100 episodes

Your intellectual euro-trip in podcast form, with co-hosts Jorge González-Gallarza, François Valentin and Julian Graham. Through interviews and analysis, Uncommon Decency will seek to engage with the freshest thinking on European issues. Get in touch at @UnDecencyPod or undecencypod@gmail.com, and consider supporting the show on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/undecencypod.

Uncommon Decency Jorge González-Gallarza & François Valentin

    • News
    • 4.8 • 12 Ratings

Your intellectual euro-trip in podcast form, with co-hosts Jorge González-Gallarza, François Valentin and Julian Graham. Through interviews and analysis, Uncommon Decency will seek to engage with the freshest thinking on European issues. Get in touch at @UnDecencyPod or undecencypod@gmail.com, and consider supporting the show on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/undecencypod.

    100. Franco-German Russian Illusions, with Sylvie Kauffmann and Guy Chazan

    100. Franco-German Russian Illusions, with Sylvie Kauffmann and Guy Chazan

    “The secret of politics? Make a good treaty with Russia.”
    Former German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck’s advice seems to have resonated with an entire generation of German leaders in the 21st century, from the Social-Democrat Gerhard Schroder to the CDU's Angela Merkel. For years, Germany built its economic ties with Russia, but also simultaneously its dependence on Vladimir Putin’s increasingly authoritarian and militaristic regime. A German illusion that crashed somewhere in the fields of Ukraine in February 2022.
    But Germany is not the only European heavyweight to have indulged itself with these Russian illusions. Across the Rhine, several French presidents, of all political stripes, have also attempted to build ties with Russia in the name of France’s strategic interests. With mixed results at best.
    Today we try to understand these Franco-German illusions and their consequences. We are joined by Guy Chazan, Berlin bureau chief at the Financial Times, and Sylvie Kauffmann, columnist for Le Monde and author of Les Aveuglés (2023), a brilliant book on today’s topic! 
    As always, please rate and review Uncommon Decency on the platform of your choice and send us your comments or questions either on Twitter at @UnDecencyPod or by e-mail at undecencypod@gmail.com. And please consider supporting the show through Patreon to get access to the full episode where we talk in further detail about France and the vindication of Polish fears: https://www.patreon.com/undecencypod.

    • 48 min
    99. The Left-Right Divide: A Eulogy? with Rob Ford & François Hublet

    99. The Left-Right Divide: A Eulogy? with Rob Ford & François Hublet

    In 1789, members of the newly-created National Assembly in Paris split between those for whom the king should retain an absolute veto, sitting to the Assembly President's right, and those who thought he shouldn't, sitting to his left. The primordial version of our structuring political cleavage was born: the party of order vs. the party of progress. This left-right divide has served as the founding metaphor of modern European politics. More than two centuries later, many are penning the obituary of that division. In 2017, the election of Emmanuel Macron against Marine le Pen seemed to usher a new cleavage, loosely defined as open vs. closed by some, nationalist vs. globalist or liberal vs. authoritarian by others. But is the left-right divide of yore buried just yet? Today we take stock of the evolving morphology of political fractures and map the main cleavages dividing European politics. With us this week: Francois Hublet, of Le Grand Continent, and the University of Manchester's Rob Ford, co-author of Brexitland (2020) and Senior Fellow at the UK in a Changing Europe (UKICE) network.
    As always, please rate and review Uncommon Decency on Apple Podcasts or the platform of your choice, and send us your comments or questions either on Twitter at @UnDecencyPod or by e-mail at undecencypod@gmail.com. And please consider supporting the show through Patreon, where you can access the full episode including an extra section where our guests discuss the forthcoming EU elections: https://www.patreon.com/undecencypod.

    • 49 min
    98. 2024: European Inflection Point? Decency Deep Dive

    98. 2024: European Inflection Point? Decency Deep Dive

    Every new year seems to heighten the impression that History is accelerating, and this may well not be new. The novelty lies in the fact that with every passing year, that impression seems to root itself in firmer ground. This is not just about the Ukraine conflict, which will turn two years old in February, and seems to have trapped the European Union (EU) in a quandary of indecision between scrapping its end-of-history pieties to decisively win the war, or protracting its limited military aid to continue its controlled damage on Russia, at the risk of eternalizing the quagmire. History is accelerating in the Middle East too, where Israel’s offensive against a genocidal terrorist group risks turning the accusation of genocide against it, while the threat of regional escalation has become palpable in Yemen, where the Iranian-backed Houthis threaten to disrupt sea trade. To welcome 2024, this week we take one of our deep dives into the stories that we believe will shape the year’s European news cycle, such as the EU parliamentary race in June and the attendant rise of the national-populist right, elections in other latitudes, and how Europe will tackle the normalization of global conflict.
    As always, please rate and review Uncommon Decency on Apple Podcasts, and send us your comments or questions either on Twitter at @UnDecencyPod or by e-mail at undecencypod@gmail.com. And please consider supporting the show through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/undecencypod.

