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In the Name of Justice: Affective Polarization and the Futures of Societal Coordination

Brkic, Nicole (2022) In the Name of Justice: Affective Polarization and the Futures of Societal Coordination. [MRP]

Item Type: MRP
Creators: Brkic, Nicole

Affective polarization is a societal condition that, if left unregulated, can have detrimental effects on our ability to coordinate and make informed decisions, particularly in the face of challenging circumstances. The purpose of this inquiry is to uncover the driving forces behind the emergence and escalation of affective polarization. Using the principles and tools of design thinking, systems thinking, and futures thinking, the current state of the system is investigated in the context of three dimensions: our individual experience (identity), our relational interactions (coordination), and our material observation (knowledge), all of which interact to form an emergent property—decision-making.

This research reveals that our beliefs are fused to our sense of virtue, which provides a rationale for the hostility that arises when those beliefs are questioned by conflicting perspectives. It also presents evaluation criteria for assessing coordinative capacity, which is used to evaluate the state of the current system. A set of four alternative futures states are then envisioned to consider potential outcomes based on how Canadian society elects to deal with the problem we are currently facing. The four outcomes are based on a multilateral decision to exit the situation, a unilateral decision to adapt to the situation, a unilateral decision to force a situation, or a multilateral decision to collaborate. These scenarios are assessed with the same coordinative capacity evaluation criteria, where all five states (current and futures) are compared.

The assessment results produce a theoretical framework defined as the Four C’s for Enabling Coordinative Capacity (curiosity, connection, courage, and collaboration), which are a set of proposed core values and corresponding guiding principles intended to underpin any strategic anti-polarization or depolarization initiatives for increasing social coordination and informed decision-making.

Date: 12 September 2022
Uncontrolled Keywords: systems thinking, futures thinking, affective polarization, social identity, coordination, decision-making
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Strategic Foresight and Innovation
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2022 20:40
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2022 20:57
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/3942

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