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Articles on Polarization

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Laws and policy are being made in Washington – both inside Congress and out. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Debunking the myth of legislative gridlock

The idea that Washington, DC is paralyzed by gridlock rests on half-truths about the legislative process and a basic misunderstanding of how contemporary policymaking works.
As vice president, Joe Biden – seen here on left, in 2016 – had a working relationship with the Republican Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell. Is that possible now? Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Foreign policy is Biden’s best bet for bipartisan action, experts say – but GOP is unlikely to join him on climate change

A survey of 800 foreign policy experts identified four international issues where Republicans and Democrats may actually cooperate to get something done – and one area of severe disagreement.
U.S. President Donald Trump removes his mask as he stands on the Blue Room Balcony upon returning to the White House Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Washington, after spending time in hospital with a COVID-19 infection. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

How COVID-19 led to Donald Trump’s defeat

New research suggests that if Donald Trump had handled the COVID-19 pandemic better and kept outbreaks under control, he might have won the Nov. 3 election.
A woman views a manipulated video that changes what is said by President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama. ROB LEVER/AFP via Getty Images

3 reasons for information exhaustion – and what to do about it

A philosopher writes about why many of us are feeling tired with the constant onslaught of information coming at us.
Talking politics increasingly seems like an exercise in talking past one another. GeorgePeters/Getty Images

Fox News viewers write about ‘BLM’ the same way CNN viewers write about ‘KKK’

Using machine learning to study over 85 million YouTube comments, a research team has, for the first time, identified linguistic differences among cable news viewers.
Richard Nixon, celebrating his election on Nov. 7, 1968, campaigned against a backdrop of racial inequality, civic unrest and polarized politics. AFP via Getty Images

1968’s presidential election looks a lot like today’s – but it was very different

There are similarities between the law-and-order language used by the 1968 and 2020 presidential candidates and the racial tension and political polarization both years. But much is different.
Both Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Donald Trump have been accused of using hate speech. AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi

When politicians use hate speech, political violence increases

My research shows that when politicians use hate speech, it's not just empty rhetoric or political theater: Domestic terrorism increases, in the US and in other countries.
Demonstrators outside the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 21 called on the Republican-controlled Senate not to confirm a new justice until the next president is in office. Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

Unlike US, Europe picks top judges with bipartisan approval to create ideologically balanced high courts

The Supreme Court doesn't have to be so polarized. Many European countries make judicial appointments in a term-limited, intentionally depoliticized way to promote consensus and compromise.
Trump supporters fight Black Lives Matter protestors at an anti-racism rally in Tujunga, California, Aug. 14, 2020. Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

Angry Americans: How political rage helps campaigns but hurts democracy

Americans are mad – fist-fighting, protesting mad. And that's just how politicians want voters in election season. But the popular anger stoked by candidates doesn't just dissipate after the campaign.
Nurses in November 2016 expressed support for a ballot proposition to limit what California state agencies pay for prescription drugs. AP/Nick Ut, file

Expanding direct democracy won’t make Americans feel better about politics

Citizens voting directly on policy seems like a good idea. But that led to the Brexit mess in the UK. In the US, two scholars say direct democracy deepens distrust of politics and government.
What does it look like when a country’s identity falls apart? Interior Design/shutterstock.com

Identicide: How demographic shifts can rip a country apart

When a country becomes more diverse, new demographic tensions may emerge between people who feel that they own their country's identity – and people who feel they've been left out.

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