© 2024 DepolarisingEU COST Action CA 22165
Redressing Radical Polarisation: Strengthening European Civil Spheres facing Illiberal Digital Media

Working Groups

Working Groups

Working Group 1

WG1: Civil sphere and radical polarisation: academic state of the art (I)

This Working Group (WG1) will address challenge 1 (conceptually clarify polarisation by differentiating its civil from uncivil outcomes) and challenge 2 (identify specific European democratic codes and collective representations that are, alongside Europe’s plurality, at stake). These will be achieved through the following tasks:

Review of published academic literature and relevant grey literature to conceptualise and differentiate the range of experiences and understandings of polarisation and its consequences in civil societies.
Review the international normative frameworks that codify democratic codes designed to protect plurality of views across Europe.
Produce a Working Group Report (I) that identifies how polarisation can be theoretically understood and how they it has been redressed practically and pragmatically and with what oc-2022-1 12/15 pages maximum success. This report will also outline gaps in academic theoretical understanding as well as provide an overview of unanswered questions to be tackled in cooperation with non-academic organisations and stakeholders (see below).

Working Group 2

WG2: Drilling down on radical polarisation: academic state of the art (II)

This Working Group (WG2) will focus on challenges 3 and 4, thereby contributing to a deeper understanding of the consequences of radical polarisation and the way in which civil society organisations and media organisations respond to it, through the following tasks:
Complementing the work of WG1, it will identify specific representations in digital media that are constitutive of and undermine Europe’s liberal democratic culture through polarising sentiment and activities.
Explore the methods used to investigate polarization and depolarization and offer a methodological design that complements the existing methodology, and publish a WG report (II) complementing working group 1 and containing the methodological review work.
Identify citizen and media actions in Europe that are already conducting some type of intervention aimed at depolarising the specific representations mentioned above and compile these initiatives in a repository that will be used in the application and experimentation work that will be carried out by WG3.

Working Group 3

WG3: Designing practical tools to counter, redress and prevent radical polarization

This Working Group (WG3) will cover challenge 5 and do the following:

Work collaboratively with civil and media organisations to co-produce knowledge about the strategies needed to respond to polarising representations in the interest of de-escalation, developing digital media depolarisation strategies and work to improvement a commitment to greater pluralism of views.
Work collaboratively with civil and media organisation input to establish a rationale and recommendations for the building of safe discursive spaces for users and audiences in which different polarised views can come together.
Pilot a safe discursive space to develop an evaluative interaction exercise to assess how morality and emotions in radical polarised digital media settings are expressed and reflected on through the experience of audiences.
Develop a toolkit that brings together civil-communicative depolarisation skills, guidelines on how to avoid engaging unintentionally in increasing polarisation, as well as examples of best practice (also see Section 3).