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“Power, Politics, and Paranoia” Meeting in Amsterdam, 13 and 14 July 2012

Posted by Aleksandra Cichocka •

Power, Politics, and Paranoia: Why People are Suspicious about Their Leaders

Meeting in Amsterdam, 13 and 14 July 2012

In the globalizing world, people increasingly are suspicious and distrustful of the actions and intentions of corporate and political leaders. But where do these feelings of paranoia towards power holders originate from? In this two-day meeting, our aim is to bring together scholars who have a broad interest in questions pertaining to power, morality, and its relation with feelings of paranoia and distrust. Questions on which we will focus are, for instance: Why are people frequently uncomfortable about their relation with power holders? To what extent does having high power facilitate actual immoral behaviour? What can power holders do to restore trust? What are the roots of political extremism? How does societal threat (e.g., the threat of terrorism) influence perceptions of illegitimacy and distrust in political leaders? Why do so many people believe in conspiracy theories, even when these theories are somewhat far-fetched and concrete evidence is lacking?


The meeting will take place in "Felix Meritis", which is beautifully located at the Keizersgracht, directly in the historical centre of Amsterdam. Moreover, July is a particularly nice time of the year to visit Amsterdam. The conference venue is conveniently close to many hotels and tourist attractions, including the Anne Frank House, the canals, the Jordaan district, and a wide variety of restaurants and bars.
Abstracts of scholars who wish to present their empirical or theoretical work during this meeting are invited. The meeting will be small-scale,  with single session of oral presentations and substantial room for discussion. Scholars who are interested in presenting at this meeting should submit an abstract (max. 200 words) before 16 March 2012 to Jan-Willem van Prooijen, Email: mailto:j.w.van.prooijen@vu.nl , and Paul van Lange, Email; mailto:p.a.m.van.lange@vu.nl. It is also possible to attend without presenting.

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