Us-them thinking makes an impact. It both enriches and threatens us. The stability of our country, city, neighbourhood or school, organisation or company can be put at risk … by polarisation. As professionals, we need insights and strong game changers.
It takes knowledge and training to evaluate polarisation. What are its basic laws, what are the effective positions in the field of influence? How can you depolarise? The Polarisation Framework provides the handholds to deal with the issue. It does not matter whether it concerns the ‘yellow vest’ protestors in France, objections to the arrival of wind farms or refugees, or left-wing or right-wing radicalisation … What matters is whether we make the right assessment of the gut-feeling dynamic.
Start by mapping the polarisation. Clear analysis will bring the players into view. We can then apply the game changers and take up a professional position. It all sounds so easy. It can be boiled down to one sentence. But, it is a huge challenge.
Polarisation is neither right nor wrong – it’s natural. It’s part of being human. We live with opposites: man versus woman, believer against unbeliever, the outsider versus one of our own, rival suburbs or cities, the elite versus the people, the list is endless…. But whether it has to do with civil war in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (macro scale) or a conflict between the groom’s and bride’s sides of the family (micro scale), the dynamic of polarisation is universal. It’s about:
_Three basic laws
_Four game changers
I am a practical-minded philosopher. My book Polarisation: Understanding the dynamics of us versus them is the product of long years of experience in dealing with conflict and polarisation. And it is the result of thinking long and hard, seeking answers to the phenomenon of us-them thinking.
Inside Polarisation offers advice and training throughout Europe, from Helsinki to Barcelona, Belfast to Cologne. We teach professionals ‘in the middle’ how to explore effective positions, recognize their (im)possibilities and set out a polarisation strategy. Often I am surprised by how well the Polarisation Framework has proven its worth in practice.
Many professionals – including police officers, mayors, policymakers, radicalisation experts, public prosecutors, teachers, directors, and journalists – are already working with the tried-and-tested tools of the Polarisation Framework.
Feel free to buy a book, organise a workshop or training. Maybe ask for consultancy?