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PhD Student: Jakob Kasper MSc

My PhD project focuses on the study of political polarization, particularly among adolescents as a demographic group that will play an influential role in shaping future societal trends. My primary research questions are: "How can we conceptualize affective polarization, how does it develop, and what are potential consequences?" This is dissected into various sub-questions exploring:

  • The measurement and conceptualization of affective polarization among adolescents and adults
  • The comparison between adolescents and adults in terms of magnitude of polarization
  • The different bottom-up (e.g., psychological dispositions) and top-down (e.g., socialization, media consumption) influences relating to (affective) polarization across different developmental stages
  • The potential consequences of affective polarization

Overall, the research project thus aims to unravel the complex interplay of different factors contributing to affective polarization, particularly among adolescents. Furthermore, understanding the potential causes and consequences of affective polarization and identifying strategies to mitigate its impact is one of the broader goals of the project. It aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of adolescent political polarization and to help re-evaluate the concept of (affective) polarization and its effects from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Funding: This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement Nr. 101072992 (Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Politics of Adolescence and Democracy).

J. (Jakob) Kasper

PhD Student

Dr. B.N. (Bert) Bakker


Dr. G. (Gijs) Schumacher