    • 43 min
    97. Geert Wilders and the Rise of Platinum Populism, with Caroline de Gruyter & Ewald Engelen

    97. Geert Wilders and the Rise of Platinum Populism, with Caroline de Gruyter & Ewald Engelen

    In a daring move, we kicked off March 2021 quoting none other than Francis Fukuyama, titling our episode "Getting to Holland" as a twist on Fukuyama's famous cliché of “Getting to Denmark”. The episode came in the heels of Mark Rutte's re-election as Dutch Prime Minister, which seemed like an apparent vindication of the Fukuyaman ideal of Northern Europe as the endpoint of political development. Not only had the country championed rule of law and the welfare state, but Rutte's liberal-centrist politics of moderation seemed to stand on a thick layer of consensus that other European nations lacked. But fast forward to November 2023, and the Dutch political scene takes a dramatic turn with Geert Wilders and his Party for Freedom (PVV) seizing victory a month ago. Join us this week as we unravel the beliefs driving Wilders, from welfare chauvinism to skepticism of Islam, and explore the implications for the upcoming EU parliamentary elections in June next year. Our esteemed guests, Caroline de Gruyter and Professor Ewald Engelen, bring their expertise to bear in delving deep into the dynamics reshaping Dutch politics.
    As always, please rate and review Uncommon Decency on Apple Podcasts, and send us your comments or questions either on Twitter at @UnDecencyPod or by e-mail at undecencypod@gmail.com. And please consider supporting the show through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/undecencypod.

    • 51 min
    96. The Strange Death of Spain, with William Chislett & Michael Reid

    96. The Strange Death of Spain, with William Chislett & Michael Reid

    Dive into the conundrums and riddles of Spanish politics with our latest riveting episode. Picture this: a high-stakes election, an unexpected coalition, and a political landscape teetering on the edge of ungovernability. In a plot twist that kept the nation on edge, the anticipated "right-wing tsunami" fell short, leaving the ruling socialists hanging by a thread. As the political chess game unfolds, alliances shift, and the spotlight turns to a liberal-separatist party holding the key to the caretaking Prime Minister's second mandate. The drama reaches its climax with an unprecedented deal, an amnesty broadly deemed unconstitutional, and a nation grappling with heightened polarization. Joining us are two seasoned Spain-watchers, Michael Reid and William Chislett, to unravel the twists and turns with insider perspectives garnered throughout decades covering post-Francoist Spain. Our podcast, while now on a slower release schedule, aims to deliver each episode with impact, allowing listeners to savor the intrigue. Don't miss out on the unraveling of Spain's constitutional compact and the gripping insights into a modern European country in flux.
    As always, please rate and review Uncommon Decency on Apple Podcasts, and send us your comments or questions either on Twitter at @UnDecencyPod or by e-mail at undecencypod@gmail.com. And please consider supporting the show through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/undecencypod.

    • 50 min
    95. The New Poland, with Marek Matraszek & David Engels

    95. The New Poland, with Marek Matraszek & David Engels

    On October 15, Poles were called to the polls—no pun intended. The ruling Law & Justice party—or PiS in its Polish acronym—came first with a plurality of ballots and parliamentary seats, but fell short of a majority. As a result, after eight years of rule, PM Mateusz Morawiecki's party will likely be replaced by a large and disparate coalition that ranges from the far-left to the right-of-center, helmed by former PM Donald Tusk of Civic Platform. Today we will cover the race's aftermath and its implications for Europe. Are Poland’s positions on Ukraine and NATO as immutable as they seem? Is the country about to mend fences with the EU, and unfreeze the approximately €100 billion in post-Covid recovery funds currently withheld by Brussels over concerns about so-called “democratic backsliding”? More importantly, will Tusk’s agenda be undermined by holdouts from the previous government across the civil service and state-controlled corporations? To unpack the meaning of Poland’s result, we are honored to have with us the consultant and veteran commentator of all things Polish Marek Matrazek back with us this week, along with Warsaw-based Belgian historian David Engels.
    As always, please rate and review Uncommon Decency on whatever platform you use and send us your comments or questions either on Twitter at @UnDecencyPod or by e-mail at undecencypod@gmail.com. And please consider supporting the show through Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/undecencypod) to get access to the full episode where we talk more about the future of EU-Polish relations.
    We also wanted to take a moment to apologise for launching this new season belatedly. All three of us have all been dealing with personal and professional challenges, and we wanted to take the time out to ensure we returned when truly ready. We will flesh out what we have in store very soon! Enjoy the episode!

    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
12 Ratings

12 Ratings

willie1.23 ,

Liam H

As an American who superficially follows European affairs, the deep dives into specific issues with quality hosts and guests have been enlightening.

Connecticutian ,

A must-listen show

As an Anglo-American with family on both sides of the Pond, I have always been deeply frustrated with the inability of news sources like the New York Times or Washington Post to really grasp how things work in Europe. Until now, The Economist was the only publication I could rely upon to have a solid perspective on politics on both sides of the Atlantic. I am glad to say that I can now add a second arrow to my quiver. This podcast is wide-ranging and informative on all aspects of European affairs, but also understands America. Most usefully, it does not seek to spin European politics with an American perspective, or vice-versa. If you want accurate and excellent coverage of politics in the whole North Atlantic sphere, this is the podcast for you.

true con ,

Best show to learn about Europe

Best way for Americans to get thoughtful news on Europe

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