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EASP – European Association of Social Psychology


28.05.2024, by Media Account

Deadline: 17 November, 2024

Guest Editors:

Luciana Carraro (University of Padova, Italy)
Andrei Cimpian (New York University, US)
Silvia Russo (University of Torino, Italy)
Laura Taylor (University College Dublin, Ireland)

Rationale of the Special Issue:

Understanding how and when political attitudes and opinions develop is crucial for predicting future patterns of civic engagement and collective action, shaping effective educational interventions, and fostering a robust democracy built on informed and active citizenship (Sherrod et al., 2002). Arriving at such an understanding entails exploring the formation of political attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors throughout childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood, as well as shedding light on the factors that shape youths’ understanding of civic responsibilities, political institutions, and their role as active participants in democratic societies.

After decades of relative silence, the field of political development is experiencing a revival, driven in part by contemporary changes in political culture and social structures. Three main themes inform this revival. One theme is the conceptualization of youth as active agents of their own political development — a complement to the traditional view of youth as targets of political socialization (e.g., Stattin, 2024). A second theme explores the possibility that differences in political ideology emerge much earlier in life than previously thought (e.g., Guidetti, Carraro, & Castelli, 2021). In fact, the seeds of ideology can even be observed in young children, especially if ideology is conceived broadly in terms of individual differences in children’s preferences for the structure of their social world (e.g., Reifen-Tagar & Cimpian, 2022). The third theme centers on the rapidly changing contexts in which youth express their political interest and the ever-evolving forms that their political action takes, especially considering the interactive effects between individual characteristics and social contexts (e.g., Bennett, 2008).

This special issue aims to address contributions that deal with various aspects of social attitudes and issues related to political thought, political action, or their precursors. We welcome contributions that address the three themes above from a socio-psychological perspective; however, we welcome any contributions pertaining to the timing and mechanisms of the development of youths’ political thought and action, regardless of whether they fit these specific themes. Contributions may be reviews, meta-analyses, or empirical studies conducted using any of a range of research designs and methods (e.g., experimental, longitudinal, correlational methods). Possible topics include (but are not limited to) the following:

the influence of family, education, peers, media, and societal context on youths’ political attitudes and behaviors the role of youths as active agents in their own political development the study of ideology-based differences in youths and children trajectories of development of political thought and action, and possible determinants
attitudes toward and ambitions for political leadership
the interplay between individual traits and social environments in predicting youths’ political outcomes.

Keywords: political ideology; political participation; civic engagement; political development

Authors should submit their contribution by November 17, 2024. Please submit your manuscript via the online platform, indicating in the cover letter that the submission is to be considered for the special issue “The development of political thought and action”.
It is important to consult the authors’ guidelines before submission, verifying compliance with APA standards. Questions about the special issue can be directed to Silvia Russo,

Bennett, W. L. (2008). Changing citizenship in the digital age. In W. L. Bennett (Ed.), Civic Life Online: Learning How Digital Media Can Engage Youth (pp. 1-24). The MIT Press.
Guidetti, M., Carraro, L., & Castelli, L. (2021). Children’s inequality aversion in intergroup contexts: The role of parents’ social dominance orientation, right-wing authoritarianism and moral foundations. PLoS ONE 16(12): e0261603.
Reifen-Tagar, M., & Cimpian, A. (2022). Political ideology in early childhood: Making the case for studying young children in political psychology. Advances in Political Psychology, 43, 77–105.
Sherrod, L. R., Flanagan, C., & Youniss, J. (2002). Dimensions of citizenship and opportunities for youth development: The what, why, when, where, and who of citizenship development. Applied Developmental Science, 6(4), 264–272.
Stattin, H. (2024). Understanding adolescents’ political agency: Examining how political interest shapes political development. Routledge.