Political polarization has been a much-debated topic in recent years. Strong polarization has the potential to impair society’s ability to reach consensus, making it more likely that social groups with irreconcilable interest form and put burdens on pluralistic foundations of liberal democracies. To better understand and describe political polarization in Germany, this panel brings together four papers with different perspectives on political polarization. The first two contributions evaluate the extent of two types of polarization conceptualizations. On the one hand, Traber et al. focus on public opinion polarization, the degree to which issue preferences diverge between different social groups. Their analysis reveals that the polarization of issue preferences has been surprisingly stable in Germany. Wagner and Harteveld, on the other hand, study affective polarization, as the dislike between citizens with opposing political identities in multiparty-systems. Using 30 years of data from Germany reveals the extend of out-party animus and proposes explanations for variation between parties. The other two contributions focus on the effect of events on polarization. Ellger studies the effect that politically motivated crimes against politicians can have on polarization in Germany. The results suggest that violent acts can generate political divides in societies. Similarly, Hunger and Hutter study the polarization in German society that emerges as a consequence of protest against the corona measures. Taking together, the four contributions of the panel describe the extend of polarization and investigate the effects of violent and protest events on polarization in Germany.
Organized by: Dr. Stoetzer Lukas (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin), Prof. Dr. Klüver Heike (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin)
Chair: Dr. Stoetzer Lukas (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin)
Discussant: Prof. Dr. Klüver Heike (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin)
The event is part of the 28th Scientific Congress of the DVPW on the topic "We have the choice! Politics in times of insecurity and autocratisation" taking place digitally. #dvpw2021. Read the full programme.
Time & Location
Sep 16, 2021 | 02:30 PM - 04:00 PM