Podcast Ep. 12 – Jill Long Thompson

https://open.spotify.com/episode/59g2VM0fqjKS7B9bpJoa7q Jill Long Thompson has had a distinguished career in public service. She served three terms in Congress and was part of the Clinton and Obama administrations. Her new book The Character of American Democracy reflects on her experiences to explain the importance of ethics and character in politics. Our conversation discusses how character and…

E.B. White – On Democracy

My kids know E.B. White as the author of Charlotte’s Web. Both of my kids were expected to read this classic on their own. Some books are written for children to read rather than their parents to read to them. I held off reading The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham until…

Niccolò Machiavelli – Discourses on Livy

There is an old debate among political theorists regarding the meaning of Machiavelli’s political works. A careless reading of The Prince and Discourses on Livy give the impression they are written by two entirely different authors. Or perhaps it is the same person in two different points of their life with entirely different notions of…

Podcast Ep. 10 – Agnes Cornell and Svend-Erik Skaaning

https://open.spotify.com/episode/6rIZMaaV0OYZCe6GzzJlLz "History... is far too important a topic to be left just to historians," wrote Dankwart Rustow. The methods, techniques, and theories of political science are meant to have relevance in any historical era. So it is refreshing to hear Agnes Cornell and Svend-Erik Skaaning discuss democracy during the interwar period. They examine the critical…

Carl Schmitt – The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy

My generation has faced the Great Recession and now, a global pandemic, in our lifetime. I remember watching the visuals of the World Trade Center’s destruction on 9/11. Two presidents have been impeached and a presidential election was ultimately decided by the Supreme Court. My generation has endured both economic and political crises. And other…

Podcast Ep. 9 – John Gastil and Katherine Knobloch

https://open.spotify.com/episode/2jmYUcECO2Muz7taSjsr34 John Gastil and Katherine Knobloch are the authors of Hope for Democracy: How Citizens Can Bring Reason Back into Politics. Their book explains an experiment in democracy called the Citizens' Initiative Review (CIR). It incorporated the idea of delegative democracy into the initiative referendum process in Oregon. Everyday citizens were brought together to discuss…