Prof. Boleslaw K. Szymanski presented the keynote talk at the Political Polarization Workshop on "Political Polarization in Legislative Branches" in Princeton University on August 9, 2019

Prof. Boleslaw K. Szymanski presented the keynote talk at the Political Polarization Workshop on "Political Polarization in Legislative Branches" lead by Prof. Simon Levin in Princeton University on August 9, 2019. The talk focused on challenges to understand political polarization in legislative houses of the U.S. and selected European Union countries. Then, we describe a formal model for competitive dynamics to quantify the evolution of polarization patterns in the legislative branch of the US government. Our model represents dynamics of polarization. From the evolution of polarization level as measured by the Rice index, our model extracts a hidden parameter–polarization utility which determines the convergence point of the polarization evolution. The increase in the polarization utility implied by the model strongly correlates with two current trends: growing polarization of voters and increasing influence of election campaign donors. Two largest peaks of the model’s polarization utility correlate with significant political or legislative changes happening at the same time. The model was validated by successfully predicting the direction of polarization changes in 28 out of 30 US Congresses elected in the past six decades. In the future we will apply this model to votes in legislative houses in U.K., Sweden and Czechoslovakia.