WooCast's Politics & Polls show

WooCast's Politics & Polls

Summary: WooCast is a podcast series produced by Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

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 Politics & Polls #62: Does Gerrymandering Leave Voters Without a Voice? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2836

This episode is about one of Sam Wang’s favorite topics: gerrymandering. Wang visited the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 3 to hear arguments in Gill v. Whitford, a case challenging Wisconsin’s 2011 redistricting plan as being the product of partisan gerrymandering. With the Princeton Gerrymandering Project, Wang and collaborators are studying how voting districts are created, giving insight into how it works and offering ideas on how it can be and is being addressed. In this episode, Julian Zelizer and Wang discuss the case, Wang’s day in D.C. and whether this case could potentially put guardrails on the partisan gerrymandering process.

 Politics & Polls #61: Identity Politics & the Democratic Party | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2211

Are identity politics hurting the Democratic Party? Some argue Democrats have strayed away from core economic issues, favoring religion, race, sexuality, gender or social background (to name a few) to form their political alliance – thereby undercutting the party’s effectiveness. Joining this episode is an author who has written extensively on the rise of identity politics: Mark Lilla, professor of humanities at Columbia University and regular contributor to the New York Review of Books. He describes how identity politics are shaping voters, politicians and the democratic process. Lilla specializes in intellectual history. He is the author of “The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics,” published this year, as well as several other books. He is currently writing a book titled, “Ignorance and Bliss,” and another on the history of the idea of conversion.

 Politics & Polls #60: Are We Seeing the Watergate of Today? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2842

With special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, some have drawn comparisons between the Russia investigations and the Watergate scandal. How are the two events similar? In what ways do they differ? And is it too early to really link the two? Elizabeth Drew discusses her reporting of the Watergate scandal as it relates to today in this episode of Politics & Polls. Drew has been covering American politics since the 1970s. She has written for the Atlantic Monthly, the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, among other publications. She is the author of 15 books including “Washington Journal: Reporting Watergate and Richard Nixon's Downfall,” which provides a first-hand account of Watergate, a scandal that shaped American politics.

 Politics & Polls #59: Is Free Speech Alive and Well on College Campuses? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2703

Is free speech under threat at colleges across America? Some argue campus environments are no longer conducive to open dialogue. Others say debates on campus are alive and well. A recent nationwide survey of younger voters shows their commitment to free speech is reduced. Of 1,500 undergraduate students across U.S. universities, a fifth of them responded that it’s acceptable to use physical force to silence a speaker who makes “offensive and hurtful comments.” In this episode, Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang discuss the survey with Catherine Rampell, who wrote about it in a recent opinion piece in The Washington Post. Rampell frequently covers economics, public policy, politics and culture, with a special emphasis on data-driven journalism. Before joining The Post, Rampell wrote about economics and theater for The New York Times. She has received the Weidenbaum Center Award for Evidence-Based Journalism and is a Gerald Loeb Award finalist. She grew up in South Florida (the New York part) and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University in 2007.

 Politics & Polls #58: America’s Political Storms | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2435

The country has recently faced a number of storms, both geographic and political. Texas and Florida were both hit with significant hurricanes while President Donald Trump struck up a deal to raise the debt ceiling, causing concern among some. Prominent political players are also making their way to the media stage. Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist, said a Republican civil war is brewing, while presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s new book was released, reminding Americans of her defeat in the 2016 presidential election. How are all of these events affecting Trump’s political base? Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang catch up on all of this and more in this week’s episode of Politics & Polls.

 Politics & Polls #57: The Heart of the American Right | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2406

Some have argued that Donald Trump was propelled into office by people who have been characterized as discouraged and depressed by a world that no longer feels like their own. But what was it about Donald Trump’s motto, “Make America Great Again,” that captured the attention of so many who voted for him? In this episode, Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang interview Arlie Russell Hochschild, a sociologist who traveled deep into the heart of the “American Right.” Hochschild’s five-year journey culminated in the bestselling book, “Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right,” a National Book Award finalist. Hochschild is professor emerita of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of nine books, and three of her books have been named by The New York Times as Notable Books of the Year. She is the winner of the Ulysses Medal as well as Guggenheim and Mellon grants.

