Category Archives: United Kingdom

(De)Polarisation in Values, Attitudes and Beliefs: Comparative Perspectives

The Policy Institute at King’s College London, partner of EVS and WVS in the UK, in partnership with the World Values Survey Association, UCL and the Behavioural Insights Team, are pleased to announce a one-day international conference on polarisation in London, UK, on Thursday 11th April 2024. 

In this conference, the organizers aim to bring together international perspectives on polarisation to explore how theories of polarisation and their applications in empirical work are evolving in a comparative perspective. What does it mean if we take a more global outlook on polarisation? Does a similarity of values, attitudes and beliefs between nations influence the relationships that are cultivated internationally in a multi-polar world? And in what contexts does polarisation within nations (or between regions) become a cause for concern or constitute a so-called “culture war”, and do these contexts differ across countries? Are there reciprocal lessons for the US about the evolution or mitigation of polarisation from the rest of the world?

The conference will provide an opportunity to share and highlight the broad and varied research currently being undertaken to track how values, attitudes and beliefs are coming together or growing apart across the world. We welcome submissions from across the globe, both focused on individual nations or comparative studies, and from early-career researchers. We also encourage submissions using data from the World Values Survey and European Values Study, but are open to all methodologies and sources, particularly insights from qualitative research. We also welcome papers that explore the practical implications these changes have for decisions made by policymakers.

 Thematic areas

Thematic areas may include, but are not limited to:

Understanding polarisation:

  • Assessment of whether we are growing more or less polarised in values, attitudes and beliefs within or between nations.
  • Causes and consequences of polarisation in values and attitudes (eg trust or belief in institutions, social cohesion, implications for democracy, etc).
  • Long-term and generational evolution of values, attitudes and beliefs.
  • Perspectives on “culture wars”.


  • Approaches to measuring morals, values, attitudes, and polarisation.
  • Qualitative approaches to studying polarisation.

Policy implications:

  • Impact of political, economic and social instability on polarisation.
  • Implications of changing values and polarisation for social policy (eg what will the world look like in 2050?).
  • Approaches to depolarisation.


The conference will be held on Thursday 11 April 2024, starting at 10am and closing at 6pm. We are also happy to facilitate opportunities for meetings and networking on Friday 12th April, by request. After the conference, there will be a report launch focused on policy responses to polarisation followed by a drinks reception, which all conference delegates would be welcome to attend. 

Please note that all sessions will be held in person at King’s College London in Bush House, 30 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BG. 

Submission details 

Please submit an abstract in English (max. 300 words) and a short bio (max. 100 words) by Friday 8 December 2023 via this form.All successful conference submissions will be notified by the end of January 2023. Final presentations will be due by 31 March 2024. For questions on submissions or any further enquiries, please get in touch with us at Please note, abstract submissions sent via email will not be considered.

This conference is supported by the Economic and Social Research Council.  

Conference registration is free of charge. 

Bush House, King’s College London, Thursday 11th April 2024