Reports on past IPSA Conferences
IPSA World Congress, Brisbane, Australia, 21st to 25th July 2018
At IPSA's 25th World Congress of Political Science our RC was very active with five panels (one "closed") and 21 papers. Themes revolved around identity, communication, leadership, public mood and civic engagement. Our Thanks go out to all panel chairs and discussants for smooth procedures and vivid discussions.
RC29 also held a business meeting where we mainly discussed publication strategies, cooperations with other RCs and future events.
For more details on the 5 panels please see below.
RC29.01: Political Economy of Identity
Schedule: 25-07-2018 | 9:00 - 10:45
Chair: Lionel Page (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Discussant Changxia Ke (email@example.com)
The issue of social identity has taken centre stage in recent political events with the rise of nationalism and regionalism in Europe, the Brexit vote and the Trump election. The present panel will investigate the interrelations between social identity, the political institutions, the political environment and the economic system. Papers in this session will take two angles: First, how do existing social identities influence political and social behaviour? Second, what are the roles of economic and political dynamics in shaping citizens’ social identities.
Two papers (Jetten and Mols) will investigate the effect of economic inequalities on social identity. It is often argued that the rise of inequality has played a role in the rise in nationalist parties in Europe and for the election of Donald Trump in the USA. Papers in the session will investigate the evidence for this role of economic inequality in cementing social identities along country and/or ethnic lines. One paper (Gangadharan), will look into the role of inequality in triggering negative behaviour towards out-group members will also be discussed.
Finally, two papers (Haslam and Page) will show how social identity can usefully be thought as a stake in competitions for leadership. Social identities are influenced by economic and political agents who strategically select and foster symbols of identity to promote feelings of social identity along group lines favourable to their strategies. Social identities are assets for politicians/leaders who compete for power. Notions of political economy and game theory can be applied to explain the conditions under which the dynamics set in motions by the competition for leadership between agents can lead to the emergence and strengthening of conflicting social identities or on the contrary to an overarching social identity shared by all citizens.
- Impact of Social Identity and Inequality on Antisocial Behaviour, Philip Grossman
- Inequality: Consequences for Societies’ Social and Political Vitality, Jolanda Jetten
- Political Economy of Identity, Lionel Page
- The Wealth Paradox: Economic Prosperity and the Hardening of Attitudes, Frank Mols, Jolanda Jetten
RC29.02: Public Mood: Social and Political Interactions and Psychological Correlates
Schedule: 25-07-2018 | 11:00 - 12:45
Chair: Ofer Feldman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Discussant: Sonja Zmerli (email@example.com)
Public mood can be understood in various ways, as aggregate of individual preferences and attitudes (cf. policy mood of Stimpson (1991): aggregate trends in individuals' preferences for governmental activity) or as some subcultural identity (cf. public mood of Rahn et al. (1992): a diffuse affective state , having distinct positive and negative components, that people experience because of their membership in a particular political community) or as a broader measurement of a societal public opinion climate (cf. Noelle-Neumann). In this panel we want to focus on recent research on (perceptions of) public or group attitudes and opinions as a context for opinion formation of individuals. We welcome both conceptual and empirical contributions. The panel aims to include both comparative and single case studies, and quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods contributions to get a better grip on public mood as a diffused affective state. Paper proposals for this panel should relate to such questions as How can we measure and analyse this mood? What makes ordinary citizens more or less mood-sensitive? What about the sensitiveness and responsiveness of political parties and officials? How do political parties, interest groups and protestors influence it? How does it affect the outcome of elections and result in political and policy change? What is the role of the media?
- Resistance or Subjection: The Working Class’s Cognitive Conservatism in Post-Socialist China, Jake Lin
- Determinants of Political Trust and Satisfaction: Pocketbook Interests, Sociotropic Outlooks and Personality, Paul Dekker
- Ethnic Parties, Ethnic Tensions? Results of an Original Survey Panel Study in Romania, Anaid Flesken
- How Leftists Drive the Trend toward Depolarization, Frédéric Gonthier
RC29.04: The Psychology of Civic Engagement and Attitudes
Schedule: 24-07-2018 | 9:00 - 10:45
Chair: Sonja Zmerli (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Discussant Jeffery Mondak, (email@example.com)
The proposed panel aims to bring together scholars that examine civic engagement of citizens from different angles of political psychology. The study of the psychology of political participation has especially been boosted recently. Ever since the influential works of Mondak (2010) and Gerber and colleagues (2011) on personality and politics, scholars try to understand whether personality traits are linked to various types of political behavior and attitudes, how these relationships come about and whether they are conditional on contextual or situational factors. In addition, survey and experimental research on the role of emotions for political behavior and attitudes is growing and may provide promising insights in the way citizens make up their mind about politics (Albertson and Gadarian 2015). The panel aims to advance research in this direction. We invite papers that examine, for instance, the role of personality, emotions and values for civic engagement of citizens. Especially, we would like to include papers that broaden the scope of existing research by analyzing insufficiently studied aspects of psychology and civic engagement or by using innovative research approaches to this topic.
