RPA Polarisation

The Research Priority Area Polarisation

Polarisation – the development or existence of a persisting, extreme, multi-modal divide in attitudes, identities, and behaviors – can be a significant impediment to harmonious and productive societies. Newly emergent patterns of polarisation with respect to topics like COVID-19 policies and climate change interlock with existing cultural and political divides and identities, undermining society’s capacity for taking concerted collective action. Polarisation is a complex phenomenon which is linked to processes at all levels of societal life, including, but not limited to, individual cognitive biases, social group dynamics and larger educational, cultural, and political structures. Interdisciplinary research is key to understanding the interdependencies between (de)polarisation processes across these levels and to building a comprehensive understanding of polarisation.

The University of Amsterdam’s Faculty for Behavioral and Social Sciences (FMG) has created the Research Priority Area (RPA) Polarisation to facilitate interdisciplinary scientific research on (de)polarization. Specifically, the RPA fosters interdisciplinary (i.e. cross-department) examination of causes, consequences, mechanisms, and potential interventions targeting (de)polarization at the cognitive/individual, social/group, and societal levels. To this end, the RPA organizes a seed grant program available to FMG researchers as well as a variety of knowledge exchange events accessible to interested researchers and the wider community.

Sign up for our mailing list to stay up to date on RPA activities and opportunities: https://list.uva.nl/mailman/listinfo/Polarisation

For questions about the RPA Polarisation, please contact: polarisation-fmg@uva.nl. The current board of the RPA Polarisation consists of Drs. Christin Scholz, Marte Otten, and Remmert Daas.

Symposium & Match-Making Event

Date: 23. November 2023, 13-17

Location: REC-C10.20

Program: Symposium2023

RSVP here: https://uva.fra1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5n0qy8nnAtiVkV0

All colleagues of the Faculty for Behavioral and Social Sciences (FMG) at the University of Amsterdam are invited to join us at the first Symposium and Match-Making Event of the RPA Polarisation.

The goal of this event is to share ongoing research as well as research ideas with a diverse group of FMG colleagues and to discuss issues and opportunities with other, interdisciplinary experts in the field. In addition, we will facilitate match-making and networking activities to foster interdisciplinary research on polarisation at our faculty.

As part of this networking effort, the RPA Polarisation offers Project Grants of 20.000 Euros per grant in 2024 (Application Deadline: April 1st, 2024) to interdisciplinary teams planning research related to (de)polarisation. The call for papers and application form for 2024 RPA Project Grants can be found below.

Do you want to learn about ongoing research on (de)polarisation at FMG? Are you looking for new, interdisciplinary perspectives on a problem you’ve been thinking about? Are you in need of collaborators? Sign-up to attend the symposium and/or give one of the Blitz-talks (~3 min) here: https://uva.fra1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5n0qy8nnAtiVkV0

A final program will be sent out based on sign-ups closer to the event.

Seed Funding Program Overview

The RPA Polarisation offers a seed funding program to all researchers at the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty for Behavioral and Social Sciences (FMG).

Seed grants will be made available in two steps:

  1. 2023 Pilot Grants & Matchmaking: In a set-up phase lasting until the end of 2023, the RPA aims to foster the formation of interdisciplinary teams and support the development of new research lines around polarisation, possibly including initial empirical tests or exploration.Teams of individual researchers or collaborating researchers have applied for the 2023 pilot seed grant round, to start working towards impactful project ideas and broader interdisciplinary collaboration. The RPA provided 17 small pilot grants (max. 5.000 Euros per project) to support this phase. In addition, to foster the formation of interdisciplinary collaborations, the RPA organizes a match making event on November 23rd, 2023, where the recipients of the pilot seed grants and other interested parties can present their research ideas to the wider RPA community and find interdisciplinary collaborators to further enrichen their polarisation-related research lines.
  2. 2024 Interdisciplinary Project Grants: In 2024, five larger project grants of 20.000 Euros per project will be made available for interdisciplinary research on (de)polarisation through a new call for applications.

2023 Pilot Grant Projects

The following projects have been awarded a 2023 Seed Grant from the Research Priority Area Polarisation and are currently in progress.

  1. #Vliegschaamte or #Ilovemymeat: Discursive climate change polarisation dynamics on TikTok
    Dr. Melanie de Looper, Dr. Christel van Eck
  2. The effect of polarisation on rule compliance
    Dr. Karlijn Hoyer, Dr. Lukas Molleman
  3. Understanding polarization regarding COVID-19 vaccination with mixture modelling analyses
    Prof. dr. Frenk van Harreveld, Prof. Dr. Han van der Maas, Monique Chambon
  4. Sowing discord: Violence as a tool for electoral mobilization
    Dr. Neeraj Prasad, Dr. Ursula Daxecker
  5. Meaningful polarization or divisionary deadlock? Studying political identity formation among participants in ‘unruly’ street demonstrations
    Dr. Joost Berkhout, Prof. Dr. Femke Kaulingfreks, Dr. Floris Vermeulen
  6. Implicit bias in visualizing the polarized issue of climate change
    Dr. Christel van Eck, Dr. Linda van den Heijkant, Dr. Toni van der Meer
  7. Bovenland: Perceived polarisation and (extreme) non-normative attitudes and behavior
    Dr. Allard Feddes, Dr. Rebekka Kesberg, Dr. Bastiaan Rutjens
  8. Has the rise of small donors increased polarisation?
    Dr. Trevor Incerti
  9. Exploring polarisation during public health crises – a manual content analysis
    Dr. Adriana Solovei, Prof. Dr. Bas van den Putte, Prof. Dr. Julia van Weert
  10. The political benefits of affective polarisation
    Dr. Eric Schliesser, Dr. Eelco Harteveld
  11. Students’ reasoning about possible solutions for social problems
    Dr. Geerte Savenije, Thomas Klijnstra
  12. Conspiracy theories as multimodal drivers of polarisation
    Dr. Jaron Harambam, Dr. Boris Noordenbos, Dr. Kris Ruijgrok
  13. News you don’t believe? Examining factual believe polarisation through annotations
    Dr. Anne Kroon, Zilin Lin, Dr. Susan Vermeer
  14. What drives spiritual science scepticism?
    Dr. Bastiaan Rutjens
  15. Neural mechanisms of polarisation
    Dr. Steven Scholte, Dr. Gijs Schumacher, Dr. Bert Bakker
  16. Polarisation of politics: How do citizens react to public opinion?
    Dr. Myrto Pantazi
  17. Solutions journalism: A constructive response to political polarisation?
    Dr. Andreas Schuck, Dr. Eric Tsetsi

2024 Project Grant Application Procedure

The RPA Polarisation seeks to facilitate interdisciplinary research on (de)polarisation at the Faculty for Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Amsterdam. To this end, we provide project funding of up to 20.000 Euros per project of up to 2 years. Information on eligibility and application procedure is outlined in the documents below.

Application Deadline: 1. April 2024 (End of Day)

Call for Applications: ProjectGrant_CFA

Application Form: ProjectGrant_ApplicationForm

Applications should be submitted via e-mail to: polarisation-fmg@uva.nl.