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Sung Yeon Choimorrow is the executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, whose mission is to elevate AAPI women and girls to impact policy and drive systemic change in the United States. We discuss age-old and hardened stereotypes, changing the narrative about who Asian-Americans are, and activating Asian communities to take civic action.The term model minority was coined by a white sociologist to pit Japanese Americans against Black Americans. Many Asian-Americans have used the model minority myth to protect them, though in the end it does not insulate them from discrimination and racism. In fact, the objectification of Asian women for entertainment persists, and Asian-Americans are perpetually seen as foreign. Follow Sung Yeon on Twitter: Mila on Twitter: Future Hindsight on Instagram: InformationFuture Hindsight PodcastMore shows from The Democracy Group
When you hear people talk in such disparaging tones, that everything is broken, that nothing is possible, you need to ask yourself, is that right? When you look around, the answer is no. There are these examples where things do go right, where people work together and create a neighborhood or a community for themselves in which they can be prosperous and build better lives. And that's really what the democratic project is all about.Evan LiebermanA full transcript is available at Lieberman is a Professor of Political Science and Contemporary Africa at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Director of the MIT Global Diversity Lab, and the faculty director of the MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI). He is the coauthor with Rorisang Lekalake of the recent article "South Africa's Resilient Democracy" in the Journal of Democracy and author of the forthcoming book Until We Have Won Our Liberty: South Africa after Apartheid.Key HighlightsWhy is Evan Lieberman optimistic about democracy in South AfricaRole of Nelson Mandela on South Africa's democracyImportance of South Africa for democracy in the worldAccount of the housing community EthembalethuWhat the 2019 election says about democracy in South AfricaKey LinksUntil We Have Won Our Liberty: South Africa after Apartheid by Evan Lieberman"South Africa’s Resilient Democracy" by Evan Lieberman and Rorisang Lekalake in Journal of DemocracyLearn more about Evan Lieberman at www.evanlieberman.orgFollow Evan Lieberman on Twitter @evliebDemocracy in Hard Places edited by Scott Mainwaring and Tarek MasoudAdditional InformationDemocracy Paradox PodcastMore shows from The Democracy Group
Over the next few weeks, the bipartisan House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol is holding a series of historic hearings to shed light on the events leading up to and on January 6, 2021.During the hearings,  “Swamp Stories” is having a special series to bring listeners in-depth analysis by some of the country’s leading political experts on what we are learning and how the country is reacting.In the first episode of the series, host Weston Wamp speaks with Dick Gephardt, former House Majority Leader from Missouri, and member of Issue One’s ReFormers Caucus and the National Council on Election Integrity.Additional InformationSwamp Stories PodcastMore shows from The Democracy Group
In this reported series, Jenna Spinelle tells the stories of activists, legislators, academics, and average citizens who changed their cities, states, and the country by taking important issues directly to votes — like Medicaid expansion in Idaho, sentencing reform in California, and LGBTQ workplace protections in Ohio.  From The McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State, When the People Decide explores the pros and cons of this largely overlooked tool of government and its impact in the last half century. Learn more about the podcast at, subscribe in your podcast app, and follow the show on Twitter @PeopleDecidePod.
