The Unifiers

A Call for Leadership:

Political Polarization and Civil Discourse at Duke University

Chloe Nguyen (PPS ’24)

Aug 17, 2022

"Duke University must take concrete steps to depolarize its students through the normalization of civil discourse on campus. Using principles of social psychology and peace and conflict studies, Duke can revolutionize political norms for the next century."

In her report, "A Call for Leadership: Political Polarization and Civil Discourse at Duke University," Chloe Nguyen (PPS '24) examines how Duke University can utilize social psychology research to improve civil discourse and political polarization amongst the student body.

After reflecting on the importance of civil discourse and depolarization for democracy, her work defines civil discourse and outlines a pilot program for first years that can help set norms which encourage discourse, collaboration, and relationship building on campus. It also outlines a series of suggestions to improve conversations on difficult topics in lecture halls, seminars, and extracurricular programming. Overall, this work hopes to provide a framework through which educators at Duke can employ social psychology research to foster campus norms which set up future leaders to improve our democracy.

This content does not represent the official or unofficial views of the Sanford School, Polis, Duke University, or any entity or individual other than the author.

Chloe Nguyen (PPS '24)

Chloe Nguyen (PPS '24)

Chloe Nguyen (PPS '24) is a Braver Angels Student Fellow and a Nakayama Scholar and Alice M. Baldwin Scholar at Duke University.