In recent years the formula for winning elections has moved away from reaching out to all voters and charting a middle ground. Instead, politicians are promoting wedge issues and activating voters along issues of identity and against the status quo. The polarising nature of this variety of politics was on view this week in the aftermath of the tragic mass shooting in Texas. It was also seen in India, where the Hindu nationalist BJP government rammed through a dramatic policy change on Kashmir without consulting its people, who are mostly Muslims. Similar trends are occurring in Turkey, Philippines and Brazil, where strongman politics has reduced the space needed for healthy dialogue and diminished the rights of minority constituencies. So, when did the politics of compromise fall out of fashion and why? What has been the role of technology in turbo-charging the adversarial tone? And what will it take for the politics of the middle ground to make a comeback? Julian Worricker and a panel of guests discuss whether current trends are part of a historical cycle or the new normal.
United States


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