- Personality and Ideological Positions of Political Candidates, Kathrin Ackermann, Pirmin Bundi
- The Psychology of Preferring Right-wing Populist Parties, Evelyn Bytzek
- Traditional Values vs. Personal Freedom: European and Russian View on LGBT Community, Zhanna Puzanova, Nikolay Narbut, Tatiana Larina
- Values and Policy Attitudes in Australia: A Comparison of Young Adults and Seniors, Veronica Coram
RC29.06: The Psychology of Political Communication
Schedule: 24-07-2018 | 17:30 - 19:15
Chair: Pirmin Bundi (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Discussant: Kathrin Ackermann (email@example.com)
This panel focuses on the way communication and media affect political attitudes’ formation and change, political opinion and behaviors in cross-national, cross-cultural contexts. It aims to examine the role and causal effects of political communicators and communication processes on the workings of political institutions and political systems, and the public agenda in various countries and societies. Using a variety of research methods and approaches this panel details aspects related to the construction of political messages and the function played by and the impact of the media, political leaders, political consultants, and campaign staffs in the dissemination of political information. The panel includes papers that describe and analyze elite discourse and leaders’ skills and effectiveness in parliamentary debates and during media interviews; the rhetoric of politicians and journalists; and the role played by political communicators during election campaigns.
- Acceptance of Austerity Policies: Evidence from a Survey Experiment, Theofanis Exadaktylos, Roula Nezi
- Debbie Downer Gets Bad News: Variation in the Intensity of Response to Negative Political Information, Jeffery Mondak, Damarys Canache
- Emotions in Elections Worldwide: Why Candidates Use Fear and Enthusiasm in their Campaigns, and How It Drives their Media Coverage, Alessandro Nai, Jürgen Maier
- Patterns of Media News Consumption, Emotions and Political Attitudes. Assessing Social Media’s Polarizing Effects, Sonja Zmerli
- Televised Political Interviews in Japan: On the Interaction between Interviewers and Interviewees, Ofer Feldman, Ken Kinoshita
RC29.07: The Psychology of Political Leadership
Schedule: 25-07-2018 | 17:30 - 19:15
Chair: Kathrin Ackermann
Discussant: Pirmin Bundi
This panel is concerned with the psychology of political leadership in a comparative and cross-cultural perspective.
- Bridging the Research-policy Gap: The Importance of Effective Identity Leadership and Shared Commitment, Jennifer Bell, Frank Mols, Brian Head
- Leaders as Pathways to Political Success? The First Generation of Leaders and Their Legacies on the Baltic States, Ausra Park
- Severe Bereavement and Presidential Performance, Robert Gilbert
- Will Any Woman Do? Feminists' and Non-Feminists' Support for Female Candidates, Marzia Oceno
IPSA World Congress, Poznan, Poland, 23rd to 28th July 2016
IPSA’s 24th World Congress of Political Science was held in Poznan, Poland, from 23rd to 28th July 2016. The Congress was attended by some 3,000 participants--scholars, researchers, and students--and hosted a variety of activities including Research Committees’ panels, plenaries and sessions, symposiums, and special guests’ lectures.
