Northwestern Events Calendar


IPR Colloquium: M. Prasad (IPR/Soc.) - When Democracy Exaggerates Difference

When: Monday, March 8, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Central

Where: Online

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Patricia Reese   (847) 491-8712

Group: Institute For Policy Research

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings


"When Democracy Exaggerates Difference"

by Monica Prasad, Professor of Sociology, WCAS Board of Visitors Professor, and IPR Fellow 

Abstract: An election is a social event in which a community organizes itself to divide itself.  Scholars of democracy in developing countries have long argued that electoral democracy can exacerbate polarization and social conflict.  However, scholars of polarization in the United States have produced a more optimistic picture: partisanship and polarization increase over the course of electoral campaigns, but decline afterwards. This study first examines why we should take seriously the potential for democratically produced division at the heart of any democracy, second shows the short-term electoral effects witnessed in the U.S. are also seen in Europe, and third uses British Election Study data to argue that electoral effects can have long-term consequences even in developed democracies, including in the case of Brexit.


This event is part of the Winter 2021 Fay Lomax Cook IPR Colloquium Series.

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