Taking a stand

John Sloboda and Peter Coleman's Personal Space

WE have recently proposed that the Society’s Council should take various initiatives to respond to the psychological consequences of the recent military interventions in Kosovo and Serbia. These range from publicly deploring the bombing of civilian targets undertaken by NATO during its 78-day campaign, to sending a fact-finding mission both to meet with psychologists working among people dealing with the aftermath of the bombing and to discover how the British psychological community can help. Council has responded with sympathy to some elements of our proposals and has referred the matter to its International Committee for a detailed response. We sense that the Society in general, and Council in particular, is somewhat unused to, and unprepared for, discussions of this sort. We wonder whether lessons can be learned about how the Society can become more responsive to national and international events with a psychological dimension. It is instructive to examine the range of reactions that our initiative has provoked.

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