Political and social polarization in the United States: A view from Texas

Webinar · 27.11.2023 16:00 - 17:00

Political and social polarization in the United States: A view from Texas

Monday, 27 November 2023, at 16:00-17:00 EET/15:00-16:00 CET

On this year’s Veterans Day holiday (11 November), Donald Trump used his social media platform to “pledge…that we will root out the Communists, Marxists, Racists, and Radical Left Thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our Country, lie, steal, and cheat on Elections, and will do anything possible, whether legally or illegally, to destroy America, and the American Dream.” While some prominent political commentators and historians were quick to denounce his remarks as especially “incendiary” and “dehumanizing,” others lamented that they were just another manifestation of the deepening polarization of US politics and society. 

At the national level, examples of political and social polarization are often reflected in Congressional gridlock and precedent-shattering Supreme Court rulings. In the run-up to the November 2024 general election, Transatlantic Currents intends to explore how polarization has taken hold at the state and local levels, as well.

For our first episode on this theme, we will discuss developments in Texas. Already ranked in 2020 as one of the most polarized states, Texas has become a battleground for some of the most politically and socially fraught issues—such as abortion rights, gun violence, immigration, and the conduct of elections—that now dominate the national political debate.      

Register to follow the webinar here.


Opening words

Maria Lindén

Research Fellow, FIIA

Maria Lindén is a Research Fellow at the Center on US Politics and Power of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. She is also a PhD student at the University of Tampere, the author of the narrative non-fiction book Trumpin kansa (Trump’s People, published by Into Kustannus, 2020) and a former news journalist. Her main area of expertise is the United States’ domestic politics, and her current research focuses on the crisis of liberal democracy in the present-day United States, especially electoral manipulation. She lived in Boston from 2015 to 2019, working as a freelance journalist covering American politics for the Finnish News Agency and other Finnish media outlets.


Eleanor Klibanoff

Reporter, Texas Tribune

Eleanor Klibanoff is the Texas Tribune women’s health reporter, based in Austin. Since joining the Tribune in 2021, she has covered abortion, maternal health care, gender-based violence and LGBTQ issues, among other topics. Klibanoff previously worked with the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting in Louisville, where she reported, produced and hosted the podcast “Dig,” which was nominated for the prestigious Peabody Award in 2022. She also has worked at National Public Radio and public radio stations in Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Missouri. Her articles are accessible at: https://www.texastribune.org/about/staff/eleanor-klibanoff/


Leo Michel

Non-Resident Fellow, FIIA

Leo Michel is Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. His previous government positions included: Distinguished Research Fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies; Director for NATO Policy and Director for Non-Nuclear Arms Control in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Deputy U.S. Representative to the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Consultative Commission as well as other government positions. Michel holds a M.A. from Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies and a B.A. from Princeton University.