Episode 23: Xiaoyu Pu

  China is a nation of contradictions. It is a developing economy that is an economic powerhouse. It is a rising power that is already a great power. It is a communist state that has embraced capitalism. The dualism of yin and yang is not simply an element of Chinese philosophy. It is a source... Continue Reading →

Episode 21: Amy Erica Smith

    Political Scientist Seymour Martin Lipset wrote, “A person who knows only one country doesn't know any country because you're not sensitized to what is unique, what is different, what is special about your country.” Brazil offers a parallel to the United States because it has a populist President who is active on social... 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 14: George Lawson

  This conversation explores revolutions. It is the second part of the episode arc "Resistance, Revolution, Democracy." George Lawson has examined revolutions from both a historical and sociological perspective. His book Anatomies of Revolution has influenced how many scholars think about revolutions. Our conversation explores revolutions many revolutions as a theoretical concept and as a... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

Podcast Ep. 9 – John Gastil and Katherine Knobloch

  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... Continue Reading →

Podcast Episode 8: Yael Tamir

  Yael Tamir is the author of Why Nationalism. We discuss Liberalism, Cosmopolitanism, and, of course, Nationalism. Since the end of World War II, Nationalism has largely been associated with the far right. Tamir believes this is a mistake and reimagines a path for the left to reclaim Nationalism through a realignment with Liberalism. Our... Continue Reading →

Episode 7: Joshua J. Dyck and Edward L. Lascher, Jr

In the seventh episode Joshua (Josh) and Edward (Ted) Lascher join me for a conversation about what they describe as "Direct Democracy's Secondary Effects." Their recent book Initiatives without Engagement focus on the effects of popular initiatives. An initiative is a distinct form of referendum where citizens propose a law or policy change typically through... Continue Reading →

Noam Lupu, Virginia Oliveros, and Luis Schiumerini – Campaigns and Voters in Developing Democracies

There is a necessary divide between political philosophy and political science. Politics as a philosophy examines political concepts as pure abstractions detached from the actual practice of politics. It helps to understand democracy, populism, and liberalism as concepts. But politics as a science examines its practice in the real world. Political science relies on data,... Continue Reading →

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