We are back! And just in time to give you a rundown of what might be in store for us come Tuesday, and beyond. Democracy, y'all: it's a trip!
Amidst nationwide protests against police brutality & structural racism, we ask: what exactly is structural racism & how does it relate to problems in law enforcement? What does the scholarship on race & policing tell us about how to address the problems inspiring the protests?
What exactly is Plato's beef with democracy? Can it teach us anything about the problems our democracy might be facing today? And is Plato really an enemy of democracy, or is it more complicated than that? And why does Tim like Plato so much anyway?
What happened in the Iowa caucus? And is it actually a big deal? Why do we nominate presidential candidates with this complicated system of caucuses and primaries? And what is the deal with Iowa & New Hampshire always getting to be first anyway?
SPECIAL LIVE EPISODE! How do political scientists think about primaries? How should someone who wants to think like a political scientist think about the current Democratic primary? (nb: spotty sound quality alert!)
The House is considering two Articles of Impeachment against President Trump: abuse of power and obstruction of congress. What does that mean, and how should we think about charges like this against a president?
Impeachment is in the air, but what does impeachment really mean? How should we think about impeachment as a political phenomenon and what can the history of impeachment tell us about our current situation?
At least three semi-serious candidates are challenging President Trump for the 2020 Republican nomination. Is that weird? How common are primary challenges to incumbent presidents? What does the history tell us about how to think about this year's crop?
Debates about health care policy are all the rage among 2020 Presidential candidates. How should a thoughtful voter think about these discussions? And why exactly are we still talking about health care nearly 10 years after Obamacare?
The Dems took over the House of Representatives with an ambitious legislative agenda, but what are they actually proposing? And does it have any chance to pass? Why even suggest big, sweeping legislation if they know the Senate & President won't budge?
Seems like everybody's talking about electability, but what does that really mean? What can we actually know about a candidate's electability, and is thinking about it a good way to make decisions about who to support?
Happy Independence Day! To celebrate, we examine Frederick Douglass' "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" and discuss how it remains relevant to the ways we think about patriotism, tradition, and the founding ideals of the U.S.
We're back just in time for the enormous Democratic primary field's two-part debate extravaganza! Why are there so many candidates? Is it a good thing, or something to be fret about? Let AFRW guide you through the impenetrable forest of candidates!
Should election day be a national holiday? Maybe! We put the proposal through our reform corner ringer to see whether or not it would be a good idea to establish a Voting Day holiday.
How should we feel about sneaky partisan power maneuvers? Is it the beginnings of a tyrannical overthrow of democracy itself or just the normal push-and-pull of democratic politics? We explore recent events in Michigan & Wisconsin to try and figure it out.
Questions about legitimacy (stolen elections, fraud, voter suppression) have surrounded reactions to the recent election here in the U.S. What does it means to have a legitimate election and why do political scientists think this is such an important concept and value in a democratic system?
It's election time, America! You've certainly heard from the pundits and the campaigns, but what do political scientists think about midterm elections in general and this midterm election in particular? What should we expect? What is so important about midterms? And why should we (maybe) not call them "midterms" at all?
Our first ever live episode! In front of an audience of real live human beings, we discuss the idea of mandatory voting. What is compulsory voting? Do other countries require their citizens to vote? Should we do that? Plus: Q&A with the audience! Fun!
Instant Runoff Voting or Ranked-Choice Voting: What is it, who does it, and is it a good idea? We'll answer all your questions in our most recent trip to the political science reform corner.
Why does voter registration to be a hassle? Can reforms like Automatic Voter Registration or Same Day Voter Registration make it easier for folks to vote? Is there any downside to making it easier for folks to register to vote?
Vote By Mail: Is it a good idea? We take a trip to the Political Science Reform Corner to find out.
Everyone complains about corrupt politicians, but what does corruption really mean in democratic politics? What is the difference between the complicated, messy, and unsatisfying business of everyday politics, and truly problematic political corruption? Is it reasonable to expect moral virtue and total honesty from our elected leaders, or are our complaints somewhat naive?
It's America's birthday! But what exactly does it mean to be an American? We explore theories of what it means to be an American - is it a kind of national identity, a commitment to particular ideas, a set of civic practices, or something else entirely?
What's the deal with primaries? Why do they happen? Why do they matter? Do we really have to pay attention to them? Do I really have to vote twice this year? (Hint: Yes!) And what is the role of political parties in primaries? What should it be? Can a party really "meddle" in its own primaries? (Hint: No!)
What's political about the census? Everything from the apportionment of representatives to the distribution of public resources to the construction of racial, ethnic, & civic identities. It's a big deal, and recent changes are worth paying attention to.