Zhdanov A. I.

Main Page ~ Authors ~ Zhdanov A. I.
  • № 1, 2023

    • Polarization of American Elites (Evidence from the Analysis of the Candidates' Policy Statements during the 2020 Presidential Election)

      The article is devoted to the study of political polarization in the United States through the prism of the influence of various groups of American elites on this process. Empirically analyzing the campaign messages of Joseph Biden, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, which were spread by their electoral staff during the 2020 presidential campaign, and using the methods of network and LDA analysis, the authors attempt to determine to what extent the Democratic and Republican leaders tend to use tools that polarize society and whether the nature of the influence of these parties on the American society differs.

      Having documented the presence of all types of political polarization in the United States, the authors show that both Republicans and Democrats significantly add to polarization because, on the one hand, they fuel emotional tension in the society, and on the other hand, they deny legitimacy to the principles of their opponents. The analysis carried out in the article clearly demonstrates that all groups of the American political elites, regardless of party affiliation, are nearly equally susceptible to affective and positional polarization, including those whose political activity is usually assessed as depolarizing. All this refutes the widespread notion that the Republican Party, which exploits the Us vs. Them dichotomy for narrow political purposes, is primarily responsible for the polarization in the country, indicating that something bigger, rather than the rise of right-wing populism or the increased popularity of nativist movements, explains the crisis processes that have been unfolding in the recent years in the United States, as well as in other old democracies.

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2023-108-1-161-181

      Pages: 161-181