 Politics & Polls #56: The Aftermath of Charlottesville | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2911

A brutal protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, left three people dead and dozens injured on Aug. 11 and 12 as white nationalists, white supremacists and Neo-Nazis descended on the city and clashed violently with anti-racism protestors. President Donald Trump initially condemned the conflict on Twitter and then a few days later declared blame upon both parties involved in the clash. The event, which has rattled Americans, has brought racial tensions to the forefront. In this episode, Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang discuss the aftermath of Charlottesville — and what to expect in the weeks ahead.

 Politics & Polls #55: Has the Conservative Revolution Succeeded? A Conversation with Nancy MacLean | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3595

Joining today’s episode is Nancy MacLean, an award-winning scholar of the twentieth-century United States, whose new book, “Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America,” has been described by Publishers Weekly as “a thoroughly researched and gripping narrative… [and] a feat of American intellectual and political history.” Booklist called it “perhaps the best explanation to date of the roots of the political divide that threatens to irrevocably alter American government.” McClean discusses her book with Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang, as well as the widely-publicized controversial debates that have surrounded its publication. McClean responds to some of her critics in an illuminating conversation. The author of four other books, including “Freedom is Not Enough: The Opening of the American Workplace” (2006) called by the Chicago Tribune "contemporary history at its best,” and “Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan,” named a New York Times "noteworthy" book of 1994, MacLean is the William H. Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University. Her articles and review essays have appeared in American Quarterly, The Boston Review, Feminist Studies, Gender & History, In These Times, International Labor and Working Class History, Labor, Labor History, Journal of American History, Journal of Women’s History, Law and History Review, The Nation, the OAH Magazine of History and many edited collections. MacLean’s scholarship has received more than a dozen prizes and awards and been supported by fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, the Russell Sage Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowships Foundation. In 2010, she was elected a fellow of the Society of American Historians, which recognizes literary distinction in the writing of history and biography. Also an award-winning teacher and committed graduate student mentor, she offers courses on post-1945 America, social movements, and public policy history. 

 Politics & Polls #55: Has the Conservative Revolution Succeeded? A Conversation with Nancy MacLean | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3595

Joining today’s episode is Nancy MacLean, an award-winning scholar of the twentieth-century United States, whose new book, “Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America,” has been described by Publishers Weekly as “a thoroughly researched and gripping narrative… [and] a feat of American intellectual and political history.” Booklist called it “perhaps the best explanation to date of the roots of the political divide that threatens to irrevocably alter American government.” McClean discusses her book with Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang, as well as the widely-publicized controversial debates that have surrounded its publication. McClean responds to some of her critics in an illuminating conversation. The author of four other books, including “Freedom is Not Enough: The Opening of the American Workplace” (2006) called by the Chicago Tribune "contemporary history at its best,” and “Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan,” named a New York Times "noteworthy" book of 1994, MacLean is the William H. Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University. Her articles and review essays have appeared in American Quarterly, The Boston Review, Feminist Studies, Gender & History, In These Times, International Labor and Working Class History, Labor, Labor History, Journal of American History, Journal of Women’s History, Law and History Review, The Nation, the OAH Magazine of History and many edited collections. MacLean’s scholarship has received more than a dozen prizes and awards and been supported by fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, the Russell Sage Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowships Foundation. In 2010, she was elected a fellow of the Society of American Historians, which recognizes literary distinction in the writing of history and biography. Also an award-winning teacher and committed graduate student mentor, she offers courses on post-1945 America, social movements, and public policy history. 

