International Society of Political Psychology


President’s Message Fall 2018

Posted by Lucas Czarnecki •

By David Redlawsk (ISPP President)

Greetings from ISPP! I consider myself privileged to be your President for 2018-2019.  I hope this column will give you some sense of what we are up to, as your professional society.

Conferences, past and future

With the very successful 2018 San Antonio meeting now behind us, we’re already begun to turn our attention to 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal, where we will meet July 12-15. The Call for Proposals is open and submissions are being accepted. The deadline is December 1, 2018. We expect Lisbon to be a very popular location, so it is important to get your proposal in before the deadline to have a chance to be on the program.

This year’s theme, Empowering Citizens in Illiberal Times: The Political Psychology of Oppression and Resilience, recognizes the significant international challenge of our time, as leaders around the world – even in supposed democracies – resort to authoritarian nationalistic moves to cement their power. Read more about the theme here. The Lisbon meeting is being organized by Program Chairs Angie Bos (College of Wooster, USA) and Shelley McKeown Jones (University of Bristol, UK) who have developed some new approaches and rethought some of our existing ones to make Lisbon our best conference ever.

The San Antonio meeting was one of the best I have been to; intellectually exciting and in an interesting location steeped in U.S. and Mexican history. My predecessor Eva Green, and her team including Program Chairs Bethany Albertson and Frank Asbrock, did a fantastic job, and we owe them (and everyone who participated) a great deal of thanks for their work.

Of course, we would find all of our work much harder if it were not for our Central Office team: Executive Director Sev Bennet, and her assistant, Heather Schlabach. They keep the day-to-day wheels of ISPP moving, which can at times be challenging.

Calls for Awards Nominations

We also depend heavily on the many volunteers who make ISPP what it is. This includes our 15-member Governing Council, our Officers, and ISPP members who serve on a wide range of committees. Our Awards Committees, in particular, require real commitment from those who serve, but we couldn’t do without them. Congratulations to all of our 2018 winners, and thanks to those who served on the committees last year, and those serving this year. I encourage ISPP members to check out the awards and make nominations (including self-nominations.)

ISPP Internationalization and Diversity

As President this year, I am continuing ISPP’s ongoing commitment to internationalization and diversity in our organization. A report was presented to the Governing Council (GC) last summer detailing a number of ways in which we could be better at both. I have tasked a GC committee with working through the highly detailed report to present specific plans to move forward on many of its recommendations, designed to increase diversity of all kinds, and to actively seek to broaden every part of the organization to ensure access to political psychologists worldwide, with a special focus on the Global South. We will be reporting more on these efforts in Lisbon.

Scholars Under Threat

We regret that we continue to have to monitor the situation for our members in Turkey, where thousands of academics have been purged from their jobs and their fellowships, with many standing trial on trumped-up charges related to supporting terrorists or otherwise challenging the government.

ISPP Past-president Eva Green is heading up our Scholars Under Threat committee, which is administering fundraising for scholars in Turkey, and organizing ISPP efforts to send international observers to ISPP members’ trials. You can read more about ISPP’s efforts, and PLEASE consider a donation to support the work of our colleagues. ISPP has committed to matching up to $40,000 in donations.  If you are a scholar in need of emergency relief, please note that we have an application process for funding now available.

ISPP also continues to offer a free one-year ISPP membership for Turkish scholars. Please contact the Central Office ( for more information.

Turkey is not the only place where our members face real threats to their positions as academics. The ISPP Executive Committee recently sent a letter to the Hungarian Government expressing our strong opposition to its move to ban the field of Gender Studies entirely. You can read that letter here. We will continue to be vigilant about support academics under threat, and we hope you will help.

Our Journals

Most ISPP members are familiar with our journal, Political Psychology, which consistently ranks as one of the top journals in both Political Science and Social Psychology. The journal, under Editor-in-Chief Caterina Kinvall, continues to be one of the top outlets for a wide range of research in our field. It is defined by methodological pluralism, by a broad international readership, and by its impact on our field. You should consider submitting your very best work to the journal.

We also publish Advances in Political Psychology, an annual supplement to the journal which publishes longer, generally integrative articles, and has become an important publication in its own right in a very short time. Advances is edited by its founding editor, Howard Lavine, whose second term is coming to a close. Accordingly, we will be issuing a Call for Proposals to edit Advances very soon. Please watch for that; we need to move quickly to ensure a smooth transition of this important part of ISPP’s portfolio.

Early Career Scholars

One of the things I have always been most proud of is how ISPP engages Early Career Scholars. The Early Career Committee (ECC), led this year by Patricio Saveedra Morales, organizes a number of important activities at the Annual Meeting, and keeps active all year. ECC runs a mentorship program, including the annual Mentoring Lunch, has its own newsletter, and runs much of our social media. Follow ISPP on Twitter @PolPsyISPP and on Facebook at ISPP also holds a Summer Academcy just ahead of the annual meeting (so in Lisbon next summer!) for Early Career Scholars who want to learn more about our field from a wide range of senior colleagues. Watch for the call for applications for summer 2019, coming soon, and also follow on Facebook at

Get involved!

Finally, ISPP only works if our members get involved. Right now the Nominating Committee is seeking nominations for three-year terms on the Governing Council. We will elect five new members in the spring. Consider nominating your colleagues or yourself. And particular consider that we need to have broad representation – internationally, intellectually, and in terms of otherwise underrepresented groups. If you’ve never considered yourself as a potential GC member, consider it now. It’s an immensely satisfying service to the profession!

David Redlawsk
ISPP President


There are 3 comments.

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1. William McConochie

I'm in private practice as a clinical, I/O and political psychologist. I've attended ISPP conventions as far back as about 2008 in Barcelona and this summer in San Diego. Going all the way to Europe is hard on my budget, as I fund all my political psychology research and related expenses out of my own pocket. But, I am very good a doing my sort of research with questionnaires and have gotten much support from ISPP. E.g. Sam McFarland, past president of ISPP, wrote the Preface to my book, Party Time!
I have some interesting ideas for empowering citizens to size up candidates for elective office with brief questionnaires of desirable traits. I can see the steps for developing these in my mind's eye. And I see the frightening trend toward dictatorships around the world, a trend reflecting increasing stress for people everywhere...and giant problems exacerbating these stresses. I'm in a conundrum. I've recently developed an excellent questionnaire measure of Traumatic Brain Injury which my contractor for the V.A. is impressed with. If I could land a contract with the V.A., I'd be freed up from clinical work to focus heavily on political psychology and come to all the conventions. So, there may be light at the end of the tunnel. Best regards.....

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