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PhD candidate: Nikki Dekker, MSc

The last decades have been marked by increasingly sharp contrasts between social groups. Polarisation – the development or existence of a persisting, extreme, multi-modal divide in attitudes, identities, and behaviors – can be a significant impediment to harmonious and productive societies. Newly emergent patterns of polarisation with respect to topics like COVID-19 policies and climate change interlock with existing cultural and political divides and identities, undermining society’s capacity for taking concerted collective action. Polarisation is a complex phenomenon which is linked to processes at all levels of societal life. These processes collectively impact the well-being of democratic societies.

The goal of this interdisciplinary PhD project is to further disentangle how attitudes and polarisation develop and unfold among youth in Amsterdam. Using longitudinal data from surveys and interviews in schools, this project tests new and existing (citizenship education) interventions and studies opinion development and polarization in general.

This research is funded by research priority area Polarisation. For more information about RPA Polarisation, visit this webpage

N.P. (Nikki) Dekker MSc

PhD candidate

Prof. dr. H.L.J. (Han) van der Maas


Dr. B.N. (Bert) Bakker


Dr R.J.M. (Remmert) Daas


Dr. A. (Anke) Munniksma