The Better Conflict Year-in-Review - BCB #81
Our best issues on media, identity, conflict entrepreneurs, Israel/Palestine, and the fundamentals of conflict.
It’s been a big year for the BCB, with much growth and change. To wrap it up, we collected our most interesting issues of 2023, selecting both reader and editor favorites in five categories.
Media is where much of the culture war takes place, and favorable coverage is a contested prize.
Simply denying the other side the right to speak is a popular fantasy. But even when it becomes a reality, it often fails on its own terms.
A reader favorite. Maybe quarantining misinformation is only a band-aid solution, while the root cause is institutional mistrust.
The American conflict is riddled with clashes of identity, particularly in areas like race and LGBTQ+ rights.
The attempted canceling of Coleman Hughes’s defense of color blindness showcases the complexities of the affirmative action debate, and the defensive reactions to an important political discussion.
One of our most popular issues asks a fundamental question: Where does Red stand on LGBTQ+ support? The short answer is that while support has generally increased over the decades, the transgender debate has created a rift.
3. Conflict Entrepreneurs
Conflict entrepreneurs are individuals who escalate conflict for political benefit.
Long before Jordan Peterson was drawn into the sensationalism of social media, the controversial scholar showed a careful understanding of conflict in his philosophical texts.
Tucker Carlson, once a primetime host, was booted from Fox News this year. Many hate him, but why do so many others love him?
Quickly emerging as the defining conflict of 2023, the distant war in the Middle East is opening new fault lines in American politics.
American Jews are increasingly aligning with Red, while deep divides are appearing within Blue.
Here’s a toolkit for those not directly involved – American bystanders who are watching a faraway war divide their communities at home.
One way or another, we touch on polarization every week; here are two issues devoted to understanding it.
Our understanding of polarization has evolved across three generations: from a disease of the elite, to mass affective polarization of citizens, to the use of polarization for political gain by conflict entrepreneurs.
A big thank you to all our readers for supporting our journey for another year. If you like our work, please share it — this is the number one thing you can do to ensure we can keep publishing.
We wish you all a wonderful new year ahead, filled with health and thriving. May all your conflicts be better conflicts!