International Society of Political Psychology



Posted by Patricio Saavedra Morales •

Ex-officio Chair: Sanne Rijkhoff, Portland State University.

ECC Chair: Shelley McKeown Jones, University of Bristol.

Shelley is currently a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Bristol. Before joining Bristol, she lectured at Leiden University College and the University of Hertfordshire. Shelley particularly enjoys teaching social/political/peace psychology and research methods. She completed her PhD at the University of Ulster in 2012 and her research focuses on understanding and improving intergroup relations, primarily through the lens of intergroup contact theory and social identity theory. Shelley has published a number of articles, book chapters and a book on identity, segregation and peacebuilding in Northern Ireland. Her career aspiration is to become a full professor.


ECC Chair elect: Gary Smith, University of Central Florida.

Gary is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Security Studies program at the University of Central Florida. He teaches courses on the causes of interstate war at UCF. His research interests include the role that elite psychology plays in the decision to initiate conflict between and within states. He co-authored research on the scholarship of teaching and learning in political science has appeared in PS: Political Science & Politics

Mentorship Program: Thia Sagherian-Dickey, Queen’s University Belfast & Pip Cawley, Washington State University. 

Thia is a PhD candidate (QUB) investigating the dynamics of intergroup trust, focusing on Northern Ireland and Lebanon, hoping to remain in academia upon completion of my doctoral studies. She has research experience through a number of projects examining generalized social and intergroup trust in Northern Ireland, contact and housing mobility in Belfast, prejudice reduction in Beirut and HR policies for women in the Middle East.  She also does some lab demonstrating and teaching at her university. Previously, she was part of a team that coordinated and taught a module on culture in the Middle East in Beirut. 

Pip’s current research examines domestic terrorism recruitment tactics. She is passionate about teaching and strives to make a real difference in her students' lives. She is also a single mother and when she is not working, she enjoys gardening and cooking with her daughter. She is excited to get to work and looking forward to the adventure ahead.


Newsletter Editor: Kevin McNicholl, Queen's University Belfast & Philip Chen, University of Calgary.

Kevin focuses on statistical analysis of the wealth of survey and census data that has been collected here since 1989. He is researching the ‘Northern Irish’ identity as a potential common ingroup identity.  He also looks at discourses of Northern Irishness in the Northern Ireland Assembly to view how understandings of this category are constructed.  Currently, Kevin works in the Politics, International Studies and Philosophy department of Queen’s University Belfast and has tutored modules in international politics and conflict.  In the future he would very much like to continue researching intergroup relations and understandings of national identity in divided societies. 

Philip is a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Political Science at the University of Calgary, where he works with Dr. Melanee Thomas examining stereotype threat and the political gender gap. He studies individual voters (and their traits and identities) and their interaction with campaign and political communications. Prior to arriving in Calgary, Dr. Chen was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Macalester College for the 2015-2016 academic year, teaching classes on political psychology, political behavior, and political communication. Dr. Chen hopes to continue his teaching and research as a tenure-track political science professor at a liberal arts college.


Professional development coordinator: Alexa Bankert, University of Georgia & Femke Bakker, Leiden University.

Alexa is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Georgia. After completing her B.A. in Political Science at the Freie Universität Berlin and the University of Pennsylvania in 2011, she received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Stony Brook University in 2016. Alexa’s current research focuses on the development, measurement, and consequences of partisan identities in two-party and multi-party systems. Her work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as Political Psychology, Political Behavior, and Electoral Studies. She is the recipient of several awards including the Distinguished Junior Scholars Award given by the Political Psychology Section of the American Political Science Association, the Janet Box-Steffensmeier Award for Outstanding Female Graduate Students in Methodology, and the Milton Lodge Award for Outstanding Research Potential.

Femke is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Political Science at Leiden University, after she received an MPhil within the research master programme of the same university. Earlier she studied acting and was working as a professional actor and screen writer for about two decades. Femke is interested in studying unexplored micro-foundations of theories that are often assumed rather than empirically tested. In her PhD research she studies the micro-foundations of several (and some even opposing) explanations for the ‘democratic peace’ from a political psychological perspective. She has conducted experiments with the US, China and Russia. Her dissertation is expected to be completed in the first half of 2017.


Web Resources Coordinator: Tina Keil, University of Exeter & Patricio Saavedra Morales, University of Sussex.


Tina is a third-year PhD candidate at the University of Exeter. Her research focuses on everyday, mundane contact in public spaces and how modern technology can be used to capture and measure contact in real-time. Previously, she has worked as a web developer and programmer both self-employed and within academia, while pursuing her interest in psychology through the Open University alongside her professional career. After gaining an MSc in Psychological Research Methods in 2013, she decided to turn her part-time passion for social psychology into something more concrete, enabling her to combine and bring together her interest in technology and psychology. Much of Tina’s research experiences has included the use qualitative methods, although her current research combines both qualitative and quantitative methods. She has participated in conferences and workshops in the U.S. and Europe. Currently she is working on her thesis and towards the publication of several papers. Future plans include the realisation/continuation of various software projects/ideas, aimed at facilitating and supporting research in psychology, as well as academia in general.

Patricio is a Ph.D. student of Dr. John Drury at the University of Sussex. There, he has conducted research on the impact of political context and social identity on protesters’ behaviour in two different countries, Chile and the UK. His main aim is to explore the possible impact of the social structures and political opportunities over the people participation in protests, as well as on the type of action (violent/not violent) that they carry on using mixed methods. Previously, he worked with the Professors Roberto Gonzalez and Jorge Manzi as research assistant and coordinator of their Social Psychology Lab at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. Furthermore, he was a teacher assistant in the Research Methodology, Methods of Quantitative Research, Social Psychology, and Philosophical Fundamentals courses in the School of Psychology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. 




























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