Our RC hosted in this conference 5 panels (one closed, and four open)as follows:
1. Panel no. 1:
Panel Code RC29.01: Public Mood, Social and Political Interactions and Psychological Correlates: Conceptual and Empirical Contributions, Sunday, July 24 | 13:30-15:15 |
Dekker, Paul – Universiteit van Tilburg, Netherlands, firstname.lastname@example.org
Zmerli, Sonja – Sciences Po Grenoble, France, email@example.com
How Social Movement Organizations Adopt Public Relations Strategies to Influence the Public Mood in Social Movements: A Case Study of Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong, Kwong, Yan Wai – Hong Kong Shue Yan University, Hong Kong S.A.R., China, firstname.lastname@example.org
One Flag, Two Rallies: Mechanisms of Public Opinion in Israel During the 2014 Gaza War, Feinstein, Yuval – University of Haifa, Israel, email@example.com
Public Mentality as a Factor to Praise Socioeconomic Status of a Developing Country, Gazieva, Ziyodakhon – Ball State University, Uzbekistan, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Anti-Public Sector Bias: Experimental Evidence on the Heuristic Formation of Public Opinion Toward Public Organizations, Weißmüller, Kristina – University of Hamburg, Germany, email@example.com
2. Panel no. 2:
Panel Code: RC29.05 Profiling Political Leaders and the Analysis of Political Leadership: Cross-Cultural Study of Personality and Behavior, Monday, July 25 | 15:30-17:15 |
Ofer Feldman – Doshisha University, Japan, ofeldman@ mail.doshisha.ac.jp
Gilbert, Robert – Northeastern University, United States, firstname.lastname@example.org
Belief Systems of Japanese and US Political Leaders, Tanke, Sarah – Sciences Po Paris, France, sarah.tanke@ sciencespo.fr
Traits, Facets, Characteristic Adaptations, and Life Narratives in Context: A Comprehensive Psychological Profile of Nelson Mandela, Jennstål, Julia – Uppsala Universitet, Sweden, julia.jennstal@ statsvet.uu.se
When Does Personality Matter? A Framework for the Analysis of Political Leadership Through the Organization of Personal Staffs, Cammino, Pellegrino – Università degli Studi di Siena, Italy, email@example.com
When President Personality Influences Foreign Policy: Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy’s Policies Towards Turkey’s Accession to the European Union (1995-2012), Sitzenstuhl, Charles – Sciences Po, France, charles.sitzenstuhl@ sciencespo.fr
3. Panel no. 3:
Panel Code: RC29.02 A Sentimental Democracy? Tuesday, July 26 | 09:00-10:45 |
Arias-Maldonado, Manuel – Universidad de Malaga, Spain, firstname.lastname@example.org
Escamez, Sebastian – Universidad de Malaga, Spain, email@example.com
Joint Development of Political Attitudes and Social Networks Among Students
Pristli, Yana-Mariya – State University-Higher School of Economics, Russia, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sympathy for My Fellow Citizens? Dilemmas of Adam Smith ́s “Impartial Spectator” in Modern Multinational Democracies, Moreno, Carmelo – Universidad del País Vasco / Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, Spain, email@example.com
What’s Love Got to Do With It? Political Emotions and Racial Inequality in the US, Pritchard, Elizabeth – Bowdoin College, United States, firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Panel no. 4:
Panel Code: RC29.03 Personality and Politics: The Effects of Personal Traits on Behavior and Attitudes Tuesday, July 26 | 13:30-15:15 | Room PCC-15 / 1.5
Zmerli, Sonja – Sciences Po Grenoble, France, email@example.com
Zmerli, Sonja – Sciences Po Grenoble, France, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bringing Information In: Personality and Ideology in the Context of Direct Democracy, Freitag, Markus – Universitat Bern, Switzerland, markus.freitag@ ipw.unibe.ch, Ackermann, Kathrin –Universitat Bern, Switzerland, kathrin. email@example.com
Personalized Networks? How the Big Five Personality Traits Influence Individual Social Networks, Rapp, Carolin – Universitat Bern, Switzerland, carolin.rapp@ ipw.unibe.ch , Freitag, Markus – Universitat Bern, Switzerland, markus.freitag@ ipw.unibe.ch, Ingold, Karin – Universitat Bern, Switzerland, karin.ingold@ ipw.unibe.ch
Political Decision-Making in Moments of Crisis: A Conceptual Approach, Wilharm, Robin – Universität Duisburg-Essen, Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tea Party in American Politics, Gilbert, Robert – Northeastern University, United States, email@example.com
Why is Society Heading in the Right or Wrong Direction? Public Mood in The Netherlands 2013-2015, Dekker, Paul – Universiteit van Tilburg, Netherlands, p.dekker@ scp.nl
5. Panel no. 5:
Panel Code: RC29.06 Talking Politics: Cross-cultural and Cross-National Dimensions of Verbal Behavior in Politics , Thursday, July 28 | 09:00-10:45 |
Dekker, Paul – Universiteit van Tilburg, Netherlands, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dekker, Paul – Universiteit van Tilburg, Netherlands, email@example.com
Good Questions, Bad Questions: On the Nature of Televised Political Interviews in Japan, Feldman, Ofer – Doshisha University, Japan, ofeldman@ mail.doshisha.ac.jp , Kinoshita, Ken – Doshisha University, Japan, kk6453660@ gmail.com
Increasing Trust by Closing the Policy Distance Gap? Experimental Results of TV-Debates in Germany, Jansen, Carolin – University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lights, Camera, Action! The Political Clash on the Studio: Three Televised Election Debates on Mass Media, Pérez Rastrilla, Laura – Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, email@example.com
“I Quote and I Am Not Making This Up”: The Role of Quotations in the Adversarial Discourse of Prime Minister’s Questions, Bull, Peter – University of York, United Kingdom, drpebull@ gmail.com
In July 26th, the RC held a business meeting to discuss issues of common research interests. During this meeting I detailed on the status of membership during the last two years since the Montreal meeting (increased to more than 140 members); on the process of evaluating papers and panels for the current Congress; on the collaboration efforts with IPSA RC21 on Political Socialization and Education, including during the interim-Conferences meeting in Potsdam in 2017, in Japan in 2018, and in China in 2019, and on the journal RC21 manages, Politics, Culture, and Socialization; on the issues that should be at the core of the panels in the coming 2018 Brisbane World Congress (including political leadership, communication processes and effects, and socio-cultural aspects of human behavior in comparative aspects).
