Chris Johnston won the 2018 David O. Sears Book Award

Thursday, July 12, 2018
Chris Johnston won the 2018 David O. Sears Book Award

Christopher Johnston and his coauthors won the David O. Sears Book Award for 2018 for their work Open versus Closed: Personality, Identity, and the Politics of Redistribution.  Announced at the 41st annual scientific meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, this award is given to "the best book published in the field of political psychology of mass politics, including political behavior, political values, political identities, and political movements, during the previous calendar year."  This award is given to work that "demonstrates the highest quality of thought and makes a major substantive contribution to the field of political psychology." 

From the book description of Open versus Closed: Debates over redistribution, social insurance, and market regulation are central to American politics. Why do some citizens prefer a large role for government in the economic life of the nation while others wish to limit its reach? In Open versus Closed, the authors argue that these preferences are not always what they seem. They show how deep-seated personality traits underpinning the culture wars over race, immigration, law and order, sexuality, gender roles, and religion shape how citizens think about economics, binding cultural and economic inclinations together in unexpected ways. Integrating insights from both psychology and political science - and twenty years of observational and experimental data - the authors reveal the deeper motivations driving attitudes toward government. They find that for politically active citizens these attitudes are not driven by self-interest, but by a desire to express the traits and cultural commitments that define their identities.

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