29.03.2022 33rd Meeting of the German Peace Psychology Forum, 23-24 September, 2022

Don’t burn your bridges: dealing with societal divides

die Deutsche Version finden Sie hier.

Click here to view the final program & abstracts.

Conference rooms: Gutenbergstraße 18, 35032 Marburg | Panels & Keynotes: Dekanatssaal (D1), Lunch, Coffee/Snacks: G1

Events like the ongoing pandemic, humanitarian crises, natural disasters, climate change and other societal challenges have the potential of dividing people. In fact, in various contexts we have witnessed political polarization. Politicians also sometimes warn about the divisive potential of “radical” solutions to such challenges, such as an immediate fossil-fuel phase-out or mandatory vaccinations. Yet, what do we actually mean when we speak about societal divides? What are their causes, their consequences, and ultimately, on which basis should they be bridged? Peace Psychology with its interdisciplinary approach can speak to these questions. People within societies divide along many lines, such as ideology, power, identity, beliefs, class etc., and the depth of divisions increases in times of crisis. However, discourse around “societal divides” may sometimes disguise underlying social conflicts and may even counter emancipatory movements such as movements for racial and gender equality or climate justice. We aim to engage in these debates by having a closer look at their theoretical assumptions, their causes, and their consequences. Broad research questions can include, but are not limited to:

  • What constitutes societal divides? How do fault-lines in society emerge, change, and fade and which factors shape these processes?
  • What is the role of emotions, collective memory, and identity politics in societal divides?
  • How does technology (e.g., in cyber warfare or social media) affect the extent and dynamics of societal divides?
  • What are promising strategies to deal with societal divides? How can we achieve forgiveness and reconciliation?
  • How are societal divides harnessed in public discourse, and to which ends? What are instances in which a “divide discourse” stabilizes power inequalities instead of promoting sustainable peace?

We hope to think about and discuss these and more questions during the conference.

We invite theoretical and empirical contributions from all disciplines represented in the broad field of peace psychology and from scholars at different career stages related to the conference theme, but also others situated in peace psychology more broadly.

Keynote speakers

Beate Küpper, Project “Demokon”

Maria Mälksoo from University of Copenhagen

Types of contribution

Contributors can present finished research projects and projects where no data have been collected, in the form of presentations or posters (in German or English language). Furthermore, the organization of symposia bringing together 3-4 thematic presentations is welcome.

Submissions for individual papers and posters should include details of title, authors, email address, and an abstract (max. 250 words). 

For symposia, submissions are requested to include title, organizers with email addresses, and an abstract describing the symposium (max. 250 words) and, per paper, title, authors, email addresses, and abstracts (max. 250 words) of individual papers. 

Papers should be submitted through this form by July 17 2022 (extended deadline). The conference will be held in person at the Philipps University in the beautiful town of Marburg in Hesse, in the centre of Germany. The conference will be held in compliance with state and university covid regulations. There is a possibility for online participation in case authors are not able to present in person. Please contact us to discuss the case.

Additional information about the program, conference fees and accommodation can be found at the bottom of this page. If you have any further questions, please feel free to email the organizing committee at .

The Forum Friedenspsychologie

The Forum Friedenspsychologie (FFP) e.V. brings together psychologists, students and members of related fields who wish to develop and communicate psychological insights into the non-violent management of conflicts, the avoidance of war and the promotion of peace and social justice. We are recognized as a non-profit and independent of political parties and currently have about 100 members.

We are active in peace psychology in research, education and training, in various areas of professional practice, and in the form of contributions to the formation of public political opinion.