Polarisation is an increasingly prevalent feature of liberal democratic societies. Ordinary liberal politics uses binary discourse that “otherises.” However, the extreme “otherisation” manifest in intolerance, hostility, deep partisan animosity, and hate speech is becoming a threat to the civil virtues of tolerance, hospitality, openness, and to civil discourse. In the context of this political and civil divisiveness, there is now a widespread belief that digital media both contributes and exacerbates radical polarisation.
This Action aims to create an interdisciplinary network that will advance common understanding of radical polarisation and identify successful interventions to de-escalate uncivil and undemocratic partisanship. It will engage with civil and media organisations in order to ensure de-escalation, depolarisation, and pluralism, through a multifaceted approach to strengthening democratic values in Europe.
By applying the lenses of cultural sociology and civil sphere theory, the Action adds an eminently normative and interpretive character to existing literature on the topic. This theoretical scaffolding will contribute to understanding online polarisation. While there is no conclusive research on the impact of digital media on polarisation, if radical polarisation can be confined, on the grounds of commonality and plurality, to an issue-by-issue basis, it might be able to harness the agonistic energy of radical polarisation, while disarming its antagonistic potential.
The Action will provide a toolkit that brings together civil-communicative depolarisation skills, guidelines on how to avoid engaging unintentionally in increasing polarisation through inadequate messaging and reporting, as well as examples of best practice to reduce radical polarisation successfully where it already exists.
Radical polarisation - Digital media - European civil sphere - Depolarisation - Communicative interventions
|Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Action Vice Chair|
|Science Communication Coordinator|
|Grant Awarding Coordinator|
|International Advisory Board Manager|
|1||WG1: Civil sphere and radical polarisation: academic state of the art (I)|
|2||WG2: Drilling down on radical polarisation: academic state of the art (II)|
|3||WG3: Designing practical tools to counter, redress and prevent radical polarisation|