Democracy Paradox

By Justin Kempf

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Category: Government

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Subscribers: 265
Reviews: 7
Episodes: 209

Jim McAdams
 Dec 10, 2021
This is a terrific podcast. There are some people I know (including a few colleagues); even more people whom I would like to know; some books I've read, many more that I need to read. Democracy rules!

Regular Listener
 Dec 6, 2021
I look forward to listening to this podcast when it's released each Tuesday. The host Justin always knows how to ask critical questions and brings on thoughtful guests with niche focuses related to democracy in their academic/policy work.

 Dec 6, 2021
I love this podcast!

 Dec 6, 2021
Thoughtful analysis and commentary about democratic issues. A lot of political commentary today is hyperpartisan and tends to repeat the same talking points, so it is nice to hear more nuanced discussion on this topic.

Avid Listener
 Dec 6, 2021
Been listening to the show for a while. Definitely my favorite podcast on democracy. With no political science background, I have a better understanding of American democracy because of Democracy Paradox's global conversations.


Is it possible for a democracy to govern undemocratically? Can the people elect an undemocratic leader? Is it possible for democracy to bring about authoritarianism? And if so, what does this say about democracy? ​​My name is Justin Kempf. Every week I talk to the brightest minds on subjects like international relations, political theory, and history to explore democracy from every conceivable angle. Topics like civil resistance, authoritarian successor parties, and the autocratic middle class challenge our ideas about democracy. Join me as we unravel new topics every week.