An important and significant issue which was put on the agenda was the proposal to change the RC name to Research Committee on Political Psychology. The decsion is this regard was unanimously adopted. It was agreed to report to IPSA Headquarters on our intention to use the new name of the RC in future communication.
In this meeting we have selected our members of the board and Chair and vice chairs for the coming two years. These are:
Sonja Zmerli (France) – Sciences Po Grenoble, France, firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Dekker (The Netherlands) – Universiteit van Tilburg, Netherlands, email@example.com
Ofer Feldman (Japan) – Doshisha University, Japan, ofeldman@ mail.doshisha.ac.jp
Members of the Board
1. Peter Bull (UK) – University of York, United Kingdom, drpebull@ gmail.com
2. Annemarie Walter (UK) – University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Robert Gilbert (USA) – Northeastern University, United States, email@example.com
4. Sigal Ben-Rafael Galanti (Israel) – Beit Berl College, Israel, sigalbrg@ gmail.com
5. Ziyodakhon Gazieva (Uzbekistan)– Ball State University, Uzbekistan, firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Kathrin Ackermann (Swisserland) – Universitat Bern, Switzerland, kathrin. email@example.com
7. Kristina Weißmüller (Germany) – University of Hamburg, Germany, firstname.lastname@example.org
8. Shingo Hamanaka (Japan)– Ryukoku University, Japan, email@example.com
9. Sarah Tanke (France)– Sciences Po Paris, France, sarah.tanke@ sciencespo.fr
10. Laura Pérez Rastrilla (Spain)– Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to fruitful collaboration and communication among all members of the RC with the intention to have more panels in the Brisbane 2018 Conference to reflect the variety of interest of our membership have in the field.
Ofer Feldman, Ph.D.,
Report from the President
Ofer Feldman, Ph.D.
Greetings from Kyoto!
IPSA’s 23rd World Congress of Political Science was held in Montreal, Canada, from 19 to 24 July 2014. The Congress was attended by some 3,000 participants- scholars, researchers, and students- and, as ever, hosted a variety of activities including Research Committees’ panels, plenaries and sessions, symposiums, and special guests lectures. As the conference date approached, more than 600 papers’ presenters, who proposed their abstracts to the different panels, decided not pay their dues and to withdraw from the Congress. They were deleted eventually from the final program. With this decision, withdrawing presenters have affected the structure of the various panels as well as the Congress final program.
Our RC was also impacted by this large cancellation of attendance. A few months before the conference started, and meeting the deadline for constructing panels for the Congress, I was able to secure four panels with 18 papers for our RC. Barely three weeks before the Montreal meeting started, after their paper appeared in the preliminary program, seven of our presenters decided, for various reasons, not to attend the meeting. In my view, they could have long before informed me (as the Convenor and the person in charge of our RC’s activities) on their doubts in attending the conference, saving thus me and others a great deal of inconvenience.
Eventually, as these individuals withdrew from the Congress and were excluded from the final program, IPSA gave me one weekend to reorganize our RC panels. According to IPSA’s regulations, a panel should include at least four papers; otherwise it is cancelled altogether. I had thus only three days to approach other RC chairs that faced with the same situation and to negotiate on combined (joint) panels. Successful negotiations with colleagues from such Research Committees as Political Power resulted in having three full papers’ panels for our RC. These panels were:
Panel no. 1: Panel Code: RC29.561. Psychological Bases of Political Attitudes and Behavior: A Cross-Cultural, Cross-National Examination
Convenor: Prof. Ofer Feldman
Chair: Prof. Ofer Feldman
The panel examines various psychological and social psychological characteristics and mechanisms that are associated with political attitudes and behavior in different political, social, and cultural environments including such countries as Israel, Russia, Catalonia, and Croatia. Papers detail aspects of moral dilemma related to the amount of force to be used in order to harm a terrorist; the effect of personality on political attitudes and judgment; the structure and characteristics of political cynicism; the structure of political images of one's country and their effects; and the qualitative methods research perspective on studying the cognitive psychology of conflicting belief systems.
