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?
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.
Russia has packed more than 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border, in a long-brewing conflict between the former Soviet superpower and its vulnerable neighbor. And across the region, freedom hangs in the balance, as Western powers mull over what leverage they still have. Read more >
After a brief flirtation with quasi-democratic rule, Myanmar is back under the grip of its military. One official of the Burmese National League for Democracy tells of his narrow escape and of his hopes for the future. Read more >
Historian Ada Ferrer offers up a sobering view of Cuba’s past, and its tortured relationship with the United States. Plus: a less than sanguine prognosis on the chance for participatory democracy in the island’s future. She joins guest-host David Nemer and our producer, Robert Armengol. Read more >
Listen to an edited version of the live show we taped this month with two media experts, all about the trial in our hometown against leaders of the white power movement. Read more >
Virginia just turned sharply to the right. How did multimillionaire Glenn Youngkin prevail in the governor’s race, and what will his victory mean for the future of the commonwealth — and democracy in America? Will and Siva get together to sort things out. Read more >
We have an uplifting story for you this time: the story of how more than a million voters were re-enfranchised in Florida, from the man whose group was instrumental in making it happen. Plus, we talk shifting demographics with Sunshine State analyst Susan MacManus. Read more >
Republican Tina Peters, a county clerk in Colorado, says she secreted data from voting machines to search for fraud in Donald Trump’s presidential defeat. Now she’s under investigation. We check in on this bizarre tale and more, with Emma Brown of the Washington Post. Read more >
A new bipartisan redistricting commission has broken down in the Old Dominion, and is on the verge of throwing a key function of democracy to the commonwealth’s Supreme Court. A former delegate and an advocate who championed redistricting reform join Will to talk Virginia politics. Read more >
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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
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.
We were worried.
Relive why. After all, those demons are all still with us.
In the works
We took a new approach this season — with three sets of miniseries around big topics. We began with Red Pill and Some Fine States, then took a tour of democractic danger zones all over the world — starting in our hometown. Check back soon for a sneak preview of Season Four. We’ll start dropping new shows in February.
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