Peter Coleman’s Outstanding Evidence-Based Work on Reducing Polarization

Peter T. Coleman, professor of psychology and education at Columbia University, an award-winning scholar and a prolific author, recently published his latest book, The Way Out: How to Overcome Toxic Polarization.  He holds a joint appointment at Teachers College and The Earth Institute.  In his spare time, he is the director of the Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution, founding director of the Institute for Psychological Science and Practice, and executive director of Columbia University’s Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity.   He also is a member of the United Nations Mediation Support Unit’s Academic Advisory Council.

Although harmful polarization in the US and around the world has increased in recent years, this is a continuation of trends going back decades.

Peter’s book begins diagnosing the problems but focuses primarily on evidence-based strategies for reducing this polarization.  One of the chapters is entitled, Think Different — Change Your Theory of Change.

The book’s website includes stories of hope that illustrate big ideas about addressing polarization, and exercises and assessments that explain, energize, and operationalize the book’s lessons.

Last week, Peter summarized his impressive work at one of the great breakfast roundtables sponsored by the Association for Conflict Resolution of Greater New York and the CUNY Dispute Resolution Center at John Jay College.  You can watch a video of his presentation (and other recent presentations) at ACR-GNY’s website.  The audience were active chatters, and here’s the transcript of the public chat, which includes lots of additional resources.

Take a look.

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