The Society for the
Study of Social Issues


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Editor's Column

    Richard Wiener, Forward Editor

New Format, New Features, Same Forward

In the fall newsletter, I commented that that edition of Forward was historic because it was the last of its kind. The current edition is the first SPSSI newsletter that will not appear in a paper edition. Instead, members are reading it online from the new SPSSI website. 

It is only fitting that this first edition of the new electronic Forward takes another step in the direction of modernization. In this newsletter, we have highlighted the activities and interests of international SPSSI members living and working outside North America. This is a trend that the newsletter will continue into the future in our continued efforts to celebrate the diverse characteristics and interests of SPSSI members.

Featured is a summary report in which Colette van Laar (Leiden University) describes a number of important policy issues around the world that are worthy of the attention of SPSSI members. Next, is a fascinating description of Miles Hewstone’s (Oxford University) efforts at advocating for diversity promoting interventions that make use of his and others research concerning the contact hypothesis. Rounding out the international activities reports is Pete Walker’s column discussing the work of the UN and NGO’s on global ageing in the 21st Century. Finally, the Forward is delighted to feature Belle Derk’s (Leiden University) summary of her dissertation research that won the 2007 SPSSI Social Issues Dissertation Award and Martijn van Zomeren’s (Vrije University) summary of his dissertation that won second place in the 2007 SPSSI dissertation awards.

In addition to these international features, this first fully-electronic newsletter contains the usual reports from the Society’s executive officers, notices of new initiatives, upcoming conferences, publications, and several calls for papers. I hope that you enjoy the newsletter. Please send any comments or suggestions that you have to either Rich Wiener ( or my graduate assistant for the newsletter, Erin Richter (

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Research that produces nothing but books will not suffice.
                                                                                                                    - Kurt Lewin