Pitt’s Center for Governance and Markets receives $2.4 million to research social division


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The Cathedral of Learning from Schenley Plaza.

By Colm Slevin, Assistant News Editor

Researchers from Pitt’s Center for Governance and Markets won a three-year, $2.4 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation to research social division and polarization, according to a University news release.

Jennifer Murtazashvili, an associate professor of public and international affairs and founding director of CGM, and Paul Dragos Aligica, a professor of governance at the University of Bucharest, will investigate how increasing social divisions and values are creating discourse and shaping communities. 

They will combine survey data and field research from the Ukraine, Romania, Uzbekistan and the United States, while focusing on Rust Belt communities around Pittsburgh.

“This work is so important in our context of ever-increasing interconnectedness of systems and people across the globe, coupled with deepening divides across so many facets of our society,” Carissa Slotterback, GSPIA dean, said in the news release.

Amy Proulx, the director of individual freedom and free markets at the John Templeton Foundation, also said the foundation is “pleased to support this project, which will explore some of the most fundamental challenges to free societies.”