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Annual Scientific Meeting of the
International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP)
July 9th - 12th, 2011
Istanbul, Turkey
Cooperation and Human Societies: Towards a Multidisciplinary Political Psychology

Program Chairs:
Elizabeth Theiss-Morse (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) and
Kevin Durrheim (University of Kwazulu-Natal)

Conference Chair:
Hale Bolak (Bilgi University, Istanbul)

ISPP 2010-11 President:
Leonie Huddy, Stony Brook University

This year's conference theme reflects growing interdisciplinary evidence of cooperation as a critical foundation for the development of human societies. Frequently, political psychology has focused on the negative aspects of human nature, examining the political implications of intergroup conflict, violence, nationalism, prejudice, and discrimination. Yet across numerous social science subfields including evolutionary psychology, developmental psychology, political economy, political theory, and social psychology there is growing awareness of the pervasiveness of human cooperation and its centrality to group life. Conflict and cooperation are opposing but omnipresent and often co-existing features of human societies.

Istanbul provides an excellent setting in which to examine this theme, straddling Asia and Europe, blending the secular and religious, and serving as a reminder of much consequential world history (both cooperative and conflictual). In a globalized world, human cooperation has the potential to minimize religious, geographic and cultural differences. What better place to examine these issues than in cosmopolitan Istanbul?

To address this year's theme, the program committee hopes to create a setting in which diverse scholars can come together to discuss the ways in which positive aspects of human nature influence political phenomenon. We are particularly interested in bringing together different perspectives and new findings from the fields of anthropology, biology, economics, philosophy, political science, and psychology to create an exciting intellectual forum in which scholars can exchange views and work towards the development of a political psychology that focuses on both positive and negative facets of human behavior.

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