Every day on social media and cable TV, in newspapers and magazines, we're told that we live in a red-versus-blue world of rigid divides. Our podcast guest, Tony Woodlief, begs to differ."In reality, most people fall somewhere in the middle, or else have a complex blend of views from both sides of the aisle, Tony tells us. His new book "I, Citizen" uses polling data, political history, and on-the-ground reporting to make the case that party activists and partisans are attempting to undermine the freedom of Americans to govern themselves and make decisions that have a direct impact on their lives. Many people have fallen for a false narrative promoted by leaders of political parties, academia, media, and government, that we're all team red or team blue, he argues. In this episode, we learn a different perspective and discuss how all of us can find common ground in our local neighborhoods and national discourse.Additional InformationLet's Find Common Ground PodcastMore shows from The Democracy Group
In 100% Democracy: The Case for Universal Voting, E.J. Dionne and Miles Rapoport argue that all members of a democracy must participate in elections. Universal voting would be the surest way to protect against voter suppression and the active disenfranchisement of a large share of our citizens. And it would create a system true to the Declaration of Independence's aspirations by calling for a government based on the consent of all of the governed.The system works in Australia, but can it work in the United States? Would it become just another tool in partisan warfare? Can American democracy even handle something like universal voting? We explore those questions this week.Dionne is is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, university professor at Georgetown University, and visiting professor at Harvard University.  He is the author of Code Red: How Progressives and Moderates Can Unite to Save Our Country.Rapoport is the Senior Practice Fellow in American Democracy at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School. He formerly served in the Connecticut state legislature and as secretary of the state. He also served as president of Demos and of Common Cause.100% Democracy: The Case for Universal VotingAdditional InformationDemocracy Works PodcastMore shows from The Democracy GroupFaith, Nationalism, and the Future of Liberal DemocracyDemocracy and the language of faith - article in Democracy Journal
After a hiatus, Another Way is back! In this episode, Larry Lessig speaks with Bill Galson, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and Co-Founder of No Labels. The two discuss the origins of No Labels, the rise of political polarization in Congress and whether democracy reform is needed to combat it, and if and how the filibuster should be reformed. Lessig and Galson also tackle the infamous No Label phone call leak and in what ways reform organizations should spend their money in the political process.Context for the No Labels phone call leak: InformationAnother Way PodcastMore shows from The Democracy Group
How do societies respond to great demographic change? This question lingers over the contemporary politics of the United States and other countries where persistent immigration has altered populations and may soon produce a majority minority milestone. Or where the original ethnic or religious majority loses its numerical advantage to one or more foreign-origin minority groups. Until now, most of our knowledge about large-scale responses to demographic change has been based on studies of individual people’s reactions, which tend to be instinctively defensive and intolerant. We know little about why and how these habits are sometimes tempered to promote more successful coexistence.Dr. Justin Gest is an Associate Professor of Policy and Government at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. He is the author of six books, primarily on the politics of immigration and demographic change—all from Oxford University Press or Cambridge University Press. Dr. Gest's research has been published in journals including the British Journal of Politics and International Relations, Comparative Political Studies, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Global Governance, Global Policy, International Migration Review, Migration Studies, Polity, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He is the editor of Silent Citizenship: The Politics of Marginality in Unequal Democracies (Routledge, 2016), special issues of Citizenship Studies, and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.He has also provided commentary, analysis, or reporting to a number of broadcast networks, including ABC, BBC, CBC, CNN, and NPR, and news publications including The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, POLITICO, Reuters, The Times, Vox, and The Washington Post.Additional InformationThe Village SquareCast PodcastMore shows from The Democracy Group
