Study: Diversity + Proximity = Legislative War

Chateau Heartiste

Drop another social science study on the pile of studies affirming the CH maxim that diversity + proximity = war (by whichever means).

Keep your enemies close? Greater proximity to opponents leads to more polarization.

Encouraging adversaries to have more interpersonal contact to find common ground may work on occasion, but not necessarily in the U.S. Senate, according to new research.

In their study, “Pulling Closer and Moving Apart: Interaction, Identity, and Influence in the U.S. Senate, 1973 to 2009,” which appears in the February issue of the American Sociological Review, Sameer B. Srivastava, assistant professor, Haas Management of Organizations Group at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, and Christopher C. Liu, assistant professor of strategy at University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, studied the interactions among U.S. senators from the 1970s to the 2000s.

A pattern emerged. Senators either moved closer together or further apart in…

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