Bart Brandsma is a Dutch philosopher (social and political philosophy) with expertise in polarization, who works independently as a consultant and trainer throughout the Netherlands and Europe. He offers strong and practical answers to polarization. His polarization strategy – based on over 10 years of practical training of professionals and thorough practical study of the dynamics of polarization – brings new insights (do’s and don’ts) regarding people’s professional dealing with ‘us and them’ thinking.
With a small team of dedicated people, he trains and advises professionals – such as mayors, public prosecutors, policymakers, teachers, school heads, prison personnel and prison directors, radicalization experts and counterterrorism teams, police professionals, municipality workers, youth and social workers, dialogue experts, communication advisors and journalists, etc. These professionals have one thing in common: their supposedly neutral or independent position in situations of polarization. Brandsma offers a strategy of depolarization: working from three fundamental insights, the five roles that people play in polarization, and four practical gamechangers. Itr could be called polarization ‘management’, as distinct from conflict management.
Brandsma recently published: Polarisation; the dynamics of us and them-thinking (English translation available by end 2017).