Overcoming Intolerance in South Africa: Experiments in Democratic Persuasion, a book co-authored by James L. Gibson, Ph.D., the Sidney W. Souers Professor of Government, is co-recipient of the first Alexander L. George Book Award from The International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP).
The book also was the subject of an “author meets critics” panel discussion at the national conference of the Midwest Political Science Association April 15-18 in Chicago.
Published in 2003, the book is co-authored with Amanda Gouws, professor of political science and head of that department at the University of Stellenbosch in Cape Town, South Africa.
The ISPP is a worldwide, interdisciplinary organization of psychologists, political scientists, psychiatrists, historians, sociologists, economists, anthropologists, journalists and government officials interested in exploring relationships between political and psychological processes.
The ISPP book award will be given at the organization’s 27th annual scientific meeting July 15-18 in Lund, Sweden.
Describing the book as “an outstanding piece of research and writing that exemplifies the best of contemporary work in the field of political psychology,” the ISPP awards committee credited its authors with making broad, relevant contributions, both within the discipline and to the public understanding of critical issues facing South Africa.
“Not only is Overcoming Intolerance in South Africa among the comparatively small (but growing) number of works in political psychology that investigate public opinion outside the United States,” the committee noted, “the subject of tolerance has considerable policy relevance, at a time when emerging democracies are trying to cope with ethnic polarization, transitional justice and related aspects of trenchant political conflict.
“The book challenges assumptions that have been taken for granted about the psychology of tolerance and intolerance. The authors place their study in historical context and do not try to reduce fear and intolerance to individual pathology.”