Social Psychology and The Study of Peace: Personal Reflections

Herbert C. Kelman

in The Oxford Handbook of Intergroup Conflict

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199747672
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Social Psychology and The Study of Peace: Personal Reflections

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This chapter offers reflections on the present volume from the perspective of someone who has worked at the interface of social psychology and peace research since the early 1950s. It describes the involvement of social psychologists in the beginnings of the peace research movement, including such initiatives as the Research Exchange on the Prevention of War, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, and the University of Michigan's Center for Research on Conflict Resolution. The author's own theoretical and empirical work and efforts as a scholar-practitioner in conflict resolution over the years are summarized, to illustrate potential contributions of social psychology to peace research. The chapter proposes that a major challenge in earlier years was bridging social-psychological approaches with international relations theory, anchored in political science; by now, social-psychological inputs are widely accepted in the field. One challenge today is bridging social-psychological research on peace and conflict—which, as this volume demonstrates, has become a flourishing and recognized specialization within the discipline—with mainstream social psychology.

Keywords: Research Exchange on the Prevention of War; Journal of Conflict Resolution; Center for Research on Conflict Resolution; University of Michigan; peace research movement; international relations theory; political psychology; interactive problem-solving; sch

Article.  9309 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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