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date: 19 September 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews research on representations of war and military intervention, primarily situated in two different social psychological research traditions: individual attitudes and social representations. The former has approached the object of investigation by studying the cognitive and affective correlates, more general predictors, and behavioral consequences of individuals’ support (vs. rejection) of war or military intervention. The latter focuses to a greater extent on contextual and historical processes that influence the social meanings attached to war and military intervention; in this approach attitudes are just one (evaluative) component of social representations—and differences between individuals and groups may be attributed to the various functions social representations fulfill. We thus adopt the broader social representations approach. Based on this, the chapter closes by drawing implications for strategies to change individual attitudes, as well as representations of war and military interventions, and by offering questions for future research.

Keywords: Peace, war, military intervention, attitudes, social representations, social psychology, political psychology

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