International Society of Political Psychology


Call for Papers: Political Psychology and Political Education, Innsbruck, Austria, July, 2014.

Posted by Emma O'Dwyer •

Call for Papers: Political Education and Political Participation in and for Democratic Societies: Needs, Realities, and Consequences

The understanding of political education has expanded in recent times, but it is still a commonplace that every democratic society needs a politically engaged citizenry. Thus particularly political education and political participation are significant for the legitimization of democratic constituted political systems.

In democratic realm, political education aims to prepare people to understand and act on their citizens’ rights and responsibilities and to actively participate in the political process. People should acquire knowledge, skills, and attitudes relevant to various forms of political participation; they should be attentive to politics and able to make use of political information. Only then can citizens judge politics competently and participate in the political process, thus shaping the country they live in – forming and improving their own democracy.

This section aims to examine the strengths and weaknesses of contemporary educational approaches, and also to understand the processes of (de)politicisation of different groups of people such as pupils, university students, workers, immigrants etc. Papers and panels from a broad range of sub-disciplines are invited, be it theoretical, philosophical or empirical papers, or papers coming from practitioners. This section may be represented by pedagogy; developmental, social, personality and/or political psychology; political sociology; political philosophy or other related disciplines.

Key questions that may be addressed are (although not limited to these questions):

  1. Political skills for democratic societies: What should people know about politics in contemporary democracies? What are civic duties and how to cultivate them? What do people need to know to actively participate in the political process, and what do they actually know? What other preconditions are necessary to become an “active and democratic” citizen?
  2. Performance of political education: How does political education perform and how to improve it? Which methods or programs perform best? How to get young people interested and engaged in politics in a longitudinal perspective? Why do some people get frustrated about politics and politicians, and who gets frustrated?
  3. Naturalization exams: Is a naturalized citizen a more active, more democratic citizen, i.e. do naturalization exams make immigrants being “better” citizens than native citizens?
  4. Overlap of political education and similar approaches: Where does political education overlap with other approaches, e.g. media education, intercultural education, peace education, human rights education, conflict resolution, and moral education?
  5. Media influences in political education: How do the media support, or prevent, democratic politicization? What roles the media take in the development of political skills? How can political education make use of mass media and social media?
  6. A lifelong perspective on political education and measurement integration: Are contemporary methods for examining political competences adequate? How can the measurement of political knowledge and other political skills be improved? Is it possible to integrate measures and results from studies like the European Election Studies, the German Longitudinal Election Study, the American National Election Study with those coming from studies like the Civic Education Study or the International Civic and Citizenship Education Study? How can we draw implications in a lifelong perspective (e.g. with respect to political knowledge, political attitudes, “correct” voting behaviour)?

Abstracts must be submitted online until 20 January 2014, via MyECPR (you will need to create a MyECPR account first if you do not have one yet).

To propose a paper (max. 150 words), go to

To propose a full panel (max. 300 words), go to

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