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Foreign policy and identity

Foreign policy and identity

O'Dwyer, Emma ORCID: 0000-0003-1226-0515 (2018) Foreign policy and identity. In: Hewer, Christopher J. and Lyons, Evanthia, (eds.) Political psychology: a social psychological approach. The British Psychological Society (BPS) Textbooks . Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, U.K., pp. 189-206. ISBN 978-1118982396; 978-1118982372; 978-1118929339 ; 978-1118982365 (doi:

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This chapter begins by describing a social psychological approach to the issues in foreign policy, which is well-placed to recognize the central role played by citizens in the construction, practice, and maintenance or resistance of foreign policy. The crux of social psychology's potential contribution stems from its recognition of the nation state as a constellation of identities, representations, and narratives associated with a particular group that is the national ingroup. Illustrating such a perspective, the chapter then draws upon empirical work that has explored the case of Irish neutrality using the theoretical framework of social representations theory. The research reveals the dynamic relationship between national identity and the Irish state's foreign policy, and considers possibilities for social change in light of this relationship. The chapter closes by outlining possibilities for further social psychological research in this vein.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: foreign policy; attitudes; social identity; social representations
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Institute for Lifecourse Development
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Institute for Lifecourse Development > Centre for Inequalities
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > School of Human Sciences (HUM)
Last Modified: 12 May 2022 10:56

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