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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Exceptional Polarization

Another troubling realization stands out: the United States is quite alone among the ranks of perniciously polarized democracies in terms of its wealth and democratic experience. Of the episodes since 1950 where democracies polarized, all of those aside from the United States involved less wealthy, less long-standing democracies, many of which had democratized quite recently. None of the wealthy, consolidated democracies of East Asia, Oceania, or Western Europe, for example, have faced similar levels of polarization for such an extended period, as figure 1 shows.