Most Europeans believe their countries are more polarized than 10 years ago, and people increasingly perceive and describe politics and society in terms of ‘Us’ versus ‘Them’. This phenomenon has also prominent in the countries of this consortium (the Netherlands, Hungary, Italy, Spain and Turkey) in the last decade.
Despite growing polarization in the selected countries, common grounds still exist, and this can give hope that an efficient intervention is possible. People belonging to opposing groups often overestimate their differences („false polarization”), believing that the two groups are farther apart in their views than they actually are.
In our STOP polarization project we have developed a storytelling method and tools that will effectively help adult educators / trainers / community workers deal with intergroup conflicts, tools and a method that offer low-barrier and cost-efficient ways to engage ordinary citizens more meaningfully, that create opportunities to foster empathy by exposing people to others who have different backgrounds and beliefs. One of the tools we developed is the Stop polarization tabletop game, which can also be played outside the context of a training, without the help of facilitators.