Events

Lunch Talk @Academy: The Polarisation Trap – And How to Avoid It

On Wednesday, 22 April 2020, 12:30 pm

At the Robert Bosch Stiftung, Berlin Representative Office, Französische Straße 32, 10117 Berlin

with
Laura-Kristine Krause, Director, More in Common, Germany.

Theophile Lenoir, Head of Digital Program, Institute Montaigne, France.

Zsuzsanna Szelényi, former Member of Parliament, Hungary, and Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow of the Robert Bosch Academy.

Moderated by
Michael Meyer-Resende, Founding Director, Democracy Reporting International

Please register here.

About

There is a lot of discussion about “populism” these days. Meanwhile, the overarching phenomena behind it and the risk of severe polarisation is less debated. Yet, there is evidence that political polarisation is growing in every European society with harmful impact on governance and democracy.

While political polarisation is a natural character of pluralistic society, current social divisions are deepening and weakening social trust and the respect of political norms. More parties appear on the extreme – and the moderate centre is getting weaker. Political division can reach a level that undermines the consensus-building potential of a society. Growing polarization is exacerbating intolerance and discrimination, corroding legislative processes, and eroding democratic institutions and the nonpartisan stature of the judiciary.

Some countries are imploding under an extreme form of polarization, such as Hungary, Britain and the United States, while others, such as France and Germany, are in the midst of a painful struggle against it.