Toward a Theory of Pernicious Polarization and How It Harms Democracies: Comparative Evidence and Possible Remedies

  title={Toward a Theory of Pernicious Polarization and How It Harms Democracies: Comparative Evidence and Possible Remedies},
  author={Jennifer McCoy and Murat Somer},
  journal={The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science},
  pages={234 - 271}
  • Jennifer McCoy, Murat Somer
  • Published 1 January 2019
  • Political Science
  • The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
This article compares the dynamics of polarization in the eleven case studies analyzed in this special issue to draw conclusions about antecedents of severe political and societal polarization, the characteristics and mechanisms of such polarization, and consequences of severe polarization for democracy. We find that the emergence of pernicious polarization (when a society is split into mutually distrustful “Us vs. Them” camps) is not attributable to any specific underlying social or political… 

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