International Society of Political Psychology

Conference Abstracts

1X Understanding and dealing with victimhood in political conflict

(Session Organizer) Andrew McNeill, Queen's University Belfast; (Discussant) Masi Noor, Canterbury Christ Church University; (Chair) Andrew McNeill, Queen's University Be

Conference: ISPP 2011
Affiliation: Queen's University Belfast
Research Area: Political conflict, violence, and crisis

Both during and after conflict, dealing with the legacy of the victimisation of groups and individuals is an important part of peace processes which seek to facilitate reconciliation in divided societies. This symposium draws together research from across the world, using a variety of methodologies to seek to understand the dynamics of victimhood and the role it plays in relation to reconciliation efforts. Neil Ferguson offers an interpretative phenomenological analysis of victim interviews from post-conflict Northern Ireland and explores the personal meaning-making which undergirds victimhood. Andrew McNeill, Evanthia Lyons & Sam Pehrson also utilise qualitative methodology but this time using critical discourse analysis to explore how discourse is used to argue for or against the Saville inquiry in Northern Ireland as a means of resolving victimhood. Moving beyond Northern Ireland, Noa Schori, Eran Halperin & Daniel Bar-Tal explore the idea of collective victimhood and through two empirical studies examine the relationship between different levels of collective victimhood and willingness for compromise among Jews in Israel. The studies highlight how victimhood can be a hindrance to compromise. Johanna Vollhardt and Rezarta Bilali on the other hand focus on the idea of "inclusive victimhood" (seeing victims as being part of a common ingroup) and explore the potential it has for positive relations between victimised groups. Their study looks at an intervention carried out in the Great Lakes Region of Africa and how fictional conflicts broadcast via radio can be used to teach about violence, trauma and reconciliation.