CFP: Psychology and the Political: Interrogating Liberal Geoculture (8/31/03; journal issue)

full name / name of organization: 
Dimitris Papadopoulos
contact email: 



Special Issue:

Guest editor:
Dimitris Papadopoulos, Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany

Articles are invited that consider the relations between psychology and
the political with particular respect to the interconnection between
psychology and contemporary liberal geoculture. We seek contributions
which attempt to address the question of post-liberal forms of social
organization and the role of psychology, if any, in these. Please
consider that the space in the special issue is limited. Deadline for
submissions is August 31, 2003.

Psychology in its theoretical and practical implications is widely
conceived as part of the modern formation of North-Atlantic societies:
individualism, controllability, objectivism, method fetishism,
eurocentrism constitute the psy-program in liberal modernity. Although
the psy-program has been the target of acute criticisms, it seems that
it has withstood its repudiation and obtained new efficacy in recent
years: the revival of biologism (eg evolutionary psychology), the
proliferation of experimentalism (eg neurosciences), the domination of
empiricism (psychology as the science of the questionnaires), and
finally the expansion of the cult of inwardness. Even recent critiques
stemming from post-structuralist, feminist, post-colonial,
constructivist, humanist, or Marxist perspectives---positions which
prove to be indispensable for addressing present-day inequalities---have
failed to mount a serious challenge to the psy-program.

In recent decades we have observed the gradual transformation of liberal
sociopolitical modes of social organization to geoculture, a process
which can also be described as the globalization of North-Atlantic
liberalism. Neo-liberal politics and post-modern culture underpin this
transformation, and psychology seems to be one of the many axes on which
this process unfolds. We seek contributions which attempt to rethink how
psychology---in its various forms: traditional, mainstream, alternative,
critical---constitutes a core element of the liberal geoculture and
neo-liberal politics. How do contemporary forms of political
governmentality correspond with different theories, approaches and
currents in psychological inquiry and practice?

At the same time we see that liberal geoculture intensifies social
antagonisms and is incapable of challenging global and local domination
and exclusion. As no mode of social organization is transhistorical, so
also contemporary liberal geoculture is a historic phenomenon amenable
to change. How can we intervene to accelerate its transformation and
have an influence on its shape? What are the possible features of the
post-liberal condition? If the psy-program is inextricably entangled
with the liberal geoculture, what could be the ramifications of such a
transformation for psychology?

Possible subjects of inquiry include the following five strands:

1. PSYCHOLOGY AND POLITICS: Psychology and civil society; Psychology,
government, and the state; Psychology as a geopolitically localized
project in the North-Atlantic; How psychology transforms itself when it
is implanted in other regions of the world? What are the local and the
global when psychological theories are travelling throughout the world?
Is the psy-program one of the vehicles of geostrategic domination?

specificity; Psychology and popular cultures; The cinematic construction
of the psychological subject; Psychology and borders, detention centres,
racial exclusion; How political is political psychology? Self-government
and the cult of the self in liberal and neo-liberal conditions; The
involvement of psychoanalytic discourse in strengthening the liberal
subject; The limits of constructivism and sujectivity; Radical feminism
as critique of the psy-program

turn to community be understood as a way out or a variation of
neo-liberal modes of social regulation? Disability and the limits of
psychologically informed social policy; Psychology and liberation;
Psychology and counter politics; Why are coalitional politics necessary
and short-sighted at the same time? Can Marxism still be considered as a
source for challenging the psy-program? The peculiar alignments between
deconstruction, post-structuralism and liberal politics

4. PSYCHOLOGY AND MATERIALITY: The question of human nature and the
biological body; What is materiality in liberal and neo-liberal
conditions? What are the consequences of regenerative biopolitics for
our understanding of the nature-culture dichotomy in psychology? Is
connectionism so promising as proposed by recent neo-cognitive theories
as well as by some feminist and alternative accounts in psychology? Is
developmental systems theory a new way to conceptualize ontogenetic

post-liberal solutions without relapsing into a celebration of
contemporary social transformations as progressive just because they are
new? What are the essential texts, practices, sites for thinking
post-liberalism? Is there a possibility to envision forms of social
organization without the psy-program? What does it mean to negate the
psychological program?

Articles may vary in field of exploration, methodology, and perspective:
theoretical or historical work, reflexive empirical studies, action
research, sociological, anthropological, political, queer studies or
cultural studies approaches, as well as positions from other related
disciplines (eg biology, philosophy, STS) are encouraged.

Manuscripts should be marked 'IJCP Special Issue' and sent as an
attached file (rich text format or word doc) to the guest editor
electronically: If you wish to submit your
manuscript by post please contact the guest editor.

IJCP is a peer-reviewed journal. All articles will be subject to the
usual anonymous refereeing process, so please supply two title pages,
one with identifying information and one with a title only. This issue
will consider only unpublished papers that are not simultaneously under
review for publication elsewhere.

Please submit with your article an abstract (150-250 words), keywords,
and a short biographical note. Articles should be prepared in Times New
Roman, 12 point, double spaced, footnotes at the end of the paper. The
length of the manuscript should be between 5000-8000 words. Important:
Contributors should read and follow the Journal Style Sheet. Please
refer to the journal's homepage for further general information and
notes for contributors:

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Received on Tue Jan 07 2003 - 14:42:08 EST