Psycho-Politics Conference

Psycho-Politics: The Cross-Sections of Science and Ideology in the History of Psy-Sciences – International conference — 30–31 October 2015, Budapest

Psycho-Politics: The Cross-Sections of Science and Ideology in the History of Psy-Sciences

International conference

organized by the Social and Cultural Psychology Group of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

30–31 October 2015

Central European University

1051 Budapest, Október 6. str. 7. Floor 1, room 101.


Program (pdf)

Abstracts (pdf)




Psy-sciences (psychology, psychiatry, psychoanalysis, pedagogy, criminology, special education, etc.) have been connected to politics in diverse ways during the 20th and 21st centuries. This relationship manifests either through direct political pressure or through more general and subtle interactions between cultural, social processes and scientific currents and practices. Concerning the history of these disciplines, demarcations and shifts instigated by power relations can be found within the scientific movements and schools in the field of psychology, psychiatry and psychoanalysis as well. But when closely investigated, politics can also be grasped in the epistemology of the psy-sciences and the governmental practices based on them. Human relations, emotions, everyday ethical principles, etc. have become conceivable in psychological terms, thus giving way to practices of normalization, to their utilization and manipulation by political decision-makers or diverse professional and other institutions.


The intended aim of the conference is to collect and present ideas and findings on the history and politics of psy-sciences, and to open up space for a general discussion of their significance. Bearing in mind the specific political economy of truth and power (also but not exclusively in a Foucauldian vein) we intend to examine changes in scientific and theoretical discourses, as well as the institutions that produce these changes. In what ways is this production economically and politically initiated, expanded and consumed? What is the form of control and dissemination of certain regimes of truth through reforms and old and new ideological struggles around them? What are the historical-political processes that influence the fields of psy-knowledges, inducing transformations of professional perceptions on the subject and normality, while, at the same time, determining the very position of scientific trends and professionals?


It is our hope that the conference will allow us to compare the Eastern European developments of the psy-sciences and the institutions in which they are practiced with their history in other regions.


The organizers:

Anna Borgos, Ferenc Erős, Balázs Berkovits, Melinda Friedrich,

Júlia Gyimesi, Melinda Kovai, Dóra Máriási, Anna Kovács

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