PS409      Half Unit
Political Psychology

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Caroline Howarth STC.365


This course is available on the MSc in Health, Community and Development, MSc in Organisational and Social Psychology, MSc in Social and Cultural Psychology and MSc in Social and Public Communication. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


Students from all departments may attend subject to numbers, their own degree regulations and at the discretion of the teacher responsible

Course content

The course demonstrates the importance of a Political Psychological perspective for research into citizenship, globalisation, multiculturalism, gendered inequalities, mobilisation and collection action. The central issues we shall examine across an array of contexts are: what is the connection between politics and psychology; what is the relevance of politics in everyday social relations and for systems of everyday knowledge; what are the psychological consequences of exclusion, discrimination and inequality; what are the psychological processes involved in systems of social and political change? Theories of intergroup relations, contact, prejudice, social representations, identity, community resilience and agency shall be covered. Lecturers aim to achieve a balance between theoretical and applied issues, in the interests of critically investigating the ways in which conceptual tools can enhance our understanding of the concrete social world.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

A written assignment (maximum 1000 words). This will consist of an outline and short section of the summative assignment.

Indicative reading

Andrews, M. (2007) Shaping History: Narratives of Political Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press;
Biko, S. (1996). I write what I like. London: Bowerdean;
Billig, M. (1995) Banal Nationalism. London: Sage;
Durrheim, K. & Dixon, J.A. (2005). Racial Encounter: The Social Psychology of Contact and Desegregation London: Psychology Press;
Elcheroth, G. Doise, W. and Reicher, S. (2011) On the Knowledge of Politics and the Politics of Knowledge: How a social representations approach helps us rethink the subject of political psychology. In Political Psychology;
Harris, A. (2013) Young people and everyday multiculturalism. London: Routledge;
Hopkins, N., & Blackwood, L. (2011). Everyday citizenship: Identity and recognition. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 21, 215 - 227;
Howarth, C. (2006). A social representation is not a quiet thing: Exploring the critical potential of social representations theory. British Journal of Social Psychology, 45, 65 - 86;
Kinnvall, C., & Nesbitt-Larking, P. (2011) The Political Psychology of Globalization. Oxford: Oxford University Press;
Jost, J. & Sidanius, J. (2004) Political Psychology. Hove: Psychology Press


Essay (90%, 3000 words) in the ST.
Presentation (10%) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Social Psychology

Total students 2012/13: Unavailable

Average class size 2012/13: Unavailable

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information