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Identity Politics and Politicized Identities. Political Psychology in Times of Contention
Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP) July 6th - 9th, 2012, Chicago, Illinois


Syria, Libya, Greece, Norway, and the Tea Party, riots in Berlin, central squares occupied in Egypt, Spain and Tel Aviv. Our times are contentious. Politics concerns the distribution of scarce resources and the working of power relations in society, and the conflicts that arise often pit social groups against one another. The major players are often at opposite of side of cleavages along lines of race, ethnicity, class, religion, and language. When politicians commit identity politics, do they then trigger the formation of politicized identities, which in turn instigate contentious politics? Or do they merely exploit existing cleavages, representing one side in a long standing dispute thus politicizing existing collective identities? The goal of the conference will be to apply political psychology in these important questions

The 2012 meeting will take place in the Mart Plaza Hotel in Chicago, a city with a rich contentious history. Jacquelien van Stekelenburg and Nicholas Valentino will be the program chairs for that conference. Jacquelien, Nick and I will work together in building the theme into the program of the conference. It will serve as a lead for keynotes and special sessions. Anca Minescu will program a chain of thematic sessions throughout the conference. Proposals for such thematic sessions on group conflict are welcomed, as are proposals for individual papers related to the theme. The program chairs are interested in bringing together 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 contribution of political psychology to the understanding of our contentious times.

Obviously, not only thematic symposia and papers are welcomed. The program chairs invite proposals for symposia and papers, posters on any topic in political psychology. Look at the ISPP's website for information about submission of proposals.

Bert Klandermans, President
Jacquelien Van Stekelenburg and Nick Valentino, Program chairs
Anca Minescu, Thematice sessions
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