Karl Marx – Capitalism, Volume III

It is a challenge to read through the three volumes of Marx’s Capital. Few people do it anymore. Political scientists and philosophers of past generations were intimately familiar with the writings of Marx. The existence of the Soviet Union gave Marx a perpetual relevance in the politics of the era. The fall of the Soviet... Continue Reading →

Episode 19: Barbara Freese

Democratic values are about more than politics. They permeate throughout society and into the economy. Barbara Freese has examined how corporate leaders have not lived up to these values. She offers examples like the tobacco industry, the use of lead in gasoline, and global warming to demonstrate how they have avoided not just accountability but... Continue Reading →

Episode 18: Paul Robinson

The Russian interference in the 2016 American Presidential election brought Russia to the forefront of conversations about international relations. But it has also given us a one-dimensional view of this complex country. Today’s conversation is about Russian Conservatism with historian Paul Robinson. We talk about conservatism as an ideology, we talk about its history, and... Continue Reading →

Episode 17: John Matsusaka

  The United States has a long tradition of direct democracy through referendums dating back to the early years of the republic. Nearly every state today has some form of referendums or ballot initiatives. Yet the United States has never had a national referendum. John Matsusaka points out that from a comparative perspective, this is... Continue Reading →

Chantal Mouffe – On the Political

Condescension toward political polarization begins from a position of privilege. It requires an expectation of inclusion within the political process. Elites assume polarization is a problem with a simple cure. But the reality is it is a symptom of deeper systemic problems without simple solutions. Polarization is a manifestation of the politics of exclusion. It... Continue Reading →

Episode 16: Don F. Kettl

Federalism has become marginalized in academic literature. Everybody knows the United States depends on a federal system, but few talk about it. The nationalization of politics makes federalism feel esoteric and obsolete. My conversation with Donald Kettl explains why federalism remains vibrant and relevant. And it is necessary to understand American politics today as much... Continue Reading →

Suzanne Mettler & Robert C. Lieberman – Four Threats

Polarization has become known as the great challenge for American Democracy in the Twenty-First Century. Suzanne Mettler and Robert Lieberman include it among their Four Threats. So long as polarization is portrayed as a problem, the solution remains simple, although difficult to achieve. The solution to polarization is described as compromise and moderation. But what... Continue Reading →

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