Episode Date
When Democracy Breaks: Scott Mainwaring on Argentina
May 28, 2024
When Democracy Breaks: 1930s Japan with Louise Young
May 21, 2024
When Democracy Breaks: Ancient Athens with Josiah Ober and Federica Carugati
May 14, 2024
Alexander Keyssar on Why We Still Have the Electoral College
May 07, 2024
Robert Kagan on the Threat of Antiliberalism
Apr 30, 2024
Rep Mikie Sherrill on Whether the Bipartisan Consensus on Foreign Policy Will Hold and on Threats to American Democracy
Apr 23, 2024
Saskia Brechenmacher on Promoting Gender Equality Through Democracy Assistance Aid
Apr 16, 2024
Democracy in a Postmodern Era with Bruce Ackerman
Apr 09, 2024
Adam Casey on How Military Aid Can Stabilize and Destabilize Foreign Autocrats
Apr 02, 2024
Disinformation is a Threat to Democracy Says Barbara McQuade
Mar 26, 2024
Grading Biden's Foreign Policy with Alexander Ward
Mar 19, 2024
Peter Pomerantsev on Winning an Information War
Mar 12, 2024
Is Democracy Still in Decline? Yana Gorokhovskaia on the Freedom in the World Report
Mar 05, 2024
When We Misread Dictators... Steve Coll on Saddam Hussein and the American Invasion of Iraq
Feb 27, 2024
Why is the Immigration System Broken? Jonathan Blitzer on How American Foreign Policy in Central America Created a Crisis
Feb 20, 2024
The Surveillance State in China Began With Mao Says Minxin Pei
Feb 13, 2024
After a Coup, Can the Constitutional Order Be Repaired? Adem Abebe on Rebuilding Constitutions in West Africa
Feb 06, 2024
Can Poland Repair its Constitutional Democracy? Tomás Daly Believes it Can
Jan 30, 2024
Simon Shuster on Zelensky in War and Peace
Jan 23, 2024
Marcela Rios Tobar on the Failed Constitutional Process in Chile
Jan 16, 2024
Kurt Weyland on the Resilience of Democracy
Jan 09, 2024
Is a New Jim Crow Emerging in India? Ashutosh Varshney Gives a Warning
Jan 02, 2024
Does Democracy Rely on a Civic Bargain? Josiah Ober Makes the Case
Dec 26, 2023
Is Islamism Democratic? Sebnem Gumuscu on Islamist Parties in Egypt, Tunisia, and Turkey
Dec 19, 2023
Can America Fight Back Against the Authoritarian Economic Statecraft of China? Bethany Allen Believes We Can
Dec 12, 2023
Does Democracy Die in Darkness? Katlyn Carter on Transparency and Secrecy in Early Representative Governments
Dec 05, 2023
How Can Democracy Survive in an Age of Discontent? Rachel Navarre and Matthew Rhodes-Purdy on Populism and Political Extremism
Nov 28, 2023
Rachel Schwartz on How Guatemala Rose Up Against Democratic Backsliding
Nov 21, 2023
Who is Alexey Navalny? David Herszenhorn Paints a Picture
Nov 14, 2023
Leadership is Not a Formula Says Moshik Temkin
Nov 07, 2023
Patricia Evangelista Says The Philippines is an Example of What Happens When Autocrats and Dictators Rise and We Let Them
Oct 31, 2023
Cenk Uygur is Running an Unorthodox Campaign for President
Oct 24, 2023
Shadi Hamid on Democracy, Liberalism, and the Middle East
Oct 17, 2023
Branko Milanovic on Different Visions of Inequality
Oct 10, 2023
Yascha Mounk Warns Against a Misguided New Ideology
Oct 03, 2023
Heather Cox Richardson on History, Conservatism, and the Awakening of American Democracy
Sep 26, 2023
Daniel Ziblatt on American Democracy, the Republican Party, and the Tyranny of the Minority
Sep 19, 2023
Is Reunification Still Possible? Victor Cha and Ramon Pacheco Pardo on Korea
Sep 12, 2023
Deng Xiaoping is Not Who You Think He is. Joseph Torigian on Leadership Transitions in China and the Soviet Unio
Sep 05, 2023
Robert Kaplan on the Politics of the Past and Future of the Greater Middle East
Aug 29, 2023
Is India Still a Democracy? Rahul Verma Emphatically Says Yes
Aug 22, 2023
Cass Sunstein on Interpreting the US Constitution
Aug 15, 2023
Marc Plattner Has Quite a Bit to Say About Democracy
Aug 08, 2023
Is McKinsey and Company a Threat to Democracy? Michael Forsythe Shares His Reporting
Aug 01, 2023
Sergei Guriev Revisits Spin Dictators
Jul 25, 2023
Berk Esen and Sebnem Gumuscu on the Disappointing Elections in Turkey... or How Democratic (or Autocratic) is Turkey Really?
Jul 18, 2023
Hal Brands Thinks China is a Declining Power... Here's Why that's a Problem
Jul 11, 2023
