ISET Policy Institute hosts ‘Polarization Harms’ event; presents Media (de)Polarization index
Thursday, 21 March, 2024

On March 21st, the ISET Policy Institute convened the 'Polarization Harms' event at Hotel Stamba, welcoming esteemed scholars and experts to delve into the repercussions of media polarization. With Sweden’s support and sponsorship, the event served as a platform to present the Media (de)Polarization Index, a crucial tool in understanding the evolving landscape of media polarization since 2020.

The event commenced with welcome notes from Dr Tamar Sulukhia, Director of ISET and ISET Policy Institute, along with the esteemed presence of HE Anna Lyberg, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden to Georgia, and HE Asunción Sánchez Ruiz, Chargée d’affaires of the EU Delegation to Georgia.

Insights into the impact of polarization were shared by distinguished scholars from the United States, including Dr Jennifer McCoy, Nonresident Scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Professor of Political Science at Georgia State University, along with Dr Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili, also a Nonresident Scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Professor of Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Davit Keshelava, Lead Economist at the ISET Policy Institute, unveiled the Media (de)Polarization Index, as a proxy of political polarization measure, providing attendees with a comprehensive understanding of its significance in assessing polarization trends.

The seminar further delved into discussions led by prominent voices from European and Georgian think tanks. Dr Natalie Sabanadze, Senior Research Fellow at Chatham House, UK, Dr Tinatin Akhvlediani, Research Fellow at CEPS, Belgium, Dr Maia Mikashavidze, Professor of Media and Communication at GIPA and Project Director at Internews Network, Georgia, Ms Teona Macharashvili of Caucasus Open Space (COS), Georgia, and Dr Kornely Kakachia, Professor of Political Sciences at Tbilisi State University and Director of the Georgian Institute of Politics, engaged in a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Tamar Sulukhia of ISET.

The panel and participants with a diverse array of perspectives and expertise, underscored the urgency of addressing and mitigating the detrimental effects of polarization on Georgian society, political and policy space.