The list of the most important objectives for the present proposal is the following:

  • O1: Address the interactive mechanisms between political distrust, affective polarization and party system supply, and more concretely the effect generate with party/elite competition and the emergence in the public sphere of radical or populist parties and non-mainstream political forces;
  • O2: The study of the effects of political communication by political actors on political trust and affective polarization;
  • O3: Assess the effects of concrete measurable individual exposure to mass and social media and its diverse content on political trust and affective polarization; 
  • O4: The study of the conditional effects of individual emotions and personality (traits) in the relationship between individuals the political discourses of different actors on political trust and affective polarization;
  • O5: Assess the role of new social media in fostering the polarization of ideological conflicts, values and inclusive/excluding identities, thereby creating the basis for a spiral of political distrust;
  • O6: Estimate the effects of discussions in social media on political trust and affective polarization.
  • O7: Building an individual profile of political activism and deliberation by collecting information with a passive meter, to establish its effects on political trust and affective polarization;
  • O8: A detailed analysis of all the preceding aspects in three Southern European democracies and compare it with Chile and Argentina
  • O9: Exploring the dimensionality of trust (i.e. trust in institutions of representation, actors of representation, impartial institutions of the state, media, and civil society institutions) and polarization with innovative measures and methodological tools;

Relation with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Relation with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

Contribution of the research to compliance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Specific targets to which it contributes.

Goal 16: Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies.
Differences in ideological and issue positions between parties and their followers lie at the very core of democratic political life, being the base for the emergence of cleavages and, in turn, the consolidation of party systems. Beyond a classic focus on these cleavages, scholars have become increasingly interested in the process referred to as affective polarization.  Affective polarization is emerging along lines drawn by partisan loyalties as well as other existing or new emerging identities which increasingly divide the world into in-groups and out-groups, these identities are transforming the conflicts in contemporary societies to a single dimension of people increasingly perceiving and describing politics and society in terms of “Us” versus “Them”. This could be responsible for many of the contemporary ills of democratic functioning and a potential cause behind the support for new illiberal parties, which increases the chances of democratic backsliding by some incumbent illiberal governments.