 Politics & Polls #54: The Republic of Spin with David Greenberg | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2648

Spin. It’s used by public relations gurus and politicians to shape an image or message, thereby influencing the public’s perception of a story. And it’s engrained in American politics, as presidents and presidential candidates both have used the art of spin to frame stories and public opinion. To discuss the art of spin, David Greenberg, a professor of history and journalism and media studies at Rutgers University, joins this episode of Politics & Polls. Greenberg’s book, “Republic of Spin: An Inside History of the American Presidency,” examines the rise of the White House spin machine, from the Progressive Era to the present day, and the debates that Americans have waged over its implications for democracy.

 Politics & Polls #53: Battles for Freedom with Eric Foner | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2138

Drawing connections between the past and present often sparks fierce debates within the American political landscape. In this episode, Eric Foner, one of America’s most distinguished historians, discusses these interpretations of history and how they relate to today. His latest book, “Battles for Freedom,” explores this “use and abuse of American history,” unearthing the hidden history of American radicalism. Finer is the DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University and specializes in the Civil War and Reconstruction, slavery, and 19th-century America.

 Politics & Polls #52: How Social Movements Achieve Change with Steven Levingston | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2081

The Civil Rights Movement is often looked back upon as a time when social activism sparked real political change. During that time, the United States saw some of its greatest leaders guide the country through turbulent years. Martin Luther King Jr. and President John F. Kennedy provided different models of leadership, which some argue are needed today. In this episode, Professor Julian Zelizer interviews Steven Levingston, nonfiction editor at the Washington Post, about the battle over civil rights. Levingston is the author of "Kennedy and King: The President, the Pastor, and the Battle over Civil Rights", “Little Demon in the City of Light: A True Story of Murder and Mesmerism in Belle Époque Paris” and “The Kennedy Baby: The Loss that Transformed JFK.”

 Politics & Polls #51: The Trump-Russia Story with Benjamin Wittes | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 3414

President Donald Trump has spent his first months faced with a potential scandal involving Russia, an issue that’s only grown since the election with discussions and investigations about possible obstruction and collusion. In recent weeks, this has dominated national political debates, especially in Congress and the White House. Benjamin Wittes, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Lawfare blog, joins this episode of Politics & Polls to discuss where things stand in the Trump-Russia scandal. The Lawfare blog is “devoted to sober and serious discussion of ‘hard national security choices.’” Wittes, a journalist who focuses on national security and law, is also a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of “Detention and Denial: The Case for Candor After Guantanamo”, published in November 2011; co-editor of “Constitution 3.0: Freedom and Technological Change,” published in December 2011; and editor of “Campaign 2012: Twelve Independent Ideas for Improving American Public Policy,” published in May 2017 by the Brookings Institution Press.

 Politics & Polls #50: One-Year Anniversary | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2255

This week marks the one-year anniversary of Politics & Polls! In this episode, Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang reflect on everything that’s transpired over the past year from the presidential campaign to President Donald Trump’s election.

 Politics & Polls #49: Democracy, Gerrymandering, Federalism & More | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 2800

America’s experienced a blitz of political twists and turns in the past few months, which may cloak some of the deep-rooted challenges still facing the nation. Still looming large in the background are issues related to the political process — like democracy, gerrymandering, voting laws and federalism. In this episode, the focus turns toward the structure of politics with special guest Heather Gerken, one of the country’s leading experts on constitutional law and election law. Gerken is the J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law at Yale Law School and founder of the “nationalist school” of federalism; her work focuses on federalism, diversity, and dissent. Hailed as an “intellectual guru” in the The New York Times, Professor Gerken’s scholarship has been featured in The Atlantic, the Boston Globe, NPR, The New York Times, and Time. At Yale, she founded and runs the country’s most innovative clinic in local government law. Gerken is also a renowned teacher who has won awards at both Yale and Harvard and was named one of the nation’s “twenty-six best law teachers.” Gerken clerked for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the 9th Circuit and Justice David Souter of the United States Supreme Court. She then served as an appellate lawyer in Washington, D.C., before joining the Harvard Law School faculty in 2000. Gerken came to Yale in 2006 and became the inaugural J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law in 2008. She will serve as the 17th dean of Yale’s Law School, starting July 1, 2017.

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