Natasha Wheatley Raises Some Really Difficult Questions About Sovereignty
Jul 04, 2023
Sebastian Edwards on the History of Neoliberalism in Chile
Jun 27, 2023
Dan Slater on Thailand's Revolutionary Election
Jun 20, 2023
Peter Turchin Wants to Avoid Political Disintegration
Jun 13, 2023
Isabel Kershner on Israel and its Divisions
Jun 06, 2023
Cole Bunzel on Wahhābism
May 30, 2023
Daron Acemoglu on Technology and the Struggle for Shared Prosperity
May 23, 2023
Serhii Plokhy on the Russo-Ukrainian War
May 16, 2023
Anne Applebaum on Autocracy, Inc
May 09, 2023
Marsin Alshamary on Iraq’s Struggle for Democracy
May 02, 2023
Jamie Susskind Explains How to Use Republican Ideals to Govern Technology
Apr 25, 2023
James Goldgeier on NATO, its Enlargement, and its Future
Apr 18, 2023
Steven Simon on American Foreign Policy in the Middle East including Iran and the Wars in Iraq
Apr 11, 2023
Larry Bartels Says Democracy Erodes from the Top
Apr 04, 2023
Samuel Woolley on Bots, Artificial Intelligence, and Digital Propaganda
Mar 28, 2023
Josh Chin on China's Surveillance State
Mar 21, 2023
Staffan Lindberg with a Report on Democracy in the World
Mar 14, 2023
Srdja Popovic on Dilemma Actions
Mar 07, 2023
Wendy Hunter on Lula, Bolsonaro, January 8th and Democracy in Brazil
Feb 28, 2023
Jennifer Piscopo on the Constitutional Chaos in Chile
Feb 21, 2023
Martin Wolf on the Crisis of Democratic Capitalism
Feb 14, 2023
Anna Grzymala-Busse on the Sacred Foundations of Modern Politics
Feb 07, 2023
Francis Fukuyama Responds to Liberalism's Discontents
Jan 31, 2023
Patrick Deneen Offers a Powerful Critique of Liberalism
Jan 24, 2023
Michael Walzer on Liberal as an Adjective
Jan 17, 2023
Robert Kagan Looks to American History to Explain Foreign Policy Today
Jan 10, 2023
Olivier Zunz on Alexis de Tocqueville
Jan 03, 2023
Lynette Ong Describes How China Outsources Repression
Dec 27, 2022
Olga Onuch and Henry Hale Describe the Zelensky Effect
Dec 20, 2022
Elizabeth Economy in a Wide Ranging Conversation About China
Dec 13, 2022
Richard Wike Asked Citizens in 19 Countries Whether Social Media is Good for Democracy
Dec 06, 2022
Naunihal Singh on the Myth of the Coup Contagion
Nov 29, 2022
Mohammed Ali Kadivar on Paths to Durable Democracy and Thoughts on the Protests in Iran
Nov 22, 2022
Michael Ignatieff Warns Against the Politics of Enemies
Nov 15, 2022
Emilee Booth Chapman Has Ideas About Voting with Profound Implications
Nov 08, 2022
Jason Brownlee Believes We Underestimate Democratic Resilience
Nov 01, 2022
Allie Funk of Freedom House Assesses Global Internet Freedom
Oct 25, 2022
Jeremi Suri on America's Unfinished Fight for Democracy
Oct 18, 2022
Frank Dikötter on the History of China After Mao
Oct 11, 2022
Larry Diamond on Supporting Democracy in the World and at Home
Oct 04, 2022
Lynn Vavreck on the 2020 Election and the Challenge to American Democracy
Sep 27, 2022
Sarah Cook on China's Expanding Global Media Influence
Sep 20, 2022
Constitution Makers on Constitution Making: Hassen Ebrahim on South Africa's Constitution
Sep 19, 2022
Simon Usherwood on Boris Johnson, Liz Truss, and the Nested Games of British Politics
Sep 06, 2022
Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way on the Durable Authoritarianism of Revolutionary Regimes
Aug 30, 2022
Laura Gamboa on Opposition Strategies to Resist Democratic Erosion
Aug 23, 2022
Kim Lane Scheppele on Hungary, Viktor Orbán, and its Democratic Decline
Aug 16, 2022
Jessica Pisano on How Zelenskyy Changed Ukraine
Aug 09, 2022
Neil DeVotta on the Protests in Sri Lanka
Aug 02, 2022
Aynne Kokas on the Intersection Between Surveillance Capitalism and Chinese Sharp Power (or How Much Does the CCP Already Know About You?)
Jul 26, 2022
Michael McFaul and Robert Person on Putin, Russia, and the War in Ukraine
Jul 19, 2022
Scott Mainwaring on Argentina and a Final Reflection on Democracy in Hard Places
Jul 12, 2022
Lucan Way on Ukraine. Democracy in Hard Places
Jul 05, 2022
Michael Coppedge on Why Democracies Emerge, Why They Decline, and Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem)
Jun 28, 2022
Rachel Beatty Riedl on Benin. Democracy in Hard Places.
