The Political Psychology of COVID-19

political psychology
Political Ideology
Political Psychology (2021)

Orla T. Muldoon

University of Limerick

James H. Liu

Massey University

Cillian McHugh

University of Limerick


October 1, 2021


The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to unprecedented and extraordinary conditions. It represents a profound threat to health and political and economic stability globally. It is the pressing issue of the current historical moment and is likely to have far-reaching social and political implications over the next decade. Political psychology can inform our preparedness for the next phase of the pandemic as well as our planning for a post COVID-19 world. We hope that this special issue will play its part in helping us to think how we manage and live with COVID-19 over the coming decade. In this editorial, we review the key themes arising from the contributions to our special issue and, alongside existing knowledge highlight the relevance of political psychology to finding solutions during this time of crisis. The contributions to this special issue and the pandemic raise many classic topics of central interest to political psychology: leadership, solidarity and division, nationalism, equality, racism, and international and intergroup relations. In our editorial, we offer an analysis that highlights three key themes. First, the importance of sociopolitical factors in shaping behavior during this pandemic. Second, the relevance of political leadership and rhetoric to collective efforts to tackle SARS-COV-2. And third, how sociopolitical cohesion and division has become increasingly relevant during this time of threat and crisis.

Muldoon, O. T., Liu, J. H., & McHugh, C. (2021). The Political Psychology of COVID-19. Political Psychology, 42(5), 715–728.