CUSP, Open Psychology Research Centre, Political Psychology

Opening Psychology Launch highlights 4 – Political Psychology presentations

The launch programme for the School’s new research centre will feature online political psychology research presentations from Dr Sandra Obradovic and Dr Kesi Mahendran. Hold these dates!

Attend the whole launch programme or select the events that interest you. Registration is free and now open on this link

Open Psychology Research Centre website: 

Thursday 1st July


Dr Sandra Obradovic      

Past, Present and Future: How We Use History to Make Sense of Politics 

References to history seem to become more and more commonplace within political rhetoric. Golden eras, better days and the romanticization of history sits uncomfortably with the rising criticism of how historical figures, statues, street names and commemorations paint a particular version of history that disregards the negative acts and events of ‘our’ country. Both of these trends point to a broader phenomenon, that how we think about history, and how we use history in the present, is an active process that is equally informed by selective remembering and forgetting. Drawing on data from Serbia, the UK and the US, I will discuss the different ways in which history is actively and strategically used by both politicians and citizens to make sense of politics in the present, in an effort to either support change or maintain a threatened status quo. Ultimately, I will argue for how the politicization of history offers one avenue through which we can examine how group identities, boundaries and their relationships become manifest. 


Dr Kesi Mahendran 

Can the Public Rule the World? From Personal Narratives to Transglobal Public Dialogue on Human Mobility 

A central tenet of political psychology is that soliciting personal biographical narratives enables access to political narratives as the basis of larger collective change. In this regard political psychology, irrespective of method, locates itself within an emancipatory and transformatory paradigm. Here micro-narratives are interplayed with macro-political narratives within the stories that are told, not least the story psychology tells about itself. This talk foregrounds the importance of micro/macro interplay by introducing the work of new Public Dialogue Psychology Collaboratory (PDPC). Within PDPC citizens, rather than provide biographical accounts, are brought into direct dialogue with political narratives on sovereignty, freedom of movement, European/global citizenship and multilateralism. They are invited to rule the world and make decisions about its future. 

During the post-pandemic period, freedom of movement is likely to become totemic of both securitized re-bordering processes and citizen’s sense of recovery. The post-pandemic period is likely to intensify polarisation between protectionist nationalist and transglobal narratives. This talk which explores how citizens choose to rule the world celebrates the launch of the Open Psychology Research Centre. It explores psychological developments in transglobal consciousness which we propose can be understood as a growing sense of pandemicality. 

Read about Sandra Obradovic here:

Read about Kesi Mahendran here:

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