Paper: (1) Moral Dilemmas in the War against Terror: The Proportionality Principle, Religiosity, Political Attitudes and Authoritarian Personality. By Prof. Shaul Kimhi
(2) Political Cynicism and Kynicism of Croatian Citizens: Profiles of Political Thinking and Behaviour. By Dr. Nebojsa Blanusa
(3) Seeking Qualitative Data to Follow Conflictual Belief Systems. By Dr. Charles Mitchell
(4) The Media Contact Habit, Media Trust and Civic Political Participation in China: Taking Two National Large-N Surveys as Example. By Dr. Hongna Miao
Date: Sunday, July 20th 17:00~18:45
Venue: Palais des congrès Room: 522a
Panel no. 2: Panel Code: RC29.377 Talking Politics: Politicians, Journalists, and the Public Debate
Convenor: Prof. Ofer Feldman
Chair: Dr. Peter Bull
Discussants: Dr. Nebojsa Blanusa
This panel details selected aspects related to elite discourse in a cross-national, cross-cultural contexts. It focuses in particular on the rhetoric of politicians and journalists as both try to affect the nature and the substance of public debate and attention in such countries as the USA, UK, Germany and Japan. Using variety of research methods and approaches papers in this panel will assess leaders' skill and effectiveness in speeches, broadcast interviews, and questions to the prime minister (PMQs), utilizing illustrative examples from television broadcasts with British politicians; provide information on how Japanese leading politicians cope with the communicative problems posed to them during televised political interviews; and will try to evaluate the political influence of various online media on politicians, journalists, and the public in Germany.
Papers: (1) Do Presumed Media Effects Have an Influence on Online Activities of Politicians? By Dr. Uli Bernhard & Dr. Marco Dohle
(2) Follow-ups in Broadcast Political Discourse: Speeches, Interviews and Parliamentary Questions. By Dr. Peter Bull
(3) Invited Behavior by Dr. Michael Krasner
(4) Political Interviews in Japanese Television: A Study on Rhetoric and Equivocation. By Prof. Ofer Feldman & Dr. Ken Kinoshita
Date: Tuestday, July 22nd 13:00-14:45
Venue: Palais des congrès Room: 521a
Panel no. 3: Panel Code: RC29.573 Profiling Political Leaders and the Analysis of Political Leadership: Cross-Cultural Aspects of Personality and Behavior
Convenor: Prof. Ofer Feldman
Chair: Prof. Shaul Kimhi
Co-Chair: Prof. Alan Siaroff
Discussants: Dr. Michael Krasner & Dr. Willibald Sonnleitner
The panel includes papers that present different features related to political leaders and leadership and the relations between leaders and their followers from a psychological and social psychological viewpoints. Taken as a whole the papers in this panel suggest further assessment on the role and function played by leaders in democratic and non-democratic political regimes; on the socio-cultural and psychological factors that affect the communication style and techniques leaders use when interacting with their supporters in both small and large groups venues, and the outcome of this communication methods; and on the effect of personality and character, as well as other aspects of popular leaders, on public opinion and judgment as they try mobilize the vote.
Papers: (1) Demystifying the Roots of Leadership: A Study of Perceptions of Indian Youth. By Dr. Vijay Laxmi Pandit
(2) Security Governance in Plural Societies and the Challenges of Counter Terrorism in Nigeria. Dr. Joses Gani Yoroms
(3) Testing Effects of Motivated Reasoning: Perception and Evaluation of the Former Czech Presidents. By Ms. Lenka Hrbková & Dr. Roman Chytilek
(4) The President of the Republic as Effective Legislator: The Contribution of the Brazilian Constitution of 1988 to the Predominance of the Executive over the Legislative Power. By Mr. Vinícius Alves
Date: Wednesday, July 23rd 17:00~18:45
Venue: Palais des congrès Room: 512c
During the Congress, in July 23, the RC held a business meeting to discuss issues of common research interests. During this meeting I detailed on the status of membership during the last two years since the Madrid meeting; on the process of evaluating papers and panels for the current Congress; and on issues which were on IPSA’s agenda for the coming 2016 Istanbul World Congress.
