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Psychology of Democracy
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Book description

Democracy was forged in the furnaces of oppression, whether combatting tyranny or affirming the rights of the individual. As democracy is under threat in many parts of the world, there has never been a more urgent need to understand political thoughts and behaviours. This lucid and accessible book brings together a global group of scholars from psychology, political science, communication, sociology, education and psychiatry. The book's structure, based on Abraham Lincoln's well-known phrase 'Of, by and for' the people, scrutinises the psychological factors experienced by politicians as representatives 'of' the electorate, the political institutions and systems devised 'by' those we elect, and the societies that influence the context 'for' us as citizens. From trust to risk, from political values to moral and religious priorities, from the personality and language of leaders to fake news and anti-democratic forces, this book provides vital new insights for researchers, politicians and citizens alike.


'There are hundreds of books on democratic decline and political disaffection, but none of them exposes the emotional dynamics and drivers of fear and frustration, anger and apathy with the precision provided by Weinberg’s Psychology of Democracy. It is destined to become a major reference point for anyone interested in the past, present or future of democracy.'

Matthew Flinders - Founding Director of the Sir Bernard Crick Centre and Professor of Politics at the University of Sheffield, and Vice President of the Political Studies Association, UK

'This is a unique book, by top scholars from across the globe, exploring the fragile nature of democracies from a psychological perspective. It is a must-read for those who want to understand what is happening to democracies from a human behaviour point of view in this profoundly difficult period of history.'

Sir Cary Cooper - Professor of Organisational Psychology, University of Manchester, UK

'Essential reading for students, researchers and laypersons interested to learn and explore how psychological science can contribute in important ways towards strengthening democracy.'

Fathali M. Moghaddam - Professor of Psychology, Georgetown University, USA, and author of Shakespeare and the Experimental Psychologist

'This book forcefully illustrates psychology’s critical contribution to our understanding of democracy as a form of government ‘of the people, by the people and for the people’. Its international team of contributors spans a wide range of topics crucial for revitalizing democracy today.'

Brady Wagoner - Centre for Cultural Psychology, Department of Communication and Psychology, Aalborg University, Denmark

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  • Chapter 1 - Psychology of Democracy
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