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EASP – European Association of Social Psychology

EASP small group meeting: Social Cohesion in Divided Societies (22-24 June 2023)

16.01.2023, by Media Account in call for papers

Belfast, Northern Ireland
Deadline: 15 March 2023

In today’s world, societies face issues such as conflict, polarization, inequality, and divisions, making social cohesion difficult. A divided society is different—it doesn’t function as well, it is already divided along some ethnic, religious, sectarian, or cultural lines. What distinguishes divided societies from others is their inability to agree on a common process for decision-making and to forge a common identity, making social cohesion an even more challenging goal to achieve. Therefore, our understanding of a divided society not only refers to those usually known as ongoing or post-conflict societies (like Northern Ireland or Turkey) but also to those relatively conflict-free (like Belgium). Moreover, these challenges in divided societies not only impact the respective parties of those societal divisions but also those migrating to a divided country. Some of the questions that we seek to address in this meeting include: What is the role of national/religious/ethnic identities in conflicts? What divides us and what unifies us? How can we tackle the problems of division in society? What kind of interventions and policies may be useful? What is the role of narratives or shared representations of conflict and victimhood in ongoing- or post-conflict societies? What are the social-psychological effects of these divisions on individuals and groups? Where do immigrants belong in such societies? What promotes and prevents social cohesion in divided societies?

This small group meeting will take place in Northern Ireland as a post-conflict divided society and build on research undertaken in the Centre for Identity and Intergroup Relations (CIIR), School of Psychology, Queen’s University Belfast, in collaboration with the School of Psychology, University of Sussex. Together with colleagues from around the world, we will discuss how current theorizing and research in the psychology of social cohesion, societal divisions, conflict, and immigration can increase our understanding of these challenges and how such an understanding can be translated into an actual societal change in these societies.

To apply for this small group meeting, please send an abstract (250 words max) by 15 March 2023 to both Dr. Gülseli Baysu (g.baysu@qub.ac.uk) and Dr. Özden Melis Uluğ (omu20@sussex.ac.uk). The registration will cover conference fees, lunch, and dinner. We will offer a few registration fee waivers for early career researchers and scholars from low-income countries who would not have been able to attend otherwise. Please indicate in your email if you would like to be considered for this option.

Participant fees: Full members £90, Postgraduate members: £40, non-member £110, non-member postgraduate £50

Organizing Committee:

Gülseli Baysu, Queen's University Belfast
Özden Melis Uluğ, University of Sussex
Rhiannon Turner, Queen's University Belfast