Throughout history, extreme social polarization seems to be the root cause of democratic breakdowns. Today again, states, regions and communities separate increasingly into socially divided bubbles. To what extend can we reconnect through democracy?
With among others
Bridging the bubbles
As recent studies show, a postcode can indicate much about a person’s partisan preference as well as his or her religion, race, ethnicity and favourite grocery store. The formation of these bubbles would perhaps not be absolute if people with different political views or values lived within greeting distance, encountered one another from time to time. But this is less the case. In stark contrast, many countries and cities over the world are currently exploring and reinventing democratic processes. Their hope is to better face challenges like migration, climate change or disruptions caused by new technologies through civic participation, living labs, mediation or data-based decision-making. Time to find out how these experiments and methods are working out. Do they bring distant groups together or causing them to grow further apart? We invite you to a discussion evening and a book release that ponders on how we can overcome social division, decide on controversial policies and coexist in polarized societies.