President’s Message Spring 2018
Our 41st Annual Scientific Meeting in San Antonio, Texas is approaching fast! Program chairs Bethany Albertson and Frank Asbrock along with the section chairs have put together a diverse and inspiring program. Keynote speakers include Jack Citrin (University of California, Berkeley) on "Identity Choice and the Politics of Solidarity and Fragmentation", Don Haider-Markel (University of Kansas) on "Political Psychology and LGBT Politics and Policy", Stephen Wright (Simon Fraser University) on "Collective Harm-doing: When is destructive action by our group acceptable?", and myself as ISPP President on the conference topic "Beyond Borders and Boundaries: Perspectives from Political Psychology". In addition to panels and poster sessions, there will be invited symposia related to the conference topic and roundtables notably on ISPP diversity and internationalization, on recent ISPP endeavors to support threatened political psychologists, as well as on early career professional development. I am very much looking forward to vibrant formal and informal discussions in San Antonio and the typical conference buzz when our community of political psychologists meets up!
In January 2018, the ISPP Governing Council (GC) held a productive meeting at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Thanks for the location go to Bert Klandermans, our Councilor. Over two very full meeting days a number of important topics were discussed of which I will share a few with you.
First, the GC decided that the ISPP restructuring Committee continues its work, under the leadership of Dave Redlawsk, President-Elect. With the goal to improve strategic planning and decision-making, this committee is revisiting the size and structure of the decision-making organs of the society. These changes will require modifying ISPP constitution and will result in one of the most consequential changes in the recent history of this society.
Second, the GC as well as many ISPP members have over the years expressed the necessity to both internationalize and increase membership. To concretize this commitment, the Membership and Internationalization Committee, led by Vice President Nicholas Valentino was tasked with creating a strategic plan for increasing internationalization on all levels of ISPP and its activities, from leadership to conference attendance. The committee will be reporting back to the GC at the July meeting.
Third, the GC is unanimously committed to supporting colleagues from Turkey and a number of decisions were made to this end in Amsterdam. ISPP drafted a statement of support and several sister societies joined us in signing this statement. A matching fund program was created with member donations supporting scholars in Turkey being matched by ISPP up to $40,000.00 until 30 June 2018. YOU can help by donating! Other societies have expressed interest in supporting our donation scheme or in promoting it among their members. A delegation including two GC members, Dave Redlawsk and Masi Noor, along with Steve Reicher were in Istanbul in January to observe the trial of one of our members and to meet with local colleagues. The ISPP Political Psychologists Under Threat committee, led by Past President Kate Reynolds, continues its work on a more detailed action plan. The GC voted for ISPP to join the Scholars at Risk Network as a contributing member. By joining this network, ISPP wants to support threatened scholars and promote academic freedom beyond Turkey. Moreover, we hope this membership will encourage individual ISPP members to seek possibilities to provide temporary sanctuaries for threatened scholars at their home institutions. You can learn more about the situation in Turkey and ISPP actions of support on a web page put together by Jolanda van der Noll, Director of Communications.
Finally, the Chair of the Early Career Committee (ECC), Gary E. Smith, gave an update on their activities. The GC continues to support the “traditional” ECC activities, including the travel grant program, the mentoring luncheon and the social hour at the conference. Besides organizing activities to support early career scholars, the committee plays a key role in ISPP communication as it is responsible for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter communication. ISPP leadership is very grateful for this support!
To know more about GC activities and to discuss with ISPP leadership, please join us at the ISPP Business Meeting on July 6 in San Antonio. This is also the moment when you can share your views on the directions you wish ISPP to take. You are also very welcome to drop me a line prior to the meeting and share your ideas for ISPP development.
An important change in ISPP leadership will take place soon. At the end of this fiscal year, Felicia Pratto will have served her five-year term as ISPP Treasurer. Thank you, Felicia, for keeping our finances on track, very likely the toughest job of our society as anyone who has participated in our lengthy budget discussions will know! She will be succeeded by Melinda Jackson, who is already shadowing Felicia. No ISPP activities and goals could be achieved without the meticulous support of Sev Bennett, Executive Director, and her assistant, Heather Schlabach, from the Central Office. Thank you. While it is impossible to acknowledge in this message all the people serving ISPP—in volunteer roles, on the GC, and on various committees—I wish to extend my thanks to all of you committed to supporting and developing ISPP.
I hope to see you in San Antonio!
Eva G. T. Green