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Opportunities in Political Psychology: Heterogeneities in Theory, Methodologies, and the Production of Knowledge (WP-23-17)

James Druckman

The twenty-first century has brought fundamental changes. Politically, there has been a worldwide decline in democracy. In 2012, 42 countries were classified as liberal democracies and in 2021, it was down to 34. Many still democratic countries have moved in an autocratic direction with palpable consequences. In the United States, partisan polarization contributed to a tragic response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These national and world events highlight the need for strong social sciences. Concomitant with these transformations has been fundamental change in the social sciences with the embrace of open science practices and increased focus on causal identification. With all of this in mind, how can we better understand and improve the organization of politics and society? How can political psychology best contribute? Druckman argues that one way the field could advance even further involves being more thoughtful about heterogeneities in theory, methodologies, and the production of knowledge. He discusses each of these dimensions, arguing that embracing variations in each will strengthen the power of political psychology.

James Druckman, Payson S. Wild Professor of Political Science and IPR Fellow, Northwestern University

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