The Psychology of Polarization

In December 2022, we invited Mylien Duong, senior director of research of the Constructive Dialogue Institute (CDI), to join us. CDI uses the psychological processes that influence decision-making to create tools that can help students and professionals have conversations across differences. We asked, What roles do unconscious mental processes play in how we understand and respond to shared problems, and how can these tools help reduce the levels of political mistrust, division, and animosity?

Lessons for Journalists from Amanda Ripley’s Book, High Conflict: Part II

Earlier this year, journalist Amanda Ripley spoke to Kettering Foundation staff about her book High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out. In this second in a series of two blog posts, Jennifer Brandel, who has collaborated with Kettering on journalism experiments in strengthening democracy, writes about the implications of the book’s insights for the media.

Amanda Ripley’s book High Conflict provides the following list of questions that reporters can ask to produce more complex, nuanced stories and reduce unproductive conflict:

An Ongoing Struggle: Democratic Ideals and Illiberal Resistance

In November 2022, we invited Kevin C. O’Leary, director of Saving Democracy, to join us. Saving Democracy seeks to build a pro-democracy coalition from Liz Cheney conservatives to Bernie Sanders progressives and will conduct educational “deep canvassing” in selected congressional swing districts, focusing on the nation’s democratic tradition and individual liberty in a constitutional democracy. They plan to ask the business community to use the power of their political donations to reward political leaders who are committed to democracy. A research fellow at the Center for the Study of Democracy at the University of California, Irvine, O’Leary also teaches in the Political Science Department at Chapman University. He is the author of Saving Democracy: A Plan for Real Representation in America (2006) and Madison’s Sorrow: Today’s War on the Founders and America’s Liberal Ideal (2020).

Power of Concession

With this one act, Rep. Ryan has strengthened the American experiment.

WATCH: Lemmie Speaks at 2022 Annual Meeting of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC)—Economic Change in a World Divided

Valerie Lemmie, the Kettering Foundation’s director of exploratory research, joined an illustrious panel of development and civic engagement professionals at the annual meeting of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) on September 19. Lemmie’s video presentation was on strategies to incorporate democratic practices into community and economic development civic engagement initiatives.

Reflections on Illiberalism

In September 2022, we invited Marlene Laruelle, director and research professor at the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affair, to join us. We asked, what have been the key characteristics and driving factors of illiberal movements? To what extent do they share common ideologies and tactics with movements threatening democracy in the United States?

Race and Political Trust in the United States

In May 2022, we invited Shayla C. Nunnally, professor and head of the Department of Africana Studies at the University of Tennessee, to join us. We asked, what challenges related to social and political mistrust might we expect when attempting to engage a diverse citizenry in collective action and public deliberation?

Four Decades of Democratic Learning: David Mathews and the Kettering Foundation

On Tuesday, September 27, the Kettering Foundation board of directors, staff, colleagues, friends, and family joined on our Dayton campus to honor David Mathews and his four decades of service to the Kettering Foundation. Mathews was president and CEO from 1981 to 2022.

Levine Receives Established Leader Award

Peter Levine was awarded the Established Leader Award by the Civic Engagement section of APSA.

Middle Schoolers as Deliberative Civic Actors

Deliberation in the classroom.