The OLIPOL project focuses on the culturalization of politics and the effects of social polarization on changing conceptions of human rights.
Under the influence of the social controversies of the last decade, there has been an increase in the social acceptability of denial of rights, stigmatization and stereotyping of foreigners, migrants, Muslims, Roma, and other marginalized groups. At the same time, human rights violations are being downplayed. Respect for equality and the universal validity of rights has disappeared, not only in social media, but also in representative bodies and in public at large. In the public debate, the emphasis on social progress and individual autonomy is being lost and paternalistic approaches to the formulation of values are being reinforced.
The context of these shifts is the so-called culture wars, i.e. polarizing disputes over memory, identity and social norms, values and beliefs. These disputes are also replacing disputes over socio-economic agendas, reforms and redistribution. In their context, the competing parties – politicians, but also the media and civil society – align themselves on one side or the other, exacerbating positions that subsequently make it impossible to pragmatically address various social challenges. One of the consequences of the heated rhetoric is precisely the breakdown of consensus on the social shift forward and its basic values, formulated, among other things, in terms of human rights.
The interdisciplinary research team of the OLIPOL project aims to identify the sources of polarizing themes, their genealogy, actors and practitioners, and to analyze the dynamics of polarizing events with regard to their implications in the construction of the so-called Others. The research team is collaborating with the non-governmental organization Nesehnutí to develop innovative (and educational) tools to reduce the negative consequences of polarization, improve prevention and maintain consensus in the society on the inviolability of human rights.