There's something natural and organic about perceiving that the people in power are out to advance their own interests. It's in part because it’s often true. Governments actually do keep secrets from the public. Politicians engage in scandals. There often is corruption at high levels. So, we don't want citizens in a democracy to be too trusting of their politicians. It's healthy to be skeptical of the state and its real abuses and tendencies towards secrecy. The danger is when this distrust gets redirected, not toward the state, but targets innocent people who are not actually responsible for people's problems.Scott RadnitzSupport Democracy Paradox on Patreon for bonus episodes and exclusive updates and information. A full transcript is available at*Please note during the interview the host says "conspiracy" rather than "conspiracy theory." The transcript has been corrected.*Scott Radnitz is an associate professor of Russian and Eurasian Studies at the University of Washington and the director of the Ellison Center for Russian, Eastern European, and Central Asian Studies. He is the author of Revealing Schemes: The Politics of Conspiracy in Russia and the Post-Soviet Region and coeditor with Harris Mylonas of the forthcoming book Enemies Within: The Global Politics of Fifth Columns. His article “Why Democracy Fuels Conspiracy Theories” was recently published in the Journal of Democracy.Key HighlightsConspiracy theories Russia uses to justify their invasion of UkraineWhy Russia relies on conspiracy theories in its political rhetoricThe use of conspiracy theories in democracies and autocraciesThe recent proliferation of conspiracy theories in the United StatesHow to mitigate the harmful effects of conspiracy theories in politicsKey Links"Why Democracy Fuels Conspiracy Theories" by Scott Radnitz in Journal of DemocracyRevealing Schemes: The Politics of Conspiracy in Russia and the Post-Soviet Region by Scott RadnitzEnemies Within: The Global Politics of Fifth Columns edited by Harris Mylonas and Scott RadnitzAdditional InformationDemocracy Paradox PodcastMore shows from The Democracy Group
Evan Burfield joins The Great Battlefield podcast to talk about his career as an entrepreneur, investor and author. And his work co-founding Helm, where with co-founder Emma Bloomberg, he has 90 people working to provide pro-democracy organizers and education and other advocates and activists with data, tools and software.Additional InformationThe Great Battlefield PodcastMore shows from The Democracy Group
Entering the United States without permission is a crime. But should it be? This time on the show, we hear from a couple of lawyers who have been fighting to decriminalize unauthorized immigration. They say federal law unfairly targets Latin Americans — locking up hundreds of thousands of migrants who cross America’s southern border, costing billions of dollars each year. Plus, Will speaks with a University of Virginia historian who has helped make the case that those laws have patently racist origins.Additional InformationDemocracy in Danger PodcastMore shows from The Democracy Group
Marie Yovanovitch is the former Ambassador to Ukraine and best-selling author of her memoir, Lessons from the Edge. In a live event for Big Tent USA, we discuss the powers of diplomacy, the corrosive effects of corruption, and the war in Ukraine.Her memoir details her illustrious career, her courage and integrity, and her patriotic dedication and service to the United States. She exemplifies how career diplomats – public servants – serve their country, Republican or Democratic administrations alike. US democracy is closely tied to its diplomacy. When the country is strong, our democracy is strong.Find  Lessons from the Edge: A Memoir: InformationFuture Hindsight PodcastMore shows from The Democracy Group
Women are underrepresented in American political institutions, despite the positive track record of women in office and the willingness of voters to support women candidates. Gender differences in political ambition originate in childhood and are difficult to counteract. Mirya Holman finds that girls tend to think of politicians as men and politics as a man’s world—and those perceptions build over time to reduce intended political involvement. In this conversational addition, Holman also talks about her experience as a leader in the field of gender and politics research and the efforts to achieve gender parity in research and practice.Guest: Mirya Holman, Tulane UniversityStudy: “This One’s For the Boys: How Gendered Political Socialization Limits Girls’ Political Ambition and Interest.”Additional InformationScience of Politics PodcastMore shows from The Democracy Group
100 Coffees.  Coffee and people are two of the joys of Alex Workman’s life. He has a long-standing goal of trying to have coffee with someone he’s never met (or doesn’t know very well) once a week. In 2021, Alex embarked on a challenge to meet 100 people for coffee – he reached his goal by May and kept right on going. 163 coffees later he tells us what he learned. We think it will change your life.Countless dinner guests.  Alex and Chelsea Workman are a husband-and-wife creative team in Tallahassee, FL who help individuals, businesses and organizations tell their story. By chance, they ended up with many political clients – on both sides of the aisle. Ignoring advice that they’d have to pick a side, they show us how we can chart our own path and make our community a better place along the way. Oh, and their signature move is to invite clients over for dinner.Intentional living.  You can’t spend time with Alex and Chelsea without noticing that family is everything. Their marriage is strong; their kids are in tow; they revel in the journey. And just like they’re all-in with each other, they’re all-in with their community. They believe that instead of just complaining about how things are, we should work to make things better. And they do exactly that – check out their impressive list of community projects on their website.Aren’t they smart?!  Alex & Chelsea’s way of life demonstrates how to put some of The Village Square’s best advice into action: spend time with people of various backgrounds and viewpoints; lead with relationships instead of issues; and connect in inviting social settings. (We must be soul mates because they didn’t even realize they were taking our advice.)The Workmans challenge each of us to “make our community a place where people are KNOWN instead of just being KNOWN OF!”Additional InformationThe Village SquareCast PodcastMore shows from The Democracy Group
