Our Common Bonds shows that—although there is no silver bullet that will eradicate partisan animosity—there are concrete interventions that can reduce it. Matthew Levendusky argues that partisan animosity stems in part from partisans’ misperceptions of one another. Democrats and Republicans think they have nothing in common, but this is not true. Drawing on survey and experimental evidence, the book shows that it is possible to help partisans reframe the lens through which they evaluate the out-party by priming commonalities—specifically, shared identities outside of politics, cross-party friendships, and common issue positions and values identified through civil cross-party dialogue. Doing so lessons partisan animosity, and it can even reduce ideological polarization. The book discusses what these findings mean for real-world efforts to bridge the partisan divide.
University of Chicago Press