Two years ago, we started the CCI Blog to share insights we had received about our then-new Constructive Conflict Initiative. The scope of the blog has expanded considerably since then, next focusing on COVID and its conflict implications, then on systemic racism with the murder of George Floyd, then on hyperpolarization and related challenges to democracy that have become increasingly evident (and serious) over the last several years.
In the fall of 2021, the BI Co-Directors Guy and Heidi Burgess and long-time BI contributor Sanda Kaufman were asked to write a “feature article” for the Conflict Resolution Quarterly on the topic of hyperpolarization. CRQ and we (the authors) hope that this article will stimulate a lot of discussion in our field about what more we can do to reduce hyperpolarization and the many harms it has wrought. To facilitate this, CRQ and BI are co-sponsoring a discussion on these topics, which we are blending into the ongoing CCI blog.
To contribute to the discussion, please send us your thoughts (however formal or informal, long or short) through the BI contact form. We are not opening up the blog/discussion to direct posting, since that risks falling victim to malicious bots. But we will post all contributions that are sent in good faith, (including, certainly, those that disagree with us). We’d also like to hear about work others are doing to address hyperpolarization (directly or indirectly) and studies/reports/analyses that address this or related topics. We also welcome contributions on other topics, as long as they relate to topics covered in BI (primarily intractable conflict).
Readers might also be interested in our Constructive Conflict Massive Open Online Seminar with its more extensive blog which includes additional BI content as well as links to the activities of our conflict and peacebuilding colleagues and articles exploring the larger context surrounding today's big conflicts.
- If ever the "peacemakers time is at hand," this is it! Join our effort to help share what peacebuilders know that can help. -- Sep 13 --
- Designed to show how conflict skills can be used for more effective advocacy, not just negotiation or compromise. #mbi_cci -- Sep 10 --
- Opposing today's injustices will require cooperation across the racial divides that were a focus of many of the unrightable wrongs of the past. #mbi_cci -- Sep 09 --
- Success is usually obtained by using a combination of two or three strategies, not just one--especially not just coercion! #mbi_cci -- Sep 09 --
- The political discussions about justice this summer of 2020 are very narrow; they should take a much wider view of what encompasses "justice." #mbi_cci -- Sep 08 --
- A reflection on the dangerous escalation between police and their communities and how to address that effectively for all constituencies. #mbi_cci -- Sep 08 --
- Our tendency to focus on things that make us furious distorts the way we look at the world in ways that threaten rather than advance our interests. #mbi_cci -- Sep 07 --
- We are all, in a sense, on one giant lifeboat. Surviving the storm will require us to figure out how to work together more effectively. #mbi_cci -- Sep 07 --
- Social processes like hyperpolarization can't continue indefinitely without leading to catastrophe. We desperately need an exit strategy. #mbi_cci -- Sep 04 --
- Hyperpolarization at the level of hateful, but entertaining, rhetoric could easily escalate into large-scale 1960s-style civil unrest and violence. -- Sep 03 --
- By broadening their understanding of their "backyard" to include their whole community, citizens can be much more powerful in their advocacy efforts. -- Sep 03 --
- Economic panic and/or escalating political violence threatens to upend society even more rapidly than the COVID-19 pandemic. #mbi_cci -- Sep 03 --
- Primal screams don't change policy or public opinion. Demonstrators should know their goals--and the best way to accomplish them. #mbi_cci -- Sep 01 --
- The inflammatory tactics that make mobilize-the-base politics so effective are tearing us apart In ways that will be very difficult to reverse #mbi_cci -- Sep 01 --
- What determines whether escalation of the conflicts over police brutality and systemic racism is beneficial? What can be done to make it as constructive as possible? #mbi_cci -- Aug 31 --
- Seeing the possibility of electoral defeat as totally unacceptable justifies the use of the most extreme and dangerous forms of political combat. #mbi_cci -- Aug 30 --
- Self-righteous expressions of anger risk making things worse rather than better unless they are accompanied by real problem-solving. #mbi_cci -- Aug 27 --
- The key to successful revolutionary (or evolutionary) change a broadly agreed-upon vision for a better society in which most everyone would like to live. #mbi_fundamentals -- Aug 26 --
- It's time "we, the people" start taking control of our frames, focusing on shared frames instead of the polarizing ones we are being fed. #mbi_fundamentals -- Aug 24 --
- Political rhetoric has been moving toward increasingly dehumanized enemy images. If we want to save democracy we have to reverse this trend--NOW! #mbi_cci -- Jul 23 --
- Stories from people with vast experience in de-escalating and resolving the most difficult racial, ethnic, and sexual orientation conflicts. #mbi_cci -- Jul 14 --
- To prevent violence, you need to respond to more than the immediate incident. You need to look at the structures and processes that led to it. #mbi_cci -- Jul 09 --
- Expressions of anger and unfocused demands are unlikely to fix things. You need a workable plan and a strategy for building the needed support. #mbi_cci -- Jul 08 --
- This black/white, there's only room for one of us in this space is not a recipe for peace or justice. It's a recipe for war. #mbi_cci -- Jul 08 --
- Better framing can contribute to depolarization, mutual understanding, productive dialogue, and real problem solving. Why don't we work on that? #mbi_cci -- Jul 07 --