Political polarization and the rural-urban divide

Kal Munis | 2023
Posted in: Rural/Urban Divide Strong Communities
Purchase →

This 6 page monograph from the Herbert Institute for Public Policy, Utah Valley University (named for former Utah Governor Gary R Herbert) explores handily key dimension of the urban-rural divide: shift from an economic politics to a social one, demographic composition, social ecological contexts, perceptions of geographic inequity that further politicizes rural identity, demise of local media, and possible policy interventions to ameliorate the divide. Kal Munis (PhD, University of Virginia), author of the monograph, is widely published on the politics of place, including influences of place on voter attitudes and behavior.

Focus of place – we all live in places, and also know other places – makes this short writing a useful exploration for reflecting on sources of partisanship in our locality and our state, our families and our regional communities. The concluding section, on possible policy interventions, suggests we must do more to ensure that public infrastructure that urban Americans accept as essential for 21st century living is available to rural Americans; to overcome the challenge of young people, and professionals (health, education, etc) leaving rural areas. The former appeals to a growing rural resentment of ‘being left behind’ for decades in which economic growth and rewards flowed highly disproportionately to urban populations. The latter appeals to effects of ‘being left behind’: youth and talent moving to urban areas, leaving behind disproportionately older and sicker households, households with disabilities, and households living in poverty. Braver Angels may be one national association able to bring together urban and rural ‘Angels’ to start these essential discussions.

The monograph may be read online, or a PDF obtained, at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1POTXg6GUMc5Kr18m9a6RprIGkZRnqk9b/view