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Political Polarization Symposium

We live in a polarized political age, where support for extreme political views has increased relative to support for moderate ones. In Congress, Republicans and Democrats are more divided along ideological lines than at any point since the end of Reconstruction. In the public, Republicans and Democrats are increasingly divided along ideological lines, as the share of Americans who express consistently conservative or consistently liberal opinions has doubled over the past two decades. Fears about the growing influence of partisan polarization abound, as threats to democratic government become more common. The PIPE Symposium on Political Polarization brings together leading scholars from across the nation to consider the history, sources, and causes of growing ideological differences, both domestic and global, as a way of understanding how such polarization might be combated in the future.

Attendees may find the papers here.

9:00 am to 10:20 am (all times pacific): Panel 1

Constitutional Prerequisites for Polarization: The Trap the Framers Left Us

Jeremy C. Pope (Brigham Young University)

Elite Polarization and Partisan Think Tanks

E.J. Fagan (University of Illinois at Chicago)

Discussant: David Bateman (Cornell University)

10:20 am to 10:30 am: Break

10:30 am to 11:50 am: Panel 2

Divide and Conquer: Presidents, Parliaments, and Political Polarization during Electoral Campaigns

Kemal Kivanç Aköz, Ekim Arbatli, and Dina Rosenberg (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia)

Mass or Elite Polarization as the Driver of Authoritarian Backsliding? Evidence from 8 Polish Surveys (2001-2011)

Monika Nalepa (University of Chicago)

Discussant: Anne Meng (University of Virginia)

11:50 am to 12:20 pm: Lunch/Break

12:20 pm to 2:05 pm: Panel 3 

Inference About the Electoral Causes of Polarization

Dan Alexander (University of Rochester) and Asya Magazinnik (MIT)

Partisan Manipulation of Dimensionality and Party Polarization in the U.S. Congress

Hong Min Park (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

Two Decades of Polarization in American State Legislatures

Boris Shor (University of Houston) and Nolan McCarty (Princeton University)

Discussants: Anthony Fowler (University of Chicago) and Kris Kanthak (University of Pittsburgh)

2:15 pm to 3:45 pm: Book Roundtable on Ezra Klein’s Why We’re Polarized

Discussants

Jake Grumbach (University of Washington)

Frances Lee (Princeton University)

Ashley Jardina (Duke University)

Nolan McCarty (Princeton University)

David Shor (Blue Rose Research)

Bedrosian Center