The International Journal of Conflict and Violence invites submissions for a focus section devoted to the theme of “Group-focused enmity – conceptual, longitudinal and cross-national perspectives based on pre-registered studies”.
Researchers in sociology, social psychology, political science and related disciplines have invested heavily in research on reliable and valid assessment of attitudes and prejudice against specific outgroups (for a recent development see Wagner et al. 2017). But theoretical and empirical endeavors to elaborate on the concept of a syndrome of outgroup rejection as introduced into the scientific discussion by Adorno et al. (1950), Allport (1954) and other authors are few and far between. More recently, the phenomenon of a syndrome of outgroup rejection was elaborated by Wilhelm Heitmeyer and collaborators (Heitmeyer 2002). The syndrome of Group-Focused Enmity (GFE) was tested in a longitudinal project using annual representative data from the German population from 2002 through 2011. The idea of a syndrome of GFE builds on the empirical observation that different types of outgroup rejection often co-occur and can be assumed to be based on a common cause (see also Zick et al. 2008), an ideology of inequality in the sense of unequal worth. Despite this rich history, several short-comings remained unaddressed so far. For this focus section, we are seeking empirical analyses that
•contribute to the phenomenology of the syndrome of GFE, for example by disentangling the different components of GFE in different cultural contexts (based on cross-sectional data and inter-cultural comparisons) and/or the empirical differentiation of the GFE syndrome from related concepts like ethnocentrism (Bizumic and Duckitt 2012) and social dominance orientation (Sidanius and Pratto 1999).
•focus on intrapersonal and social stability and change in mean values and structure over time, incorporating panel and/or repeated cross-sectional data.
•investigate the causal predictors and consequences of GFE on the basis of longitudinal data analyses and/or experimental data.
Replication studies that fulfil at least one of the three points described above are also welcome.
In addition to its specific content – concentrating on Group-Focused Enmity – the focus section will adopt new and innovative approaches in relation to methodological questions. It will include pre-registered studies only, sometimes also referred to as registered reports. Eligible papers can be based on new or existing data, but they have to undergo a pre-registration procedure (see e.g. Nosek et al. 2018; see also https://cos.io/rr/ and https://osf.io/pukzy/). Contributors are required to submit their research plan to the journal before they conduct their studies and data analyses. Against this new and innovative methodological background, we expect proposals for pre-registering.
Theses should include
•the research hypotheses and their theoretical justification including the relevant references.
•a description of the data set to be used, items to be selected as indicators for the theoretical variables, and planned statistical analyses. For experimental studies, a detailed description of the experimental design and procedure and operationalizations of independent and dependent variables are expected.
•a prediction of the expected outcome based on the hypotheses.
In principle, we expect a description that comes close to a final paper – but without the data having been analyzed or a new study having been conducted. The formal process described above does not imply that interesting new results which were not anticipated cannot be used and presented in the final paper. However, results for which no a-priori hypothesis was formulated must be clearly highlighted as explorative and discussed separately from the a-priori hypothesis testing.
The incentive to participate in this innovative focus section is that papers will be published independently of their findings – as long as theory, method and analyses are appropriate. In this way, authors can contribute to a process which brings us closer to Popper’s idea of critical theory testing and seeks to avoid confirmation bias. The planned focus section has the potential to become a significant milestone in improving the scientific and practical knowledge about the underlying causes of prejudice, discrimination and violence by overcoming recent fundamental criticisms (see for example Pettigrew and Hewstone 2017). It will broaden our perspective on how the different forms of outgroup rejection are associated with and influence each other, how they depend on the cultural and political context, and how the relevant research (and research in general) can be improved by the clear a-priori formulation of hypotheses, their empirical testing, and their rejection or confirmation. We hope that the advance in knowledge – bringing the research closer to reality – may also be helpful in practice for counteracting unacceptable societal developments.
Deadline for proposal submissions: 30 August 2020
Deadline for final papers: 8 months after acceptance of proposals.
Publication: late 2021
Instructions for authors
Proposals should be between 1,500 and 3,000 words, excluding references. Final papers should not exceed 6,000 words, excluding tables and references. All submissions must comply with the submission guidelines provided by the International Journal of Conflict and Violence (https://www.ijcv.org/index.php/ijcv/about/submissions).
Submit proposals to Ulrich Wagner: wagner1(at)uni-marburg(dot)de.