Summer School Polarisation

Transdisciplinary Approaches to Societal Polarisation

Joint Summer School University of Groningen and Stellenbosch University
1 July - 5 July 2024 (deadline 15 April)


This summer, University of Groningen and Stellenbosch University will be organising a summer school on the topic of Polarisation at the University of Groningen in collaboration with Stellenbosch University. This newly founded, interdisciplinary summer school is designed for senior BA/MA/PhD students, for which you can sign up now!

Why this summer school?

Around the world, societies are suffering from an increasingly polarised public sphere. This polarisation of the public sphere diminishes the space for constructive and collaborative processes, and thereby undermines democracy, as well as our ability to collectively address the enormous challenges of our time, such as the climate crisis and societal inequality. During this summer school students will learn about and engage with current debates and emerging scientific insights which address and analyse our polarised times, and will work together in mixed groups (both in terms of discipline and country of study) on developing an intervention to mitigate against processes of polarisation in a specific context, brought in as a challenge by external societal partners.

The programme consists of a combination of preparatory self-study, an on-site programme in Groningen, consisting of lectures, workshops, discussion groups and a group project the outcome of which will be submitted after the summer school. An important component of this school will be the use of interactive learning methods in a dynamic hybrid environment, with active discussion and critical reflection by participants. 

By the end of this summer school, the participants of the summer school can expect to be able to articulate definitions of polarisation, analyse polarisation through different lenses, critically evaluate interventions aimed at reducing polarisation and be aware of the different forms polarisation may take in different societal contexts in the global North and global South (with a specific focus on the Netherlands and South-Africa).

Leading experts in the field of social psychology, linguistics, philosophy, politics and sociology including Andreas Flache (Professor of Sociology at RUG), Namkje Koudenburg (Associate Professor of Social Psychology at RUG), Anell Stacey Daries (Postdoctoral Fellow at Centre for the Afterlife of Violence and the Reparative Quest, SU) and Marius Swart (Department of Afrikaans and Dutch at SU) will be speaking at the summer school. Aside from the academic programme, there will be plenty of opportunities during the social activities to make new connections with peers and lecturers to expand your network. 

How to apply

Apply for this highly topical summer school via the website by 15 April 2024.




on site Monday 1 July - Friday 5 July 2024

online sessions before and afterwards

see more information on the website


€ 100 for students of University of Groningen, Stellenbosch University and

ENLIGHT students, 

€ 250 PhD students and students from external universities,

with the possibility of a waiver.

Travel and accommodation are not included in the above fees and are at the participants' own expense.


15 April 2024