In this meeting I have also decided to add new two young members to our list of officers: Dr. Nebojša Blanuša, an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb. He teaches social and political psychology and research methods. His research interests include psychoanalytic approaches to nationalism, conspiratorial thinking in everyday politics, Euroscepticism, historical cleavages; and Dr. Ken Kinoshita, an Assistant in Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan. His research interest include political communication and psychology, political process and legislation in Japan, and research methods. Our list of officers is enclosed.
Below is also a photo of the RC’s officers during the business meeting. From right to left are Ken Kinoshita, Hongna Miao, Nebojša Blanuša, Peter Bull, Shaul Kimhi, and Ofer Feldman.
List of IPSA RC29 Officers (tenure 2012-2015)
Vice Chair: Paul Dekker (the Netherlands) email@example.com
Secretary: Mariana Perry (Chile) firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster: Hongna Miao (China) email@example.com
Members of the Board
Michael Krasner (USA) firstname.lastname@example.org
Shaul Kimhi (Israel) email@example.com
Sonja Zmerli (Germany) firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexandra Jolanda (Romania) email@example.com
Dmitri Lanko (Russia) firstname.lastname@example.org
Henk Dekker (the Netherlands) email@example.com http://www.socialsciences.leiden.edu/politicalscience/organisation/faculty/dekker-prof-dr-h.html
Nebojša Blanuša (Croatia) firstname.lastname@example.org
Last, As ever, you are encouraged to submit any information on your research or teaching activities, or publications, that you think others may find of interest to our webmaster, Hongna Miao in the address detailed above.
Ofer Feldman, Ph.D.
Professor of Political Psychology Faculty of Policy Studies & the Graduate School of Policy and Management
Keisuikan 228 Kamigyo-ku, Imadegawa, Kyoto JAPAN 602-8580
Tel/Fax: (+81) 75-251-3502
e-mail : email@example.com
Report from the President
Ofer Feldman, Ph.D.
IPSA’s World Congress, Madrid, Spain, July 2014
Greetings from the RC Chair,Ofer Feldman (Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan)
We have just concluded a hectic, scholarly stimulated week during IPSA conference in Madrid. It was good to see, listen, chat, and exchange ideas and views with you in person after long correspondence, during the pre-conference season, over issues related to the nature and schedule of the presentations. We are done now, and what a relief that all went just well!
I hope you have also benefited from attending the conference in both the scholarly and the social capacities. On the scholarly front, you were probably able to follow and gain ideas on what other researchers are doing, how to relate their study to yours, and what can you learn from others’ experience to advance your own research style or to improve your writing, research methods, and theoretical or survey approaches. On the social side, you probably met old friends, made new ones, and perhaps even discussed and concluded future collaborations in analysis and publications with colleagues from other countries. Personally, I always perceive these international meetings as pressure cookers. One comes to these meetings after long time preparing their presentations and are required to “squeeze” their panel talk to barely 15-20 minutes; then we are given only a few minutes (count sometimes in seconds) to reply to elaborated questions from the audience or to comments from the discussants (which leave us all completely frustrated); we have to rush between panels to grasp the recent ideas in the field, and try to dig hints from plenary sessions on how to locate our study in the broad area of social sciences; within a limited few days we struggle against time to meet old friends and colleagues, to share with them the recent news on work and family, and also make new friends and research partners to get a feedback and sometimes criticism on our own study and presentation; and within this narrow time, “within” this pressure cooker, we all try to explore the city, to get an idea about the culture, the people, and the food. In the case of Madrid I guess we all had an opportunity to learn also about political behavior and participation (recall the late-night street demonstrations against the recent decision of the government regarding the tax-increase), the energetic (and noisy, shooting rubber bullets) reaction of the police to these demonstrations, and the way the media covered these events.
In all, I assume, I hope, we had fruitful presentations, received positive, supporting, feedback and constructive comments to our work, ate well, drank well, and have now some ideas on how to channel our research efforts to perform better in future meetings.
In concluding this last IPSA meeting I want to share with you five important points related to our RC activities:
(1) First, I want to thank all of you again for your support to our Research Committee (RC). In this meeting we had six panels through which members of our group presented their work. One of these panels, entitled Political Leadership: What Are the Explanations for Successes or Fiasco's? was in collaboration with RC 21 on Political Socialization and Education. The panel explored the limits of political socialization and psycho-politics, with successful leadership as a central theme. Unfortunately and for no good reason, IPSA made a mistake in their schedule and this panel overlapped with another panel of our RC. Resultly, members couldn't attend their colleagues' presentation. I will alert IPSA in this regard with the hope we do not face similar experience in forthcoming meetings.
