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Political Psychology
Individuals • Organizations • Communities

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At The Center for Political Development we envision accelerated change through the unique integration of psychology and progressive political activism. From psychology we draw the wisdom of individual transformation and development. From progressive activism we draw values derived from an active engagement in issues of social justice, environmental sustainability, and the responsible use of power. This combination of liberalizing influences creates a bridge which supports the emergence of 21st-century leaders who are increasingly effective politically, socially, and capable of supporting the healing of people in their communities.

The Center for Political Development sponsors leadership trainings that focus simultaneously on community engagement and the development of educational and healing practices essential to healthy communities. Participants in these trainings learn to attend in a new way to their own political development and to the political and social needs of their communities. This bi-focal approach enables individuals to develop their own unique political potential or political destiny.

The work of The Center for Political Development is based on the research of Dr. Peter T. Dunlap whose recent book, Awakening Our Faith in the Future: The Advent of Psychological Liberalism, shows how a new generation of progressive leadership is emerging within our communities, a leadership capable of fundamentally changing our approach to progressive politics. Based on this research Peter has developed a range of “learning practices” which are used in the leadership trainings to address the subtle prejudices and political wounds that limit the effectiveness of traditional liberal and progressive politics.
In an article in the November 2008 Tikkun Magazine, Peter connects his research to the transformational leadership of President-elect Barack Obama. In this article Peter encourages all of us to look closely at Obama’s success in order to identify and then, hopefully embody those leadership capacities modeled by Obama. In this way we will become the change needed by our time without expecting an Obama presidency to have all the answers.

If you would like to hear a radio interview with
Dr. Dunlap on KZSU Stanford "Raising Sand"


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