What role can and should investors play in strengthening democracy? Ian Simmons, Co-Founder and Principal of Blue Haven Initiative, discusses impact investing, universal voting, foreign money in U.S. politics, the so-called wealth tax and more.See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at InformationDemocracy Matters PodcastMore shows from The Democracy Group
Center Director Bob Shrum joins a panel of energy experts and industry leaders to discuss the latest national policies advancing cleaner energy and curbing the effects of climate change, in commemoration of Earth Day.Featuring:Bob Shrum - Director, Center for the Political Future; Warschaw Chair in Practical Politics, USC DornsifeTed Bardacke - CEO, Clean Power Alliance Ivan Penn - Energy Correspondent, New York TimesJason Rondou - Director of Resource Planning, Development & Programs at Los Angeles Department of Water and PowerAura Vasquez - Chair of Climate Action Committee, Sierra Club Los Angeles Chapter; Former Commissioner, Los Angeles Department of Water and PowerAdditional InformationThe Bully Pulpit PodcastMore shows from The Democracy Group
The recent mass shootings in Sacramento, California, and at a subway station in Brooklyn, New York have prompted renewed calls for action on gun control. In this podcast episode, we gain a unique perspective on the raging debate with a former gun industry executive who says the NRA and its supporters have gone too far.Our guest, Ryan Busse grew up around guns— hunting and shooting with his father. He is a proud gun owner, hunter, and an avid outdoorsman, who lives in Montana. But today, Busse says that his industry radicalized large numbers of Americans, and argues it must change before gun violence can be reduced and our nation can heal. After a successful 30-year career, he decided to retire from the gun manufacturer he worked for, and write "Gunfight", a book that tells the inside story of a little-known industry. In this episode, we learn about Busse's lifelong love of guns and discuss his call for sensible rules of conduct.Additional InformationLet's Find Common Ground PodcastMore shows from The Democracy Group
How do you harness the power of money for the greater good? This week, Farai speaks to philanthropist Mona Sinha, founder and CEO of the Insight Circle Fund, about what it means to make an impact as a woman of color in the worlds of finance and of giving. In the series “Our Body Politic Presents…” Aimée Eubanks Davis, host and creator of the podcast After 1954 speaks to author of Black Teachers on Teaching, researcher and professor Michele Foster about the rich past of Black education in the United States, specifically the effects of school desegregation on Black students following Brown V. Board. Then in our weekly segment, ‘Sippin’ the Political Tea’, Farai speaks about pathways to shared prosperity and innovative approaches to community and finance with Nwamaka Agbo, CEO of the Kataly Foundation and Managing Director of the Restorative Economies Fund; and Jessica Norwood, Founder of RUNWAY.Additional InformationOur Body Politic PodcastMore shows from The Democracy Group
Partisanship is up, trust is down and social media encourages us to believe we're right and everyone else is either ignorant, stupid or evil. But avoiding difficult conversations with those we disagree with is a big reason why our nation is so bitterly divided.Journalist Mónica Guzmán set out to discover what was blinding us and learned that the best tool we have we're not using: Our own curiosity. In this episode we learn about her personal story as the loving liberal daughter of Mexican immigrants who strongly support Donald Trump. We hear how Mónica discovered ways to overcome divisions that hurt our relationships and society.Mónica Guzmán is the author of the highly praised new book "I Never Thought Of It That Way". She serves as an advisor and storyteller at the depolarization organization, Braver Angels. "The anger and the rage that we see out there that defines our division doesn't actually exist that much on the one-to-one level," Monica told us.In this episode, Monica discusses how we can put our natural sense of wonder to work, finding the answers needed to work with people, rather than score points against them. Bridging the gap involves asking questions that help you get across the difficult divides that are causing so much pain in our families and communities. We also learn about the work of Braver Angels and hear why this month's America Talks is a good place to start when learning how to help depolarize America, one person at a time. Additional InformationHow Do We Fix It? PodcastMore shows from The Democracy Group
Social media has become a part of our daily lives, as we scroll endlessly through curated feeds. But it’s clear that these platforms are having a negative impact on our lives and our society in ways we never imagined.Platforms that were once a way to connect people have become a place where disinformation flows freely, controversy and division turns a profit, and people are pushed into echo chambers where everyone believes the same things and get fed disinformation that amps up their views.In episode 39, Weston unpacks social media’s psychological and cultural ramifications, but also its impact on our democracy and politics — looking at where we can go from here and discussing the need for increased transparency and accountability.Guests:Nora Benavidez, Senior Counsel and Digital Justice and Civil Rights Director at Free PressCamille Carlton, Communications Manager at the Center for Humane TechnologyDavid Jay, Chief Mobilization Officer at the Center for Humane TechnologyAdditional InformationSwamp Stories PodcastMore shows from The Democracy Group
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