Another panel, under our hospitality, organized by Ellen Quintelier of Leuven University, Belgium, and was entitled Personality and Politics: A Self-evident Relationship or Irrational Idea? The panel focused on the relationship between personality (as measured using the Big 5 and other measures such as empathy, altruism, etc.) on the one hand, and politics (not only limited to political participation but also included political attitudes, the use of news media, policy preferences etc) on the other.
Four panels were constructed explicitly to accommodate your papers, combining together 19 papers. This were:
1. Talking Politics: Politicians, Journalists, and the Public Debate: The panel detailed selected aspects related to elite discourse in a cross-national, cross-cultural contexts. It focused in particular on the rhetoric of politicians and journalists as both try to affect the nature and the substance of public debate and attention in such countries as the UK, Poland, and Japan. Using variety of research methods and approaches papers in this panel assessed leaders’ skill and effectiveness in parliamentary debate by examining the extent to which face-threatening act (FTAs) are performed in Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) in the UK House of Commons; analyzed news media reporters’ and politicians’ interaction in Poland; provided information on how Japanese leading politicians cope with the communicative problems posed to them during televised political interviews; and tried to evaluate the role played by the news media in general and television in particular during time of election.
2. Between Leaders and Followers: Psycho-Political Examination: The panel included papers that presented different features related to political leaders and leadership and the relations between leaders and their followers from a psychological and social psychological viewpoints. Taken as a whole the papers in this panel suggested further assessment on the role and function played by leaders in democratic and non-democratic political regimes; on the socio-cultural and psychological factors that affect the communication style and techniques leaders use when interacting with their supporters in both small and large groups venues, and the outcome of this communication methods; on the ‘national trauma’ accompanying the assassination of a beloved or a highly respected political leader in five very different societies and the resultant of ‘new sense of identity,’ among others; and on the effect of personality and character, as well as other aspects of popular leaders, on public opinion and judgment as they try mobilize the vote.
3. Psychological Bases of Political Attitudes and Behavior: A Cross-Cultural, Cross-National Examination: The panel examined various psychological and social psychological characteristics and mechanisms that are associated with political attitudes and behavior in different political, social, and cultural environments. These included aspects of civic involvement, voter obligations, and the socialization agents such as school and the news media in Japan; Latin American citizens’ perceptions of the fairness, equality, and trustworthiness of their political institutions and the features that affect their attitudes toward the political establishment; Perception of authority, political leaders, political parties, and the state by citizens of several Russian regions; the complexity of the perception of trust in Arabic-Speaking Islam; and the way individuals cope with traumatic and stressful events in Israel.
4. Profiling Political Leaders and the Analysis of Political Leadership: Cross-Cultural Study of Personality and Behavior: This panel detailed research on psychological profiling and the analysis of political leadership, including integral components of the political decision-making process. Each paper examined and evaluated the performance of political leaders and the factors that affect their political behavior and attitudes in different societies using a variety of analytical approaches (e.g., MIDC method, analysis of leaders’ speeches, interviews with top-echelon officials, and “Risk acceptance index”) with theoretical critique and cross-cultural breadth. Authors specifically analyzed cultural context, childhood experiences, belief systems, and other important variables that affect and shape leaders’ political performance, their decision-making processes, and policy attitudes, with case studies from the USA (Barack Obama, George W. Bush), Poland (Lech Walesa, Andrzej Lepper, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Janusz Palikot), Chile (Ricardo Lagos), Romania (Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, Nicolae Ceausescu), and Russia (Vladimir V. Putin).
I thank all of you for presenting these papers, to the discussants who have read the papers and detailed their comments during the panel time, and for the chairs who did an excellent work as well guarding the time for panelists and moderating between the audience questions and paper-givers’ reactions. I would encourage those up-and-coming new scholars or Ph.D. candidates in our RC to keep the contact with those discussants that discuss their papers, or with others, veteran researchers in our group, to get more feedback and suggestions that might help you to refine and improve your work. Remember, those who are shy to ask, never learn. Create the opportunity and ask!
(2) Second, I want to thank you again for entrusting me with the leadership of the RC. Humbly, I accepted your support. I think this was the largest attendance of our RC’ business meeting ever (16 members) with another five people (Peter Bull of the UK, Michael Krasner of the USA, Ilai Alon of Israel, and Helen Shestopal and Tatiana Pishcheva of Russia) showed interest in attending but were not able to attend due to various personal reasons. Eventually our 21 members were from such countries as USA, Israel, UK, Chile, Mexico, Germany, Russia, Hungary, Rumania, Poland, and Japan. What diversity! (Enclosed a photo taken by Henk Dekker, during the business meeting.)
