113 episodes

With all the noise created by a 24/7 news cycle, it can be hard to really grasp what's going on in politics today. We provide a fresh perspective on the biggest political stories not through opinion and anecdotes, but rigorous scholarship, massive data sets and a deep knowledge of theory. Understand the political science beyond the headlines with Harris School of Public Policy Professors William Howell, Anthony Fowler and Wioletta Dziuda. Our show is part of the University of Chicago Podcast Network.

Not Another Politics Podcast University of Chicago Podcast Network

    • Government
    • 4.6 • 142 Ratings

With all the noise created by a 24/7 news cycle, it can be hard to really grasp what's going on in politics today. We provide a fresh perspective on the biggest political stories not through opinion and anecdotes, but rigorous scholarship, massive data sets and a deep knowledge of theory. Understand the political science beyond the headlines with Harris School of Public Policy Professors William Howell, Anthony Fowler and Wioletta Dziuda. Our show is part of the University of Chicago Podcast Network.

    How Good Are We At Spotting Fake News?

    How Good Are We At Spotting Fake News?

    If the media is to be believed, the US public has a tenuous at best grasp on accurate political news. They’re either consuming disinformation and fake news on social media or following biasedly inaccurate news outlets. Either journalistic truth is as good as dead or we’re living in separate informational universes. But is this too alarmist, could the real story be more nuanced?

    That’s what Columbia professor of economics Andrea Prat finds in his recent paper “Is Journalistic Truth Dead? Measuring How Informed Voters Are About Political News”. But what are we to make of these results, and how do we square them with claims of political polarization?

    • 48 min
    Is Partisan Animosity Directed At Fellow Citizens Or Elites?

    Is Partisan Animosity Directed At Fellow Citizens Or Elites?

    There is a fact of our political discourse so agreed upon that nobody thinks to question it: affective polarization…democrats and republicans disliking each other...has been getting worse, much worse. But what if that belief is actually based on polls measuring the wrong thing?

    That’s the argument made by Northwestern Political Scientist James Druckman in his paper “What Do We Measure When We Measure Affective Polarization?”

    • 39 min
    Should Policy Match Voters' Preferences?

    Should Policy Match Voters' Preferences?

    How do we know if our democracy is healthy? For political scientist, the answer often comes down to things we can measure like responsiveness to voter’s wishes. But is that really the right thing to measure?

    There are two camps in this debate. The empiricists want to focus on what and how we can measure things like the health of our democracy, often focusing on indicators like responsiveness, while the normative theorists want to focus on what we even mean…and what we should mean…by democratic health.

    If you’ve listened to our show before, you can probably guess that we fall more into the empiricists camp, but we wanted to bring on someone who could challenge our assumptions.

    Andrew Sabl is a political scientist from the University of Toronto and the author of “The Two Cultures of Democratic Theory: Responsiveness, Democratic Quality, and the Empirical-Normative Divide” in which he argues that the empiricists need to pay more attention to what they’re measuring and why.

    • 42 min
    Are Too Many Political Appointments Harming Our Bureaucracy?

    Are Too Many Political Appointments Harming Our Bureaucracy?

    When it comes to our federal bureaucracy, there are two schools of thought. One says that an insulated group of career bureaucrats have created a deep state that corrupts the performance of government. The other says that our bureaucracy is dysfunctional because there is too much turnover or positions left vacant. Both rest on an underlying feature of our democracy: many of the positions in the federal bureaucracy are appointed by the President and approved by Congress. But, could having less politically selected appointments give us a more functional government?

    In this episode, we’re doing things a bit different. The Center for Effective Government at the University of Chicago, headed by our very own William Howell, has developed a series of primers that each focus on the available scholarship about the pros and cons of a particular governmental reform. Each primer is written by a scholar who has also done research in that area. On this episode, we speak with David Lewis from Vanderbilt University who wrote a primer on this question: should we have more politically appointed bureaucrats or less?

