Giving Compass' Take:

• Kristen Parker reports that research suggests that political polarization has been getting worse since the 1970's, and will continue to do so. 

• How can funders work to reduce polarization? What does polarisation mean in the long-term?

• Learn how funders can work to increase confidence in American democracy

Political party polarization in the United States is even worse than most people think, according to a new study.

And since it doesn’t much matter which party is in charge, neither one can be said to shoulder the blame, says Zachary Neal, associate professor of psychology and global urban studies at Michigan State University.

“Today, we’ve hit the ceiling on polarization…”

“What I’ve found is that polarization has been steadily getting worse since the early 1970s,” says Neal.

The study, which appears in Social Networks, shows that although legislators introduce thousands of bills each year, the average representative or senator co-sponsors only about 200. And when they decide with whom to co-sponsor bills, they view nearly half of their colleagues as “the opposition.”

While it’s hard to imagine incivility among Democrats and Republicans getting worse, it likely will, Neal says, especially if one party barely holds the majority.

Read the full article about political polarisation by Kristen Parker at Futurity.