Lea Kaftan presented the project’s first insights into political polarization among interwar European parties at a retreat organized by Sven-Oliver Proksch (University of Cologne) and Jonathan Slapin (University of Zurich) in Switzerland in early September 2022. Although more thorough analyzes will follow, first insights show that political polarization is better measured as multi-dimensional concept rather than on a single dimension. While previous measures focussed primarily on left-right polarization, interwar polarization is much higher for other issues such as support for representative democracy or ethnic divisions.
During the retreat, researchers from the University of Zurich and the University of Cologne discussed potential collaborations and received valuable feedback on their own work that combines text-as-data and survey research on questions related to representation, party politics and electoral systems. The DANGER project is especially grateful for feedback received by Michele Fenzl (University of Zurich) and for the great organization of the retreat.