This is Episode 3 in CASBS's webcast series Social Science for a World in Crisis. Watch videos of previous episodes and learn more about them here.Previous episodes in this series explored the strains on governments’ ability to get things done in response to crises. The Covid pandemic has revealed, and indeed amplified, both weaknesses in state capacity and inequities in implementation. In the United States, the upsurge in public protest against police violence and racism is one response. Globally, populist and nationalist movements reflect public perceptions that states not only are failing their citizens but also governing in ways that are unfair, unjust, and even illegitimate.Polarization and intense domestic conflict can further erode public trust and confidence in a democratic polity. But what exactly is polarization, what are its forms, from where did it emerge, and why does it exist and persist? Are today’s contentious politics and conflicts the natural features of polities or expressions of problems that must be addressed in order to preserve democracy? Join Christian Davenport and Rachel Kleinfeld, major contributors on these questions, in conversation with moderator Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar.