Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

International Journal of Social Psychology

For a Special Issue on

Double standards in migration, ethnicity, and intergroup relations

Abstract deadline
15 January 2024

Manuscript deadline
30 April 2024

Cover image - International Journal of Social Psychology

Special Issue Editor(s)

Emanuele Politi, KU Leuven, Belgium
[email protected]

(All details of other editors below),

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Double standards in migration, ethnicity, and intergroup relations

We are excited to invite empirical contributions from a broad spectrum of sub-fields in social psychology for a forthcoming special issue in the International Journal of Social Psychology titled “Double standards in migration, ethnicity, and intergroup relations

Special issue editors:

Emanuele Politi (KU Leuven, Belgium), email: [email protected]

Mai Albzour (Birzeit University, Palestine)

Eduardo J. Rivera Pichardo (New York University, USA)

Marieli Mezari Vitali (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil)

Sindhuja Sankaran (Sai University, India)

Antoine Roblain (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium)

Anca Minescu (University of Limerick, Ireland)

Kevin Durrheim (University of Johannesburg, South Africa)


Special issue call for paper description:

The Ukrainian humanitarian crisis has highlighted the presence of “double standards” in the treatment of Ukrainians compared to other displaced people facing similar circumstances. This discrepancy reveals the unequal implementation of regulations and principles across various domains of decision-making competence, spanning from local to supranational institutions, as well as individual-level practices of solidarity and humanitarian assistance. Double standards have become increasingly evident in more recent times when it comes to third-party recognition of victimhood and condemnation of violence amid the recent escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This inconsistency is particularly evident in the positions seemingly adopted by Western leaders and mainstream media thus far, while prominent voices have raised concerns about this double standard inconsistency.

To broaden the focus of this special issue, we aim to explore a wider range of intergroup contexts. We will address the psychological processes and their interplay with socio-historical and political factors that justify and validate differential treatments (i.e., double standards) among multiple ethnocultural and migrant communities. Scholars have recently emphasized the importance of acknowledging the intricate diversity within complexly stratified global societies, moving away from the traditional binary framework of majority-minority perspectives. By examining double standards, we can get valuable insights into the multi-group dynamics of asymmetric intergroup relations. Furthermore, a more accurate appraisal of these disparities can elucidate how double standards affect different forms of inter-minority coalition and derogation.

The primary aim of the special issue is to provide empirical evidence for the presence of double standards, while also offering different theoretical approaches to investigate them within diverse socio-historical and political contexts. These disparities in treatment may include variations in individual attitudes and behaviors, which can range from overt hostility towards one group to solidarity with another, along with principles of retributive and restorative justice applied differently to multiple groups. Double standards can also pertain to the conceptual and discursive connotation of resistance to violence and non-violence in interethnic conflicts, as well as the varying levels of third-party support for normative and non-normative forms of collective action and resistance.

The second objective of the special issue is to understand the psychological mechanisms behind the emergence of double standards, or the potential boundary conditions and contextual factors that may exacerbate or mitigate them. These determinants include the malleability of ideologies and stereotypes that are strategically applied to legitimize differential treatment between groups that should ideally be treated equally. Situational factors also include the ambiguity in the information pertaining decision-making, which can result in different judgements and formations of opposing opinions towards one group as opposed to the other. From a critical perspective, the analysis can focus on the dominant discourses around current and past interethnic conflicts, comparing them, and examining modes of communication to disseminate these social representations in public opinion.

The third objective is to comprehensively assess the possible impacts of differential treatment on the targeted ethno-cultural and migrant communities. The responses elicited from these groups can vary, ranging from justification and acquiescence on one end to condemnation and grievance on the other. We place particular emphasis on the potential for inter-minority dynamics to be exacerbated by this differential treatment, potentially leading to increased intergroup violence, feelings of relative deprivation, and a sense of competitive victimhood. Conversely, double standards may give rise to efforts aimed at restitution, the cultivation of a shared group consciousness, and collaborative endeavors for effecting social change.

In order to address the multifaceted nature of this complex phenomenon, we encourage intersectional approaches where ethnicity and culture intersect with other factors, such as gender, age, religion, and socioeconomic status. An example of such intersections concerns the presence of double standards in stereotypes and attitudes towards individuals labeled as talented migrants, as opposed to reactions towards unskilled labor migration. Similarly, we advocate for methodological plurality among contributions, ranging from experimental designs to natural language processing and discourse analysis, with a particular emphasis on the utilization of mixed methods. Moreover, we promote representation from non-Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) countries, including settler societies, post-colonial and neo-colonial contexts, and regions affected by armed conflicts. Additionally, we prioritize empirical contributions that articulate the following levels of analysis:

  1. At the individual level, contributions should delve into social-cognitive processes, emotions, and behaviors that might help us understand the manifestation, origins, and consequences of double standards applied to ethnocultural and migrant groups. This involves the examination of intra-personal factors such as stereotyping, identity dynamics, emotional regulations, and ascribed attributions shaping attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors at the individual level.
  2. At the contextual level, contributions should consider the normative climates and shared belief systems that substantiate double standards within a specific socio-political and historical context. This involves the examination of prevailing social representations, peer and societal norms, as well as the political discourses and ideological phenomena, all of which can contribute to the establishment and reinforcement of these double standards at the individual level.

Submission Instructions

Only empirical contributions based on solid theoretical frameworks will be considered for publication. Authors who intend to submit a manuscript to the special issue should first submit an abstract for consideration by the by the 15th of January 2024. The abstract should be sent to Emanuele Politi via email: [email protected]

All abstracts (Max 500 words) must include the following information:

  • A working title for the proposed article.
  • Author list with names and affiliations, and the contact information of the corresponding author.
  • A description of the article, including theoretical background, methods and results (including sample size and provenience of the sample), and implications.

Submitted abstracts will be screened for acceptance by the special issue editors. Inquiries or questions about the suitability of the topic for the special issue can be sent to Emanuele Politi. The deadline for submitting full papers will be on the 30th of April 2024.

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article