How political crises polarize: the role of news media in aligned opinion networks
University of Helsinki, Antti Gronow, DSSc
Societal crises tend to increase the polarization of political opinions. The proposed study focuses on three different crises – COVID-19, climate change, and the refugee crisis – in order to find out the extent that people’s opinions on these issues align, thus leading to consistent opinion clusters with opposing views. With network methods, the research analyzes the kinds of news sources that enhance or moderate the polarizing tendencies of a crisis-driven political climate.