Threat, identity, and dissent: Understanding and addressing political polarization in European democracies (UNDPOLAR)

The UNDPOLAR project is funded by the Norface – Governance programme. The consortium aims to understand and address political polarization. Research includes analyses of survey data, experiments about identity and inequality, and deliberative mini-publics as a potential solution to polarization.

NEWS from the UNDPOLAR project:

New cross-national survey
Within the UNDPOLAR project new data was gathered via a cross-national survey conducted in 9 countries across Europe (Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, Spain, UK, and Poland), with a total sample N = 11,218 (~n= 1200 per country). The survey covers a broad spectrum of social and political attitudes as well as psychological constructs related to political attitudes and behavior. It contains representative samples of underrepresented groups. The data will be made publicly available after the project ends.

ISPP annual meeting
The UNPOLAR team organized a panel focusing on polarization for the annual meeting of the international Society of Political Psychology in Athens (July, 14th to 17th). The three speakers focused on different antecedents and consequences of polarization. Efrain García Sanchez presented research on the association with political identity and economic threats (‘Political identity and economic threats polarize us: Longitudinal evidence from 2018-2019 in Spain’), Paulina Gorska presented research on the association with collective narcissism (‘So different yet so alike: Political collective narcissism predicts blatant dehumanization among conservatives and liberals’) and Rebekka Kesberg presented research on the association  with social media and multiple group membership (‘Buffers against polarization: Multiple group membership and spontaneous self-affirmation reduce affective polarization towards social groups, but not towards political parties’ supporters’).

The UNPOLAR team organized a panel focusing on political belief systems and network analyses (‘Exploring beliefs and threats as networks: structure, change, and polarization’) for the annual meeting of the international Society of Political Psychology in Athens (July, 14th to 17th). Mark Brandt presented work on moral reframing (‘Can belief system networks help us identifying efficient targets of moral reframing? Not yet’), Rebekka Kesberg presented work on the interrelations between threats (‘How people organize perceived threats: The role of interconnections between perceived threats for political behavior’), Felicity Turner-Zwinkels presented work on the structure of belief system (‘Is political belief system structure related to political polarization?’) and Jochem van Noord presented work on (dis)similarities of belief systems in Europe (‘Is there such a thing as a European belief system? Exploring the varieties of belief systems across 23 European countries’).

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