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The Policy Institute at King’s College London, in partnership with the World Values Survey Association, UCL and the Behavioural Insights Team, are pleased to announce a one-day international conference on polarisation.

Increasingly, there is real concern about cultural, political and social divides, and their potential implications for how we live well together, both within and across nations.

How connected we feel to others, our faith in institutions, the health of democracy, and the personalisation of politics are just some of the issues being addressed by current research.

In this conference, we aim to bring together international perspectives to explore how theories of polarisation and their applications in empirical work are evolving in a comparative perspective.

The conference will provide an opportunity to share and highlight the broad and varied research currently being undertaken to track how values, attitudes and beliefs are either coming together or growing apart across the world.


Keynote 1, 10:30: Professor Christian Welzel, Professor of Political Culture at Leuphana University and Vice-President of World Values Survey Association (in-person)

Keynote 2, 17:15: Professor Pippa Norris, Paul F. McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics at Harvard University and Vice President of the World Values Survey Association (hybrid)

With the following in-person panel:

  • Professor David Halpern, President of the Behavioural Insights Team

  • Professor Bobby Duffy, Director of the Policy Institute, King’s College London (in-person)

  • Professor Anand Menon, Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs, King’s College London

  • Professor Paula Surridge, Professor of Political Sociology, University of Bristol 

Please refer to the UK in the World Values Survey website for a detailed schedule

The conference is supported by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Event details

Bush House
Strand campus, 30 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BG