Current Run: Season Three

All over the world, liberal democracy is getting turned upside-down. Autocratic leaders are using populist appeals, the partisan media and the power of their offices to short-circuit thoughtful deliberation and political consensus. They flout the rule of law, unleash the police on their own people, suppress dissent and attack voting rights. So what can you do about it?

Join hosts Will Hitchcock and Siva Vaidhyanathan — along with leading thinkers from around the world — as they put illiberal trends in context and explore ways to turn them around.

Our show is a project of UVA’s Deliberative Media Lab. It’s produced with support from the UVA Democracy Initiative and the College of Arts and Sciences, and syndicated in coordination with WTJU’s Virginia Audio Collective. We’re also a member of The Democracy Group, a podcast network that exposes the cracks and fissures in America’s democracy and equips concerned citizens with the tools to do something about it.

Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get your audio.


This Week

S3 E5. Some Fine States, Part I – Texas


It’s a grad-school reunion this time for Siva and guest-host Allison Wright, as they speak with two pals who are Texas historians about what the heck is going on in the Lone State. Plus, we hear from a teacher in Dallas about some controversial education reforms. Read more >

S3 E4. Red Pill, Part IV – Drones of Combat

The U.S. occupation in Afghanistan may be over, but every indication is that America will continue to launch targeted strikes on security threats around the world. This time, Yale historian and legal scholar Samuel Moyn makes a plea for leaders to think about how to make peace before using force. Read more >

S3 E3. Red Pill, Part III – Haiti, Interrupted

The Haitian Revolution once held out the promise of radical democracy. But internal strife and global oppression has thwarted its fulfillment for two centuries and counting. Three UVA scholars walk Will and Siva through that complex history, and the current unrest in Haiti. Read more >

S3 E2. Red Pill, Part II – Blind Ambitions

In the wake of Vietnam, the United States pared its global aspirations — and often fell short on humanitarian values. Then came two disastrous national-building efforts. In Part II of our post-Afghanistan reality-check, our guests consider how America might get off this seesaw. Read more >

S3 E1. Red Pill, Part I – The Terrible War

A native New Yorker, Spencer Ackerman watched with horror as the Twin Towers fell in September 2001. At first, he fed on the popular rhetoric of vengeance and unity in the war on terror. Then he became a journalist and covered the conflicts that came — and decided he had swallowed a fantasy pill. Read more >

Archive: Season Two

Russia, Brazil, climate change, the troubled relationship between democracy and capitalism — and much more.

And let’s not forget, an insurrection at the seat of American government.

See what you missed.

Archive: Season One

We were worried.

Really worried.

Relive why. After all, those demons are all still with us.

In the works

We’re taking a new approach this season — with a set of miniseries around big topics. Coming up after Red Pill, we travel the country and crack open the black box of state politics, then make a U-turn and pay a visit to democractic danger zones all over the world.

Want to suggest a topic for a future episode or tell us what you think of the show? Find us on Twitter or email

Creative Commons License

Democracy in Danger is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
This license covers all audio available on these pages or directly from our RSS feed.


Submitted by Betty McCurdy (not verified) on

Robert Armengol was amazing. I would like to listen to him as cohost in other episodes in the future.

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