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About Us

Kesi Mahendran

Kesi Mahendran is a Chartered Psychologist, Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and a founding member of the British Psychological Society Political Psychology Section. She is currently Secretary and Chair-Elect. She is a member of the Standing Committee for Reflexivities in Migration Studies within IMISCOE (International Migration, Integration and Social Cohesion in Europe) Europe's largest interdisciplinary research network in the field of migration, integration and diversity studies.


Kesi Mahendran is part of the School of Psychology and Counselling within the Open University. The school now hosts a new Open Psychology Research Centre. Her research programme supports the move from public opinion to public dialogue. In particular dialogue between citizens and their governments on vexed political questions such as migration, sovereignty, European and Global citizenship.


She is the co-editor of the book Discursive Governance in Politics, Policy and the Public Sphere (2015, Palgrave Macmillan). She is published in a variety of journals including Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, Journal of Social and Political Psychology and Political Psychology. She is a Section editor of the Journal of Social and Political Psychology and leads the Public Dialogue Psychology Collaboratory which she established in 2020. 


Sue Nieland

Sue Nieland is a PhD researcher and Staff Tutor in the School of Psychology and Counselling at The Open University. Her academic interests in the past have included science and technology education, political philosophy, focusing on the Arab Spring.


Her current academic field is political psychology, and she is researching the political decision-making of the Silent Generation, older citizens born between 1927 and 1946. She is interested in how the dialogical older citizen makes political decisions over their lifetimes and how these decisions are influenced, with a particular focus on the UK’s relationship with Europe.  


Anthony English

Dr. Anthony English recently completed his PhD in 2022 after joining the Open University's School of Psychology as recipient of the Rachael Webb Political Psychology Studentship. He entered higher education as a 31-year-old in 2011, studying a BSc in Applied Psychology at Durham University. Since that time he has completed a PGCE in adult learning, and a MSc in Clinical & Forensic Psychology at Newcastle University.


Anthony’s academic field is political psychology and is currently researching dialogical positionality and its explanatory value for understanding how polarised political actors could sustain dialogue. The ontological and epistemological assumptions of this research focus on the dialogical self; specifically, positional exchanges, social representations, and chronotopic framing. Other studies involve exploring the difference in populist and citizen representations of home (2021), the public’s dialogical creations of home (2021), and the predictive value of moral foundations theory on prosocial behaviour. 


Nicola Magnusson

Dr Nicola Magnusson is a social and political psychologist and post-doctoral researcher in the School of Psychology and Counselling at the Open University. She is also part of the level 1 presentation team for the module Investigating Psychology (DE100).  Her main area of inquiry is the human rights of refugees and asylum migration, with a particular focus on the psychological and dialogical processes associated with navigating the legal and rights systems pertaining to forced migration, from the perspective of those with lived experience of refugee migration. Theoretically and analytically her work is situated within Positioning Theory, Social Representations and the Dialogical self.  


Nicola has an international background, having lived and worked in Sweden, Germany and the UK - with past affiliations with Stockholm University, London School of Economics and post-doctoral work at The Open University. Her applied work has been working with international students, young migrants & families, safeguarding and wellbeing with a particular interest in combining research with practice.  

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