The Global Initiative on Polarization

The Global Initiative on Polarization is a large-scale collaboration between IFIT and the Ford Foundation. It seeks to foster a deeper global understanding of the diverse causes, consequences and solutions to growing polarization – in democratic and non-democratic settings alike.

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Through interdisciplinary research, structured convenings, and applied work in a diverse selection of countries, the Global Initiative on Polarization examines cross-cutting and practice-relevant challenges at the nexus of polarization and social justice, aiming to strengthen existing tools for bridge-building and enhanced civic engagement and pluralism.

The work draws, among other things, on IFIT’s experience and work in related fields, including narrative theory and practice, as well as the Ford Foundation’s global expertise and cross-regional network of experts.

The initiative was launched in November 2021 and will operate for four years. Key ideas and findings from the first year of work were discussed at a major global convening hosted by IFIT at its Barcelona headquarters in November 2022. A major paper was published in 2023 and has been translated into twelve languages (Arabic, Bahasa, Chinese, French, Hausa, Hindi, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Urdu). It serves as the basis for language-diverse convenings being organised around the world by IFIT and Ford as part of a “global conversation on polarization”.