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How We Can Fix Our Polarized Politics

A Dangerous Trend

Political polarization is deepening around the world — pitting citizens against one another, paralyzing governments, and sometimes stoking violence. Populist demagogues and would-be autocrats are exploiting these divisions, putting the world’s democracies in peril.

The following essays from the Journal of Democracy examine the roots of this dangerous trend and offer ways to repair our politics and bring citizens back together.

How One Small Change to the Way We Vote Could Do a World of Good
Liberal democracies everywhere are deeply polarized. Here’s how we could help rebuild the political center.
Kimana Zulueta-Fülscher

The Rise of Political Violence in the United States
In a deeply polarized country, ordinary people now consume and espouse once-radical ideas and are primed to commit violence.
Rachel Kleinfeld

Polarization versus Democracy
Why do ordinary people vote for undemocratic incumbents? Evidence from several countries suggests that many voters are willing to put partisan interests above democratic principles.
Milan W. Svolik

Populists in Power
When in power, populist parties invariably raise polarization to a new pitch of intensity, seeing advantages in pressing conflict rather than pursuing consensus.
Takis S. Pappas

Mainstream Parties in Crisis: Overcoming Polarization
Polarizing political strategies are pushing societies into a vicious cycle of zero-sum politics and eroding democratic norms. How can we escape this trap?
Murat Somer and Jennifer McCoy

And a classic from our very first issue:

The Perils of Presidentialism
The zero-sum game in presidential regimes raises the stakes of presidential elections and inevitably exacerbates their attendant tension and polarization.
Juan J. Linz

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