Jun 21, 2022
Ashutosh Varshney on India. Democracy in Hard Places
Jun 14, 2022
Evan Lieberman on South Africa. Democracy in Hard Places
Jun 07, 2022
Dan Slater on Indonesia. Democracy in Hard Places
May 31, 2022
Kathryn Stoner on How Putin's War has Ruined Russia
May 24, 2022
Scott Radnitz on Why Conspiracy Theories Thrive in Both Democracies and Autocracies
May 17, 2022
Dan Banik is In Pursuit of Development
May 13, 2022
Ronald Deibert from Citizen Lab on Cyber Surveillance, Digital Subversion, and Transnational Repression
May 10, 2022
Thomas Piketty on Equality
May 03, 2022
Marta Dyczok and Andriy Kulykov on the Media, Information Warriors, and the Future of Ukraine
Apr 26, 2022
Yascha Mounk on the Great Experiment of Diverse Democracies
Apr 19, 2022
Mark Beissinger on Contemporary Urban Civic Revolutions
Apr 12, 2022
Craig Whitlock on the Lessons Learned in Afghanistan
Apr 05, 2022
Miles Rapoport on How We Can Achieve Universal Voting
Mar 29, 2022
Between Russia and China: Anja Mihr on Central Asia
Mar 22, 2022
Moisés Naím on the New Dynamics of Political Power
Mar 15, 2022
Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili and Ilia Murtazashvili on Afghanistan, Local Institutions, and Self-Governance
Mar 08, 2022
Sarah Repucci from Freedom House with an Update on Freedom in the World
Mar 01, 2022
Elisabeth Ivarsflaten and Paul Sniderman on the Inclusion and Respect of Muslim Minorities
Feb 22, 2022
Debasish Roy Chowdhury and John Keane on the Decline of Indian Democracy
Feb 15, 2022
Lisa Disch on Representation, Constituencies, and Political Leadership
Feb 08, 2022
Joseph Fishkin on the Constitution, American History, and Economic Inequality
Feb 01, 2022
Bilal Baloch on Indira Gandhi, India's Emergency, and the Importance of Ideas in Politics
Jan 25, 2022
Sara Wallace Goodman on Citizen Responses to Democratic Threats
Jan 18, 2022
Joseph Wright and Abel Escribà-Folch on Migration's Potential to Topple Dictatorships
Jan 11, 2022
Robert Lieberman, Kenneth Roberts, and David Bateman on Democratic Resilience and Political Polarization in the United States
Jan 04, 2022
Angus Deaton on Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism
Dec 28, 2021
Zeynep Pamuk on the Role of Science and Expertise in a Democracy
Dec 21, 2021
Caitlin Andrews-Lee on Charismatic Movements and Personalist Leaders
Dec 14, 2021
Stephan Haggard and Robert Kaufman on Democratic Backsliding
Dec 07, 2021
Joshua Yaffa on Truth, Ambition, and Compromise in Putin's Russia
Nov 30, 2021
Zoltan Barany on the Ineffectiveness of the Gulf Militaries
Nov 23, 2021
Amory Gethin on Political Cleavages, Inequality, and Party Systems in 50 Democracies
Nov 16, 2021
Daniel Brinks on the Politics of Institutional Weakness
Nov 09, 2021
Elizabeth Perry and Grzegorz Ekiert on State-Mobilized Movements
Nov 02, 2021
Susan Rose-Ackerman on the Role of the Executive in Four Different Democracies
Oct 26, 2021
Tom Ginsburg Shares his Thoughts on Democracy and International Law
Oct 19, 2021
Robert Meister Believes Justice is an Option
Oct 12, 2021
Martin Conway Believes "Democracy Owes its Durability Not to its Principles but to its Flexibility." Democracy in Western Europe from 1945 to 1968
Oct 05, 2021
Donald Horowitz on the Formation of Democratic Constitutions
Sep 28, 2021
Guillermo Trejo and Sandra Ley on the Political Logic of Criminal Wars in Mexico
Sep 21, 2021
Rana Siu Inboden on China and the International Human Rights Regime
Sep 14, 2021
Timothy Frye Says Putin is a Weak Strongman
Sep 07, 2021
Kathryn Stoner on Russia's Economy, Politics, and Foreign Policy
Aug 31, 2021
Karen Greenberg on the War on Terror, Donald Trump, and American Democracy
Aug 24, 2021
Charles Kupchan on America's Tradition of Isolationism
Aug 17, 2021
Aldo Madariaga on Neoliberalism, Democratic Deficits, and Chile
Aug 10, 2021
Roger Lee Huang on Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, and the Tatmadaw
Aug 03, 2021
Mallory SoRelle on the Politics of Consumer Credit
Jul 27, 2021
David Stasavage on Early Democracy and its Decline
Jul 20, 2021
Christophe Jaffrelot on Narendra Modi and Hindu Nationalism
