Best Political Science podcasts (Updated October 2018; image)
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David Axelrod, the founder and director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, brings you The Axe Files, a series of revealing interviews with key figures in the political world. Go beyond the soundbites and get to know some of the most interesting players in politics.
 
No Jargon, the Scholars Strategy Network’s weekly podcast, presents interviews with top university scholars on the politics, policy problems, and social issues facing the nation. Powerful research, intriguing perspectives -- and no jargon. Find show notes and plain-language research briefs on hundreds of topics at www.scholarsstrategynetwork.org/nojargon.
 
C
Civics 101
Weekly
 
Why does the U.S. have an Electoral College? How do congressional investigations work? What does the minority whip actually do? Civics 101 is the podcast refresher course on the basics of how our democracy works.
 
Welcome to the official free Podcast from SAGE for Political Science & International Relations. SAGE is a leading international publisher of journals, books, and electronic media for academic, educational, and professional markets with principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, and Singapore.
 
C
Cato Event Podcast
Weekly+
 
Podcast of policy and book forums, Capitol Hill briefings and other events from the Cato Institute
 
P
Party Politics
Weekly
 
A political podcast hosted by two political science professors, Brandon Rottinghaus from the University of Houston and Jay Aiyer from Texas Southern University. They’ll provide you with up-to-date politics and policy conversations for your next cocktail party and it’ll make you sound really smart!
 
A Good Run Podcast offers pieces of political history as personally experienced by Dan Feldman, a New York State legislator between 1981 and 1998 and current public management professor at John Jay College. The series includes revealing encounters between Feldman and such legendary New York political figures as Ed Koch, Mario Cuomo and John Lindsay, as well as with figures still prominent in American politics. His two children, Asher and Leah, take turns interviewing Dan about topics recount ...
 
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Mary Katharine Ham in journalist and conservative commentator on CNN. She joins David to discuss fake news, Nikki Haley, the cultural issues dividing the country, and the Republican Party's Faustian bargain with Donald Trump.
 
At the end of the Cold War, the United States was confident that it stood on the precipice of a new era of peace and prosperity as the world’s sole superpower. U.S. leaders adopted a strategy of primacy, aimed at discouraging others from challenging American power, and they sought to spread democracy and liberal economics within an American sph ...…
 
Two houses, both alike in...well, many things. But oh so different in many others. We go from absolute basics to the philosophical differences that exist in the Legislative branch. This episode features the opinions of former staffers from both chambers, Political Science professors, and political analysts. Also, Brady Carlson tells the tale of ...…
 
Khizr Khan is a Gold Star father best known for his iconic speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention honoring his late son, Humayan Khan, a U.S. Army captain killed in the Iraq War. He joins David to discuss what led him from poverty in Pakistan to the pursuit of law in the United States, the experiences that informed his belief in Amer ...…
 
Paid family leave has become an issue of national significance, and some policymakers think the federal policy status quo is insufficient. As a result, in 2017 congressional Democrats proposed funding leave through payroll taxes on businesses and workers, and the Trump administration suggested providing paid parental leave through state unemplo ...…
 
With Election Day less than a month away, campaign finance reports are due. Some candidates are raking in big money and others are flat broke. “Party Politics” podcast hosts Brandon Rottinghaus and Jay Aiyer comb the finance reports to see who is up and who is down, and talk about what these reports might mean for the electoral chances of the c ...…
 
College campuses are full of conversations about politics and policy. But many of these college students don’t turn out when it actually matters, on Election Day. Nancy Thomas explores what gets students to vote and how college administrators, faculty members, and students can improve voting rates on their campuses. Check out the report co-auth ...…
 
Ana Navarro, GOP strategist and political commentator for CNN, joins David to talk about how her Nicaraguan upbringing shapes her view of U.S. immigration policy, the impact of the evolving landscape of the Republican Party and what she dubs the “Trumpification” of the GOP, and how the increasingly tribal nature of our politics is shaping insti ...…
 
Like many Americans, Randal O’Toole loves passenger trains, yet he acknowledges that intercity passenger trains and — outside of the New York region — urban rail transit play little role in American life today. The replacement of passenger trains with cars, buses, and airplanes is similar to many other recent technological replacements: word pr ...…
 
Midterm elections don't have the glitz or drama of presidential campaigning. They're full of aldermen and comptrollers, state senators and governors. These offices seem meager next to national government. But most of the time, it's state and local officials that have the most palpable impact on our lives and on our future elections. In episode ...…
 
Steven Pearlstein is a Pulitzer Prize-winning business and economics columnist for The Washington Post. He joins David to chat about his beginnings in business writing, how to interpret the country’s record levels of deficit and present state of the economy, and the potential impact Brett Kavanaugh will have on the Supreme Court. They also disc ...…
 
The race for Texas Attorney General between incumbent Ken Paxton and his Democratic Challenger Justin Nelson is heating up. With Paxton under the cloud of a criminal indictment and a series of controversial court filings challenging Obamacare and supporting the internment of immigrant children, a normally sleepy race for AG has become increasin ...…
 
