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Matthijs Rooduijn

Matthijs Rooduijn

NIAS Theme Group fellow

Project title

Theatre and democracy: Can narratives of empathy and tolerance reduce prejudice and polarization?

Project description

How has European politics undergone transformation, particularly in relation to elections, political parties, and representation? Given the fundamental challenges faced by European democracies, such as climate change, immigration, and digitalization, it is crucial to seek solutions to these issues. This NIAS Theme Group focuses on exploring the dynamics of progressive politics within European democracies.

As a member of the theme group, Matthijs Rooduijn aims to investigate the potential of narratives promoting empathy and tolerance in bridging societal divides. These divisions pose a significant threat to the social fabric of our societies and the foundations of liberal democracy. Rooduijn will examine whether arts-based interventions, such as reading books, watching movies, or experiencing theatre plays, can foster positive attitudes towards outgroups and thereby strengthen democracy.

Selected publications

Bakker, B. N., Schumacher, G., & Rooduijn, M. (2021). Hot politics? Affective responses to political rhetoric. American Political Science Review, 115(1), 150-164.

Rooduijn, M. (2019). State of the field: How to study populism and adjacent topics? A plea for both more and less focus. European Journal of Political Research, 58(1), 362-372.

Rooduijn, M., & Burgoon, B. (2018). The paradox of well-being: do unfavorable socioeconomic and sociocultural contexts deepen or dampen radical left and right voting among the less well-off? Comparative Political Studies, 51(13), 1720-1753.