Political psychology

Critical approaches to power

Authored by: Maritza Montero

Handbook of Critical Psychology

Print publication date:  April  2015
Online publication date:  April  2015

Print ISBN: 9781848722187
eBook ISBN: 9781315726526
Adobe ISBN: 9781317537182


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Although political psychology has a well-established place in some regions of the world, the definition of its field is contested. That means political psychology is an interesting space for research. Having blurred boundaries is not a problem; sciences are not closed. But the lack of a clear border between political psychology and political science, an aspect that has accompanied political psychology since the 1970s, is nowadays considered by some political psychologists as problematic. Deutsch and Kinvall consider that it is ‘defined not only by its subject-matter’, but also characterized by the ‘interrelationship between political and psychological processes’ (2002: 17), and in this they follow the steps of Stone (1974), and Hermann (1986). At the same time, and in the same book (Monroe 2002), Krosnick and McGraw (2002) denounce the acceptance of a twofold idea of political psychology, one made up of psychological political science and political psychology, and argue that those domains should have as boundaries ‘the fundamental priorities of the research enterprise’. For them, political psychology should then be ‘true to its name’ (Krosnick and McGraw 2002: 79–80). Political psychology’s authenticity would then reside in the presence of psychological values and goals, and, as happens in science, it is still under construction.

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