Casting a ballot seems as American as apple pie. But in Florida, one in ten people have had their voting rights taken away because of a criminal conviction. Professor Ciara Torres-Spelliscy dives into the history of Florida’s voting system, how ex-felons get their rights back, and what Florida voters can do to help.…
 
Chuck Todd is a longtime political journalist and current host of NBC's Meet the Press. He joins David to talk about his father’s struggle with alcoholism and the impact of his premature death; the celebrification of politics and the 21st-century media strategy he thinks works; and what he believes to be both Donald Trump’s greatest strength an ...…
 
Urban rail and bus transit ridership are declining, says Randal O’Toole, one of the nation’s leading critics of transit subsidies. Between the growth of ride hailing and the impending introduction of driverless ride hailing, O’Toole predicts that transit ridership outside of New York City and a handful of other urban areas will disappear by 203 ...…
 
Today we launch our five-part series on the midterm elections! Keith Hughes, creator of Hip History, tells us the five things he thinks every American should know about midterms and why they matter. Each episode in this series concludes with a snapshot of an historic US Midterm election, delivered by Brady Carlson. Today, it's 1826: Good Feelin ...…
 
Something has been going wrong on many college campuses in the past few years. Rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide are rising. Speakers are shouted down. Students and professors say they are walking on eggshells and are afraid to speak honestly. How did this happen?First Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Hai ...…
 
Transit ridership is declining nationwide despite billions of dollars in federal subsidies, observes Randal O’Toole, one of the nation’s leading critics of the transit industry. He argues that the federal government should stop subsidizing a dying industry. Jarrett Walker — one of the most innovative thinkers in the transit community — disagree ...…
 
Montana Governor Steve Bullock joins the show to discuss the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, how Democrats can win back voters in rural states, his work on the opiod epidemic, money in politics, and more.
 
The internet and social media were supposed to radically democratize news and information — yet many observers now worry that they are undermining the preconditions for healthy democracies. Misinformation peddled by conspiracy theorists, unscrupulous clickbaiters, and even intelligence agencies spreads around the globe at the speed of light, wh ...…
 
Note: This episode was recorded Thursday morning during Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony and before Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony. Brett Kavanaugh is under fire during confirmation hearings for an alleged sexual assault that took place while he was in high school. Meanwhile, in Houston, the firefighters union and Mayor Sylv ...…
 
The Trump administration has taken a hardline approach toward Pakistan, cutting military and security aid throughout 2018 and accusing Pakistan of not doing enough to combat militants operating on its soil. Pakistan, however, maintains that it has eliminated all safe havens and that the United States is unfairly targeting the country.Washington ...…
 
In early May 2013, an online open-source organization called Defense Distributed released design files for the Liberator, the world’s first completely 3D-printable single-shot handgun. In just two days, the plans were downloaded more than 100,000 times.Within days, the United States Department of State demanded that Defense Distributed take dow ...…
 
Thirty states have laws legalizing marijuana in some form, and come November four more states may join their ranks through ballot initiatives. But these new laws often do little to help people who have past marijuana convictions. Professor Douglas Berman describes this disconnect and what states and the federal government can do to address it. ...…
 
Roberta Jacobson is an American diplomat who served as the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico until May of 2018. She joins David to discuss the diplomatic tension between the U.S. and Mexico, the Trump administration's relationship with the United Nations, her work normalizing relations with Cuba under the Obama administration, and more.…
 
Recent political tumult and the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency have driven anxious commentators to lament the collapse of a post-1945 liberal world order. Invoking the supposed institution building and multilateralism of the last 70 years, the order’s defenders urge U.S. leaders to restore a battered tradition, uphold economic ...…
 
Passed in 1978, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) was intended to stop abusive practices by state and federal officials, who often removed Native American children from their families without sufficient justification. But today, ICWA is the subject of litigation in federal and state courts by challengers who argue that it imposes race-based r ...…
 
Innovations in aerial technology present regulators, lawmakers, and entrepreneurs with numerous challenges and opportunities.Although there have been advances in supersonic engine technology, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) 1970s ban on overland supersonic flights remains in place. Flytenow, an online flight-sharing company seeking ...…
 
Innovations in aerial technology present regulators, lawmakers, and entrepreneurs with numerous challenges and opportunities.Although there have been advances in supersonic engine technology, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) 1970s ban on overland supersonic flights remains in place. Flytenow, an online flight-sharing company seeking ...…
 
Innovations in aerial technology present regulators, lawmakers, and entrepreneurs with numerous challenges and opportunities.Although there have been advances in supersonic engine technology, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) 1970s ban on overland supersonic flights remains in place. Flytenow, an online flight-sharing company seeking ...…
 
Innovations in aerial technology present regulators, lawmakers, and entrepreneurs with numerous challenges and opportunities.Although there have been advances in supersonic engine technology, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) 1970s ban on overland supersonic flights remains in place. Flytenow, an online flight-sharing company seeking ...…
 
Borrowed Time: Two Centuries of Booms, Busts, and Bailouts at Citi explores the alarming, untold story of Citigroup, one of the largest financial institutions in the world. The book follows Citi from its founding as the City Bank of New York in 1812 to its role in the 2008 financial crisis — and its many near-death experiences and government ba ...…
 
