Todd L. Pittinsky
Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government
Allophilia and Intergroup Leadership.
Pittinsky, Todd L. "Allophilia and Intergroup Leadership." KSG Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP05-038, May 2005.
One of the most pressing concerns confronting leaders is intergroup conflict, often inspired or facilitated by prejudice. Not only might leaders inherit conflicts between political, religious, or organizational groups, but they may unwittingly contribute to them. Foundations of strong intragroup leadership, such as fostering strong group identification and cohesion, are often stepping stones to intergroup conflict. I refer to this as the "ingroup/outgroup leadership tradeoff." While the reduction of prejudice is essential to the reduction of intergroup conflict, I argue that the necessary approach is not to replace prejudice with the neutral stance of tolerance. Something critical lies beyond the reduction of prejudice and the promotion of tolerance: positive intergroup attitudes, allophilia. While the academic and applied literature on intergroup relations is well supplied with terms for negative intergroup attitudes (e.g., xenophobia, sexism, racism, anti-Americanism, classism, ageism, homophobia), there are surprisingly few terms for positive intergroup attitudes. Allophilia is a term I coin, derived from the Greek words meaning "liking, or love, of the other." The concept of allophilia provides a powerful anchor for a new framework for understanding intergroup leadership. To initiate the development of a framework of allophilia and leadership, I address three interrelated questions in this article: (1) What is allophilia in the context of intergroup relations?; (2) What role does-and might-allophilia play in intergroup leadership?; and (3) What are the keys to further developing allophilia as a framework for intergroup leadership theory and practice? The framework prompts leaders to push their societies and the world community away from the natural direction in which individuals and social system might otherwise unfold, leading them instead on a trajectory of positive intergroup relations.