    • 49 min
    Should Judges Be Elected or Appointed?

    Should Judges Be Elected or Appointed?

    There is a long running debate in political science: do we get better judges by letting the public vote in elections or by giving our leaders the power to appoint them? One side says that judges should be insulated from the influence of politics involved in elections, focusing entirely on the rule of law. The other side says that our judges should be accountable to the public for the decisions they make in office. Who is right?

    In this episode, we’re doing things a bit different. The Center for Effective Government at the University of Chicago, headed by our very own William Howell, has developed a series of primers that each focus on the available scholarship about the pros and cons of a particular governmental reform. Each primer is written by a scholar who has also done research in that area. On this episode, we speak with Sanford Gordon from the Politics Department at NYU who wrote a primer on this question: is it better to elect or appoint judges?

    • 49 min
    Why Women Are Underrepresented in U.S. Politics

    Why Women Are Underrepresented in U.S. Politics

    Despite making up roughly half of the U.S. population, women only make up about one-quarter of representatives and senators. And this trend is not just national—it holds true globally as well. What explains why women are underrepresented in politics? If women are just as likely to win elections as men do, then why are they less likely to run for office?

    In a recent paper, "Modeling Theories of Women's Underrepresentation in Elections," University of Chicago Professors Scott Ashworth, Christopher Berry and Ethan Bueno de Mesquita explore the facts and theories around why women are elected less than men in U.S. politics. In this episode, we speak with Ashworth, a Professor in the Harris School of Public Policy.

    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
142 Ratings

142 Ratings

thepresident519 ,

Lives up to the billing…if you’re a Poli Sci major

This isn’t a show where you will get the normal hot takes and such from the hosts that are recycled during the 24 hours news cycle. It reminds me a lot on how seminars would work in undergrad where everyone would pick and prod at the discussion raised by a certain piece of quantitative (well as much as you can get from this field) research.

That might turn off the average Joe, whose looking to see what the leanings of the hosts are, but if that doesn’t interest you, the show is perfect for discussing why we see such trends in the world.

ADSwbicoi1947$ ,

Bogus Voter ID

I would like to know - is the author a progressive.

All of this voter id discussion is bogus. Did they determine these voters who showed without Id do they have a drivers license? So a few voters show up without the requirements to vote.

So blacks and Hispanics vote at lower levels than whites. Blacks and Hispanics vote Democrat. So if we lower requirements for these two groups we nay increase Democrat votes. Which the author obviously wants. He is an activist.

How many showed up at the liquor store without Id. In my lifetime the most famous case of fraud reported widely was in Chicago and the Nixon Kennedy election. In that case Democrats paid five dollars for each vote and John Kennedy‘s father paid the bill this is viewed to be a decisive move and now we are faced with widespread activist in the Barack Obama tradition across the country under the ruse of black lives matter or antifa that all support the Democratic Party. It is a party built on fraud and they originated through the Ku Klux Klan many anti-racist efforts to keep black people from voting. Now the Democrats want to accuse Republicans that voter ID laws are racist.

I am concerned that you never address in this paper or podcast how much fraud or fraud there is and what other voter ID actually stops VoterFraud. You never even mention it to Jay to focus on the bogus notion that voter ID which is a drivers license for heaven sake’s stops black people and Hispanic people from voting. This is not good editorial or academic research this is activism.

Champagne Rossi ,

Fails to incorporate race into political analysis

This show ignores the deep structural inequality built into America’s political institutions — particularly around race. In a political era shaped by white nationalist politics and converging racial justice movements, the absence of lens that looks at how group hierarchy steers elections and polices is hard to ignore. Feels very ivory tower like, and fails to incorporate the rich political insights present in a diverse metro like Chicago. I listened for about a year. This show feels very exclusive and elitist like a lot of other politics podcasts. I think the hosts could learn a lot by engaging with more black scholars who have the same empirical training, but a much richer appreciation for the role that power plays in American politics.

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