Democracy Works
Democracy Works
Penn State McCourtney Institute for Democracy
The Democracy Works podcast seeks to answer that question by examining a different aspect of democratic life each week — from voting to criminal justice to the free press and everything in between. We interview experts who study democracy, as well as people who are out there doing the hard work of democracy day in and day out. The show’s name comes from Pennsylvania’s long tradition of iron and steel works — people coming together to build things greater than the sum of their parts. We believe that democracy is the same way. Each of us has a role to play in building and sustaining a healthy democracy and our show is all about helping people understand what that means. Democracy Works is part of The Democracy Group, a network of podcasts that examines what’s broken in our democracy and how we can work together to fix it.
Year in review: Media, mental health, and threats to democracy
For our final episode of 2023, we revisit some of our episodes from throughout the year and reflect on what's in store for democracy in 2024.
Dec 18, 2023
45 min
Making Peace Visible: The state of democracy in India
This week, we're bringing you an episode from War Stories, Peace Stories, a podcast that helps us understand the human side of conflicts and peace efforts around the world
Dec 11, 2023
37 min
Does mandatory civic education increase voter turnout?
Two of our Penn State colleagues join us this week to discuss their recent findings on the connection between state-mandated civics tests and voter turnout.
Dec 4, 2023
39 min
A deep look at political loss
Democracy is sometimes described as "a system where political parties lose elections." That's true but doesn't capture the deeper feelings of grief and grievance associated with political loss. We dive into those emotions this week with Juliet Hooker of Brown University.
Nov 20, 2023
40 min
When populism and democracy collide
Cas Mudde, one of the world's leading experts in the study of populism and far-right politics, joins us this week to discuss the tensions between populism and democracy, and why populism has increased around world in recent years.
Nov 6, 2023
41 min
Understanding union voters
This week, we explore the shift of working class union voters from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party.
Oct 23, 2023
38 min
A conflict at the heart of our political disagreements
Penn State professors John Iceland and Eric Silver join us this week to discuss how the discrepancy between social order and social justice impedes political compromise and progress.
Oct 9, 2023
41 min
What can we learn from early democracies?
This week, we're handing the microphone to Penn State student Joey Picarillo for an interview about the rise and fall of early democracies and what lessons we can learn from them today.
Sep 25, 2023
33 min
Building better bureaucracy
We talk with technology expert Jennifer Pahlka about why government systems seem so bad — and how everyone can contribute to making them better.
Sep 18, 2023
45 min
Tim Miller on why Republicans stuck with Trump
Chris Beem talks with former Republican political operative Tim Miller about the party's loyalty to Donald Trump and where it might go in 2024 and beyond.
Sep 11, 2023
37 min
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