Peter Sagal is the author of The Incomplete Book of Running and host of NPR's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. He joins David to discuss a variety of topics including getting passed on by the Harvard Lampoon, appearing on Jeopardy as struggling writer in Los Angeles, his early work as a playwright, and crossing the finish line just minutes before the ...…
 
In his sweeping 1996 Cato book, Oil, Gas and Government: The U.S. Experience, Rob Bradley described a century of political capitalism in the energy industry. In recent years, leading energy entrepreneurs such as Ken Lay (Enron), John Browne (BP), Jeffrey Immelt (GE) and, most recently, Elon Musk (Tesla) continue the clammy pursuit of wealth via ...…
 
With three debates in 2 weeks, the U.S. Senate race is going to be front and center in everyone’s mind. Podcast hosts Brandon Rottinghaus and Jay Aiyer give you a 6-minute primer on what to listen for in the debates between Republican Senator Ted Cruz and his Democratic opponent, Congressman Beto O’Rourke. NATIONAL TOPICS -Paul Manafort takes a ...…
 
In face of ongoing threats to its environment, California has taken big steps to protect its nature and wildlife. Professor David Vogel lays out California’s history as an environmental leader, how it plans to continue its green streak, and what other states - and the federal government - can learn from California’s policy innovation. Read Voge ...…
 
Bob Shrum is a longtime Democratic campaign strategist and speechwriter. He joins David to discuss his new Institute for the Political Future, volunteering for Citizens for Kennedy as a college student, how to marry a candidate with a message, and much more.
 
Please join us for an address from the Right Honourable Liz Truss, MP, the United Kingdom’s Chief Secretary to the Treasury. In her remarks, Truss will discuss economic policy on both sides of the Atlantic and will explain how attempts to insulate industries from changing demands and innovations make us poorer. Truss will issue a rallying cry t ...…
 
Cato's annual Constitution Day symposium marks the day in 1787 that the Constitutional Convention finished drafting the U.S. Constitution. We celebrate that event each year with the release of the new issue of the Cato Supreme Court Review and with a day-long symposium featuring noted scholars discussing the recently concluded Supreme Court ter ...…
 
Cato's annual Constitution Day symposium marks the day in 1787 that the Constitutional Convention finished drafting the U.S. Constitution. We celebrate that event each year with the release of the new issue of the Cato Supreme Court Review and with a day-long symposium featuring noted scholars discussing the recently concluded Supreme Court ter ...…
 
Cato's annual Constitution Day symposium marks the day in 1787 that the Constitutional Convention finished drafting the U.S. Constitution. We celebrate that event each year with the release of the new issue of the Cato Supreme Court Review and with a day-long symposium featuring noted scholars discussing the recently concluded Supreme Court ter ...…
 
Cato's annual Constitution Day symposium marks the day in 1787 that the Constitutional Convention finished drafting the U.S. Constitution. We celebrate that event each year with the release of the new issue of the Cato Supreme Court Review and with a day-long symposium featuring noted scholars discussing the recently concluded Supreme Court ter ...…
 
Cato's annual Constitution Day symposium marks the day in 1787 that the Constitutional Convention finished drafting the U.S. Constitution. We celebrate that event each year with the release of the new issue of the Cato Supreme Court Review and with a day-long symposium featuring noted scholars discussing the recently concluded Supreme Court ter ...…
 
Deval Patrick, former Governor of Massachusetts and civil rights lawyer, author, and businessman, sits down for a special televised edition of The Axe Files on CNN. He talks with David about his upbringing in the South Side of Chicago, the significance of the 2018 and 2020 elections, his take on the Trump administration, and whether or not he p ...…
 
Sweden is a remarkably successful country. A poor peasant nation in the 1850s, it became one of the world’s richest countries a century later. It ranks among the world’s freest developed nations. Should the United States be more like Sweden? The documentary Sweden: Lessons for America? delves into aspects of Swedish politics and society that ma ...…
 
With recent polling showing that races thought to be trending Republican as suddenly competitive, control of the U.S. Senate might be shifting. Podcast hosts Brandon Rottinghaus and Jay Aiyer analyze three of the most talked about Senate races in the country—Florida, Arizona, and Texas. NATIONAL TOPICS: - Hurricane Florence—the strange politics ...…
 
The government fights forest fires, protects us from foreign invasion, helps people go to college, and so much more. But Americans’ opinions of the government are increasingly negative. Professor Suzanne Mettler dives into why people don’t believe the government benefits them, even when it does, and how to bridge this disconnect between the gov ...…
 
Susan Glasser is a preeminent political journalist with nearly three decades of reporting experience spanning foreign policy, domestic politics, and war correspondence. She joins David to talk about her experience as co-chief of the Washington Post’s Moscow bureau under the auspices of the early Putin regime; what she gleaned from conducting th ...…
 
A key question in debates over Obamacare is whether its community rating provisions are necessary to provide complete risk protection to consumers. A new study of one insurer by Anthony LoSasso and colleagues finds that the insurer did increase premiums for small employers whose expected claims were above average, but the increase in premiums o ...…
 
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