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EASP – European Association of Social Psychology

Special Issue of the British Journal of Social Psychology: Redefining power in social psychology: Dynamics across groups, communities, and nations

09.10.2023, by Giovanni A. Travaglino in call for papers

Abstract deadline: 15 December, 2023
Full papers deadline: 31 May, 2024


Special issue call for papers:

We are excited to invite submissions for a forthcoming special issue in the British Journal of Social Psychology titled, “Redefining Power in Social Psychology: Dynamics across Groups, Communities, and Nations.”

Link to the call:

Special issue editors:

Giovanni A. Travaglino – Royal Holloway, University of London
Karim Bettache – Chinese University of Hong Kong
Peter Beattie – Chinese University of Hong Kong

Social power, broadly defined as the capacity of individuals or groups to influence others and effect their desired changes in the world, is a foundational concept in social psychology. It permeates interpersonal, intergroup, and macro dynamics. Over the past fifteen years, our understanding of power and its manifestations has evolved. New societal challenges and emerging global dynamics necessitate a reexamination of power from a social-psychological perspective. This special issue aims to provide academics and practitioners with an integrative understanding of power in today’s complex social landscape. It seeks to showcase research on power, including the related concepts of authority, subordination and resistance, as well as its antecedents and implications across a variety of perspectives, levels of analysis, and methodological orientations.

We invite empirical and theoretical contributions from a broad spectrum of sub-fields in social psychology, including political and cultural psychology. Our specific interest lies in comprehending how power is reciprocally shaped by and shapes the dynamic interaction between individual actors and their social contexts. By amalgamating cutting-edge research and innovative perspectives, we aim to advance the understanding of the multifaceted nature of power in context.

Key Themes and Topics

We invite contributions that fall into any of the following topics. This is a non-exhaustive list, and we encourage submissions that present novel ideas, interdisciplinary approaches, or emerging areas of interest. We are exceptionally interested in contributions that bridge gaps, challenge established paradigms, and provide fresh perspectives on power in human societies:

Psychological sources of power: research investigating the intrinsic motivations, cognitive processes, and emotional reactions associated with possessing, seeking, or lacking power.

Power, oppression, and resistance: the role of power or its social representations in the perpetuation of the status quo, the maintenance of social hierarchies and the reinforcement of societal norms. Conversely, how power can be collectively harnessed by subordinates to trigger social change and respond to dominant groups

Power in geopolitical contexts: research looking at power relationships in the global context, including psychological bases of political-economic power, continuing effects of historical exertions of power (e.g., colonialism, imperialism), the legitimization and delegitimization of legal and illegal forms of power (e.g., the power of criminal groups), and how power shapes and is shaped by ideational factors (e.g., media, ideology, historical narratives).

Theoretical, empirical, and methodological contributions are all welcome. We encourage submissions employing diverse methodologies, including qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods, and experimental designs.

Authors who intend to submit a manuscript to the special issue should first submit an abstract for consideration by the 15th of December 2023. The abstract should be sent to all three guest editors via email: Prof. Giovanni Travaglino (, Dr Karim Bettache ( and Dr Peter Beattie (

All abstracts (Max 500 words) must include the following information:

- a working title for the proposed article;
- author list with names and affiliations, and the contact information of - the corresponding author; and
- a description of the article, including theoretical background, methods and results (including sample size and provenience of the sample, if relevant), and implications.

Submitted abstracts will be screened for acceptance by the special issue editors. Inquiries or questions about the suitability of the topic for the special issue can be sent to the guest editors. The deadline for submitting full papers will be on the 31st of May 2024.