Polarisation (English version)


Polarisation: Insight into the dynamics of us-them thinking

This clear basic book is written for professionals who want to get a grip on polarisation in daily practice. Whether it concerns the police, judiciary, education, whether we are mayor, teacher or journalist; we need vision, insights and tools at a time when polarisation – us versus them thinking – runs like a common thread through politics and society.

The book provides eye-openers and describes in three parts what we need to know to develop and apply a polarisation strategy. The first part deals with the dynamics of polarisation, followed by the conflict in the second part; ‘the little brother of polarisation’ is discussed. Peppered with practical examples, the basic patterns in our actions and thoughts are discussed, in addition to the views of humanity that play tricks on us.

In the third part, the toolbox – already equipped with insights – is supplemented with practical tools. What is needed for depolarisation? What are the options in the prevention phase, the intervention phase, the mediation phase and the reconciliation phase of polasization & conflict? How do we use dialogue in this regard? And what are the pitfalls? Polarisation strategy requires correct timing and a balanced assessment of all forces. Bart Brandsma’s conceptual framework offers a workable and new approach with which we can exchange our powerlessness in polarisation for a conscious polarisation strategy and the skillful use of mediative speech and mediative behavior. It then concludes with two perspectives that cannot be missing in a book about us-them thinking: how is radicalization related to polarisation and what is the status of the much-needed change of course within a specific professional group that is very important for polarisation; journalism?

The insights are given a practical translation and the tools have been developed in practice with and by professionals. The text in this basic book is provided with clear models.