Northwestern Events Calendar


IPR Colloquium: J. Druckman (IPR/Poli. Sci.) - (Affective) Polarization in America

When: Monday, April 4, 2022
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CT

Where: Chambers Hall, Ruan Conference Room (lower level), 600 Foster St, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

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

Contact: Patricia Reese   (847) 491-3395

Group: Institute For Policy Research

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings


Please note that all IPR colloquia this spring will be held simultaneously in person and online. Registration is only required for the online talks. IPR will be following local, state, federal, and University guidelines for events. Masking is optional, but encouraged.

"(Affective) Polarization in America: When It Matters Politically and What It Means for Democracy"

by James Druckman, Payson S. Wild Professor of Political Science and IPR Associate Director and Fellow

Abstract: Affective polarization—where partisans come to see those from the other party as the enemy, not just the opposition—has increased markedly over time. This raises the possibility that parties have become a sort of perverse faction, leading many to worry about harmful political consequences. Yet despite these real and significant concerns, there continues to be scant empirical evidence of the political consequences of this affective polarization. Druckman and his colleagues fill this gap by documenting when affective polarization affects issue attitudes, political evaluations, and support for democratic norms and compromise. Even though they find substantial effects, under particular conditions, they argue that the situation is not dire thanks to an often overlooked source of pluralism in American politics: heterogeneity in the fervor with which people care about politics and their ideological passions.

This is a presentation of research in progress, and the event is part of the spring 2022 IPR Fay Lomax Cook Colloquium Series.

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