Jul 13, 2021
Jan-Werner Müller on Democracy Rules
Jul 06, 2021
Dorothy Sue Cobble on the Full Rights Feminists
Jun 29, 2021
Freedom House: Sarah Repucci Assesses Freedom in the World
Jun 22, 2021
Michael Miller on the Unexpected Paths to Democratization
Jun 15, 2021
Daniel Carpenter Revisits the Petition in 19th Century America
Jun 08, 2021
Sebastian Strangio Explains the Relationship Between China and Southeast Asia
Jun 01, 2021
Can America Preserve Democracy without Retreating from it? Robert C. Lieberman on the Four Threats
May 25, 2021
Kurt Weyland Distinguishes Between Fascism and Authoritarianism
May 18, 2021
James Loxton Explains Why Authoritarian Successor Parties Succeed in Democracies
May 11, 2021
Derek W. Black Says Public Education Represents the Idea of America... Not its Reality
May 04, 2021
Sheryl WuDunn Paints a Picture of Poverty in America and Offers Hope for Solutions
Apr 27, 2021
Mike Hoffman on How Religious Identities Influence Support for or Opposition to Democracy
Apr 20, 2021
Shari Davis Elevates Participatory Budgeting
Apr 13, 2021
Chris Bickerton Defines Technopopulism
Apr 06, 2021
Ross Benes on Nebraska and Rural Conservatism
Mar 30, 2021
Chad Alan Goldberg on the Wisconsin Idea and the Role of the Public University in a Democracy
Mar 23, 2021
Elizabeth Nugent on Polarization, Democratization and the Arab Spring
Mar 16, 2021
Ryan Salzman is an Evangelist for Placemaking
Mar 09, 2021
Kajri Jain Believes Democracy Unfolds through the Aesthetic
Mar 02, 2021
Nic Cheeseman and Gabrielle Lynch on the Moral Economy of Elections in Africa
Feb 23, 2021
Thomas Carothers and Andrew O'Donohue are Worried About Severe Polarization
Feb 16, 2021
Can Democracy Survive the Internet? Nate Persily and Josh Tucker on Social Media and Democracy
Feb 09, 2021
Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson on the Plutocratic Populism of the Republican Party
Feb 02, 2021
Bryn Rosenfeld on Middle Class Support for Dictators in Autocratic Regimes
Jan 26, 2021
Zizi Papacharissi Dreams of What Comes After Democracy
Jan 19, 2021
Winston Mano on Social Media and Politics in Africa... And what America can Learn from Africa about Democracy
Jan 12, 2021
Michael Hughes on the History of Democracy in Germany
Jan 05, 2021
Lee Drutman Makes the Case for Multiparty Democracy in America
Dec 29, 2020
Hélène Landemore on Democracy without Elections
Dec 22, 2020
Glenn Tiffert on the Manipulation of Academia by Foreign Governments
Dec 15, 2020
Carolyn Hendriks, Selen Ercan and John Boswell on Mending Democracy
Dec 08, 2020
Mareike Ohlberg on the Global Influence of the Chinese Communist Party
Dec 01, 2020
Xiaoyu Pu on China's Global Identities
Nov 23, 2020
G. John Ikenberry on Liberal Internationalism
Nov 16, 2020
Amy Erica Smith on Politics and Religion in Brazil
Nov 09, 2020
William G. Howell and Terry M. Moe on the Presidency
Nov 02, 2020
Barbara Freese on Corporate Denial
Oct 28, 2020
Paul Robinson on Russian Conservatism
Oct 18, 2020
John Matsusaka on National Referendums
Oct 12, 2020
Donald F. Kettl on Federalism
Oct 04, 2020
Recap of Resistance, Revolution, Democracy
Oct 03, 2020
Jonathan Pinckney on Civil Resistance Transitions
Sep 27, 2020
George Lawson on Revolution
Sep 22, 2020
Erica Chenoweth on Civil Resistance
Sep 15, 2020
Resistance, Revolution, Democracy
Sep 09, 2020
Jill Long Thompson on Character in a Democracy
Sep 06, 2020
Juliet B. Schor on the Sharing Economy
Aug 30, 2020
Agnes Cornell and Svend-Erik Skaaning on the Interwar Period
Aug 23, 2020
John Gastil and Katherine Knobloch on Citizen Initiative Review
Aug 16, 2020
Yael Tamir on Nationalism
Aug 09, 2020
Joshua J. Dyck and Edward L. Lascher, Jr. on Initiative Referendums
Aug 02, 2020
William S. Smith on Irving Babbitt
Jul 26, 2020
Takis Pappas on Populism and Liberal Democracy
Jul 19, 2020
Alexander Cooley and Daniel Nexon on the End of American Hegemony
Jul 14, 2020
Luis Cabrera on International Human Rights
Jul 08, 2020
Marlene Mauk on Citizen Support for Democracies... and Autocracies
Jun 28, 2020
Monologue on Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism
Jun 21, 2020