Political Psychology in International Relations: Beyond the Paradigms
Posted: 17 Jun 2018
Date Written: May 2018
Political psychology in international relations (IR) has undergone a dramatic transformation in the past two decades, mirroring the broader changes occurring in IR itself. This review examines the current state of the field. We begin by offering a data-driven snapshot analyzing four years of manuscript classifications at a major IR journal to characterize the questions that IR scholars engaged in psychological research are and are not investigating. We then emphasize six developments in particular, both present-day growth areas (an increased interest in emotions and hot cognition, the rise of more psychologically informed work on public opinion, a nascent research tradition we call the first image reversed, and the rise of neurobiological and evolutionary approaches) and calls for additional scholarship (better integration of the study of mass and elite political behavior and more psychological work in international political economy). Together, these developments constitute some of the directions in which we see the next generation of scholarship heading.
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