Following IPSA's guidelines and trying to keep a balance between countries and along gender within the officers in our RC, I want to thank you for your cooperation in selecting our Board Members: They are (tenure in office 2012-2015),
Peter Bull (UK),
Michael Krasner (USA),
Robert Gilbert (USA)
Shaul Kimhi (ISRAEL),
Sonja Zmerli (Germany),
Mariana Perry (Chile),
Joseluis Mendez (Mexico),
Alexandra Jolanda (Romania),
Dmitri Lanko (Russia),
& Henk Dekker.
I look forward to fruitful working with all of you as we try to promote the activities of our group.
Mariana Perry will serve as our Secretary General and Newsletter Editor.
In the coming weeks I will send her information on old and new members so you will hear directly from her. Please forward her information on your activity, publication, travels, research interests, funds etc., so we will be able to follow what our members are doing and where they travel to, and perhaps even invite each other to seminars and other small group discussions in our institutions.
Our Webmaster continues to be Hongna Miao (of China) and you are also invited to look at our Website and to add to it relevant information and updates. The site address is
Please contact Hongna on related issues at <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Last but not least, Paul Dekker (of the Netherlands), who agreed to assume the position of Vice-Chair, will join me in managing the administrative and the logistic work related to our RC. Above and beyond being a long time friend (sharing with me even KLM flights albeit in different decks), Paul is a long-time RC 29 board member serving in such positions as Website master, newsletter editor, Vice-Chair, and most recently the Chair of our RC. His experience, knowledge, and skills in various position in the RC for many years are most valuable, and from my perspective he is the most suitable (and always available) person to consult with on issues related to our activities and personnel. I am sure I will be able to perform better with him along my side. THANK YOU, PAUL!
(3) Third, please recall that we are closely cooperating with RC 21. That is, as you see in our Website, we organize common meetings this year in Moscow and next year in China. Look at the Website for more information. You can also check at RC 21 Website for more details (http://www.politicalsocialization.org/). We also cooperate in "handling" the Journal "Politics, Culture and Socialization." Christ'l de Landtsheer is the editor of the Journal, we all met her in our business meeting and recall her encouragement to send her your papers and book reviews. (Christ'l was elected to serve as the IPSA's RC liaison officer, and we all congratulate her and wish her all the best, GOOD LUCK! in this time-consuming position at the helm of IPSA).
Recall also that Henk Dekker mentioned the Palgrave book series and on the likelihood to publish monographs about political psychology. I hope we will hear more in this regard from Henk or from one of his colleagues working on this project.
In this regard, on future conferences: Recall that beside IPSA (Montreal 2014) we can also propose our panels to other societies such as the International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP) that plans to have next year's meeting in Herzelia, Israel. I would definitely think that we can propose at least three panels for this meeting: On political leadership, political communication, and political behavior and attitudes in a cross-national, cross-cultural contexts. I would like to hear more concrete suggestions from you when the call for papers is out from ISPP, around this year-end. I will let you know more on deadlines for this meeting as soon as I am informed.
(4) Fourth, I want to thank on your behalf to our colleague Paul Dekker for the dedicated work he did in leading our group in the last years as the Chair. And a special thank is extended to our former Secretary-General Bill Bostock (Tasmania University, Austarlia), for the serious and devoted efforts he invested in the last few years in handling communication among members also as our Newsletter Editing. We all wished he would have come to Madrid and we all wish him all the best upon retiring from the University (but not from academic life, I hope).
(5) Last, I wish to increase the membership of our group and I will take measures in this sense in the coming few weeks. Please help me in this regard, if you can, or advice me on the direction you think the group should head to. Don't hesitate to contact me in this or any other regard whenever you want. Your arriving mail wouldn't wake me up so don't worry about the time even though I am most likely after lunch (in Japan) when most of you just wake up.
I look forward to meeting you all again at the latest in the Montreal meeting in July 2014, and if possible before in ISPP meeting in Herzelia, Israel, July of next year.
Lets keep the contact.
All the best, Ofer
Professor Ofer Feldman, Ph.D.
Professor of Political Psychology & Behavior
Faculty of Policy Studies,
Keisuikan 228, Kamigyo-ku, Imadegawa, Kyoto,
Telephone/Fax: +81 (0) 75-251-3502
Published on Sunday, January 22 2017 by Sonja Zmerli