Increasing Ideological Polarization

This module provides a roadmap to understanding primary drivers of the increase in nationalism and polarization, both domestically and globally.

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Resource List

These resources provide a baseline of understanding, but as the strategic environment continues to evolve, new data will become available.


  • National Intelligence Council: The National Intelligence Council (NIC) supports the Director of National Intelligence in the role as head of the Intelligence Community (IC) and is the IC’s center for long-term strategic analysis. The NIC publishes many reports, including a quadrennial trends publication that includes information on changes in the global political environment.
  • Pew Research Center: Pew produces a broad range of research products and trend reporting on specific topics within the fields of politics and social issues, both globally and domestically. Information on research studies and publications can be found at:

Recent Publications and Journal Articles:

  • Global Trends: Paradox of Progress: A publication of the NIC, this trends report includes references to instability in the Middle East as continuing to build momentum for terrorist organizations. It also includes a region-by-region highlight of trends over the next five years, which expands on issues specific to the region.
  • Populism and Global Engagement: Europe, North America and Emerging Economies: A Pew Research Center presentation examines how populism and the corresponding skepticism toward international trade and immigration have grown in European and U.S. politics in recent years. They contrast this with emerging economies, which are still interested in expanding their international engagement.
  • The Dangerous Rise of Populism: Global Attacks on Human Rights Values: A publication of Human Rights Watch, this report discusses the potential effect of rising populism and nationalism on human rights, both within a country and throughout the world. It highlights countries that have seen a rise in populist politicians.

Other Resources:

These materials were developed as an initiative of the Advanced Thinking in Homeland Security (HSx) curriculum at the Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

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