His 2013 book The Psychology of Dictatorship asked: How do countries become dictatorships? What social, political, and interpersonal dynamics create opportunities for despots to take and maintain control? And how are dictatorships overthrown?
His most recent book, ThePsychology of Democracy, explores political development through the lens of psychological science, examining the factors influencing whether and how democracy develops within a society.
Now, in the latest issue of APA’s Monitor on Psychology, Dr. Moghaddam discusses the recent rise in nationalism across the world as well as within the United States, as well as threats—both external and internal—to our American form of government. He also examines the critical role that psychologists can and must play in fostering the health and growth of a democratic society. Check out the interview!
The explosive U.S. presidential campaign is about to slam into even higher gear, as candidates prepare for the Iowa caucuses (February 1) and New Hampshire primaries (February 9). Anyone who has watched the past several months would admit the American system is far from perfect. But democracy still seems to be the best available system of governance when allowed to develop properly. Countries that have transitioned successfully to democracy are still a minority, however, and none has attained what Fathali Moghaddam calls “actualized democracy,” in which all citizens share full, informed, equal participation in decision making.
What is it about human nature that seems to work for—or against—democracy? In his new book The Psychology of Democracy (APA, 2016), Moghaddam explores political development through the lens of psychological science, examining the factors influencing whether and how democracy develops within a society. He concludes with recommended steps for promoting in citizens the psychological characteristics that foster democracy.
Fathali M. Moghaddam, PhD, is a professor of psychology at Georgetown University and editor-in-chief of Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology (APA). His previous books include APA Books’ The Psychology of Dictatorship (2013). His research focus on psychology and the transition from dictatorship to democracy dates goes as far back as 1979, when he returned to his native Iran after its revolution.
Dr. Fathali Moghaddam is a professor of psychology at Georgetown University, where he also directs the Interdisciplinary Program in Cognitive Science. Iranian-born and UK-educated, he worked for the United Nations and taught at McGill University before joining Georgetown in 1990. In 2007 the Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict, and Violence (Division 48 of the APA) awarded Moghaddam with its Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2012 he received the Outstanding International Psychologist award from the APA Division of International Psychology. He is the editor for Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology and he has written or edited over 20 books.