A podcast exploring themes related to civic engagement in order to build a more inclusive, just, and equitable democracy.
Episode 53: Does The President Have a Mandate?
Does President Joe Biden have a mandate to enact his policies and agenda? Why are presidents drawn to mandate rhetoric? What can we learn from presidential communications about the logic of presidential mandates? How do popular and media conceptions of mandates differ from those of presidents and their teams? Although political scientists have been pretty adamant that mandates aren't real, the idea of an electoral mandate remains powerful. Dr. Julia Azari, associate professor of political science at Marquette University, joins us to discuss the logic of presidential mandates, achieving policy and legislative agendas, government responsiveness and collective representation.
Episode 52: Insurrection as a civically responsible form of social change
In this episode, we talk with Ethan Zuckerman, associate professor of public policy, communication and information at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, who argues that rather than rebuilding trust in institutions, we should question whether institutions are worthy of our trust. We can either work to make our existing institutions better, or we can recognize that they're no longer fit for purpose and build new ones in their stead.
Episode 51: Insurrection and Sedition Explained
In this episode of Democracy Matters, James Madison University History and Political Science faculty experts explain the ongoing insurrection, and help us understand the events of January 6, 2021, the complicity of the president of the United States, and efforts to undermine American elections, and democratic norms and institutions.
Episode 49: From Chaos to Compassion: A New Era for Immigration?
Relying on executive authority and issuing 400 executive actions on immigration, the Trump adminsitration implemented policies on a wide range of immigration issues, touching on everything from asylum to deportation policy, refugee resettlement, and admissions from certain majority-Muslim countries. In this episode, we talk with Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, Policy Counsel at the American Immigration Council about immigration law and policy and what to expect under the Biden administration.
Episode 48: Democracy Is Not Static
Dr. Melinda Adams, Associate Dean of JMU's College of Arts and Letters, discusses democratic transitions, what to expect in policy approaches to Africa under the Biden administration, women's political representation globally, and more.
Episode 47: No Power Superior to the People
Is the United States a democracy? Is representative government failing the American people? In this episode, we talk with former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel about how bringing the people directly into the operations of government as deliberative lawmakers might make the United States more democratic.