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Keywords:

  • political psychology;
  • epistemology;
  • ideology;
  • methodology;
  • space;
  • security;
  • identity;
  • borders;
  • Europe;
  • the United States

The aim of this article is to apply elements of contemporary social theory to the major theoretical, methodological, and ideological divisions across political psychology and to consider both the origins and the impact of a range of theories and models. In so doing, we clarify some of the complexity surrounding the discursive and cultural origins of political psychology. On the basis of this analysis, we aim to overcome the redundant binaries and dualisms—both conceptual and geo-spatial—that have characterized the field up to now. These binary pairs relate to matters of epistemology, ideology, and methodology, and we show how each pair has been the basis of claims made regarding continental differences. As we shall see, such black-and-white thinking limits our capacity to understand the nature and potential of political psychology. Instead we wish to encourage a greater degree of universalism and globalism that is appropriate to political psychology as it evolves into a broader global discipline. We argue that political psychology as a field must attempt to deal with the consequences of an increasingly borderless world in which political identities are becoming more fluid, increasingly hybridized, and open to transformation.