Info

A Few Reasonable Words

A Few Reasonable Words features three professors trying desperately to soothe the frayed nerves of the American public with the comforting balm of political science. We analyze current political events through the lens of political theory and research in American politics. Every week we offer a quick reminder about the basics in a segment called Civics for Grownups. We also include recommended readings. Learn more: https://afrwpodcast.wordpress.com/
RSS Feed Subscribe in iTunes
A Few Reasonable Words
2017
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July


Categories

All Episodes
Archives
Categories
Now displaying: Page 2

A podcast from three professors trying desperately to soothe the frayed nerves of the American public with the comforting balm of political science.

Check out our website to learn more!

Jan 8, 2017

We continue our a month-long discussion of the connections between race, racial attitudes, and politics in the United States today. This episode explores how identity groups form and relate to each other in democratic politics. How do people in those groups develop in-group and out-group attitudes, and how do those attitudes affect attempts to build coalitions and practice pluralistic politics? 

Jan 1, 2017

We continue our a month-long discussion of the connections between race, racial attitudes, and politics in the United States today. Today we talk about how and why some individuals develop group consciousness, and why we feel so conflicted about that.

Dec 17, 2016

This week we begin a month-long discussion of the connections between race, racial attitudes, and politics in the United States today. As our introduction we consider the prominent arguments from some who say that Democrats need to abandon identity politics. We ask: What is identity politics anyway? Is it possible or desirable to separate politics from identity?

Dec 4, 2016

New episodes coming soon! In the meantime, we want to hear your questions & ideas! Email afewreasonablewords@gmail.com or tweet to @afrwpod 

Nov 20, 2016

Today we discuss partisanship and how it affects our views of politics, the world, and the Election of 2016. In case you’ve missed it, Democrats and Republicans have had really different reactions to the election of Donald Trump. Is that the new normal? Is there a way to reasonably understand this election and the Trump presidency that isn’t shaded by partisanship?

Nov 10, 2016

Election 2016: What happened? How should we understand the surprising results? Why were the polls wrong? Why did Trump and the Republicans win? What does it mean for the future?

Nov 6, 2016

What is the Electoral College? Why do we have it? Where did it come from? Is it a good thing? Or is it anti-democratic? What would happen if we got rid of it and went with a national popular vote? 

Oct 29, 2016

Should I vote, and if so, how should I vote? If my vote won't determine the election, does it matter if I vote? Do citizens have a civic duty to vote? If so, is there an ethical duty to vote a certain way? Should I still vote if I don't really know all the information? Is there ever an ethical justification for not voting at all? Are voters morally responsible for the causal effects of their votes? 

Oct 25, 2016

This week we continue a month long series considering the question, “Should I vote?” This week, we consider the questions: Should I vote for a third party candidate? Can my protest vote send a message? Does voting third party mean I am throwing my vote away? We explain why America has a two-party system (that isn’t going anywhere) and consider the good and not-so-good reasons for supporting third party candidates. http://Afrwpodcast.wordpress.com

Oct 15, 2016

This week we continue a month long series considering the question, “Should I vote?” We make the case that partisan margins in Congress matter at least as much as the presidency, and that state and local races probably matter more to our daily lives. http://Afrwpodcast.wordpress.com

 

Oct 8, 2016

This week we begin a month long series considering the question, “Should I vote?” We begin with the presidency. Is the presidency even that big a deal? Does the president have real power? Even if the office is important, are the two candidates basically the same? http://afrwpodcast.wordpress.com

Sep 30, 2016

Do the news media give American voters the information we need in order to make informed choices? If not, is it really the news media’s fault? Is there anything we can do about it?

Sep 23, 2016

What does research tell us about the effects of presidential debates? Do they actually affect voters’ perceptions of the candidates? Do they affect election outcomes? What role does the media play in framing the debates? What role should it play? Are debates in their current format the best way to see presidential candidates in action? How should a smart voter approach the presidential debate spectacle? For more episodes, check out our website. http://Afrwpodcast.wordpress.com

Sep 17, 2016

Do candidates really intend to follow through with their campaign promises? Do they actually follow through? When they don’t, why don’t they? Are they lying to us, or are they unable to fulfill promises due to circumstances outside of their control? Regardless of whether they keep their promises, do we actually believe them? How can we responsibly evaluate them? For more episodes, check out our website. http://afrwpodcast.wordpress.com

Sep 10, 2016

Ep. 8: Is there more to political communication than truth and lies? We consider Harry Frankfurt’s famous essay, “On Bullshit” and expand our repertoire for discussing falsehoods. We then apply these definitions to the elephant in the room, the 2016 presidential campaign. For more episodes, check out our website. http://afrwpodcast.wordpress.com

Sep 2, 2016

This week, we ask: What is the case for voter id laws? What is the case against them? Who do they affect disproportionately and why? For more episodes, check out our website. http://Afrwpodcast.wordpress.com

Aug 27, 2016

This week, we ask: Should we make it harder or easier to vote? We discuss the history of restrictions on voting in the US, ways that current law makes it harder or easier to vote, and the theoretical cases for a broader and narrower electorate. For more episodes, check out our website. http://afrwpodcast.wordpress.com

Aug 20, 2016

This week, we ask: Are our elections are rigged? We provide evidence that they are not, and then discuss why that claim is a serious one, and how it gets confused with other, broader claims about advantages and disadvantages in American democracy. For more episodes, check out our website. http://afrwpodcast.wordpress.com

Aug 12, 2016

Should primary elections be open to everyone? Should superdelegates be eliminated completely? Or are there good reasons for peer review of candidates for political office? How should we balance democratic legitimacy and quality control? This week we consider the case for party elites. For more episodes, check out our website. http://afrwpodcast.wordpress.com

Aug 5, 2016

In this week's show, we look for clues in the Democratic Party platform about what may be changing in the Democratic party, what remains the same, and what all of that tells us about the relationship between the Bernie Sanders campaign and the Democratic establishment. Three political science professors can’t due the platform justice, so we do encourage everyone to check out the actual platform! For more episodes, check out our website. http://afrwpodcast.wordpress.com

Jul 29, 2016

In this week's show, we look for clues in the Republican Party platform about what may be changing in the Republican party, what remains the same, and what all of that tells us about the relationship between the activist base and its unorthodox nominee. Three political science professors can’t do the platform justice, so we encourage everyone to check out the actual platform! For more episodes, check out our website. http://afrwpodcast.wordpress.com

Jul 29, 2016

In this, the inaugural episode of A Few Reasonable Words, three political scientists discuss political party platforms--their history and their purpose--and make the case that it's actually worth your time to read them. 

« Previous 1 2