understanding, support, advice and guidance.