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 (

Discussant Changxia Ke (

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 (

Discussant: Sonja Zmerli (

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 (

Discussant Jeffery Mondak, (

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 (

Discussant: Kathrin Ackermann (

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