Democracy and the polarization trap

It's not just about the other side

The extreme polarization of European and American politics is now widely seen as a threat to democracy. But polarization is often misunderstood as simply political divisiveness that can be resolved if only the two sides came together to find common ground. That’s wrong. Polarization isn’t about partisan animosity or a lack of common ground. It’s about a cognitive distortion that happens when we retreat to our in-groups. Polarization ultimately poisons our relations with our own political side, making us intolerant of any disagreement. To battle polarization, then, we need to start with becoming used to disagreeing with our political allies, argued Robert Tallise.

 

2021 closed on a sour note for American democracy.   Despite electing Joe Biden to the Presidency a year ago, large segments of the population still accept baseless allegations of widespread election fraud.  According to one recent poll, more than 40% of Americans doubt that Biden was e

Continue reading

Enjoy unlimited access to the world's leading thinkers.

Start by exploring our subscription options or joining our mailing list today.

Start Free Trial

Already a subscriber? Log in

Join the conversation