Polity podcasts feature interviews with the leading author from each issue of Polity, beginning with Volume 43, Issue 4. Access to the podcast is FREE.

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Polity Podcast archive

Polity podcast – Volume 46, Issue 1

Polity Editorial Board member Julie Novkov (University at Albany, SUNY) interviews Samantha Majic of John Jay College/City University of New York, whose article Teaching Equality? “John Schools,” Gender, and Institutional Reform leads the January 2014 issue.

In this podcast, Majic discusses her experience observing San Francisco's “John Schools” - in which men arrested for soliciting prostitutes can, in lieu of prosecution, pay a fine and take classes to learn about the consequences of their actions. Majic finds that while supporters of these programs claim an important step for gender equality in targeting men equally to women in addressing prostitution, the classes themselves reinforce traditional gender ideologies - where men are sexual agents who can make better choices, while women are portrayed as criminals and/or victims. The conversation extends to Majic's investigations into extralegal interventions for prostitution in other cities, and wider feminist arguments around sex workers and sex worker rights.Majic's article is available FREE to read online for a limited time.

Julie Novkov interviews Samantha Majic

(Audio mp3 file, 34:24min) (mp3, 15.7 MB)
Volume 46, Issue 1

Polity podcast – Volume 45, Issue 4

Polity Editorial Board member Simon Stow interviews Joseph Lowndes of the University of Oregon, whose article Barack Obama's Body: The Presidency, the Body Politic, and the Contest over American National Identity leads the October 2013 issue.

In this podcast, Joseph Lowndes provides a brief overview of his article, in which he discusses the role of Presidents' bodies as representatively American. He goes on to explain how racial politics and his study of American conservatism intersect in his research. In discussing how he came to work in political theory, Lowndes offers his views on the role of the political theorist in the age of social media and his engagement with “real world problems.” Lowndes’ article is available FREE to read online for a limited time.

Simon Stow interviews Joseph Lowndes

(Audio mp3 file, 37:35min) (mp3, 15.9 MB)
Volume 45, Issue 4

Polity podcast – Volume 45, Issue 2

Polity Editorial Board member Patrick Neal interviews Jean Cahan of University of Nebraska-Lincoln, whose article Reconciliation or Reconstruction? Further Thoughts on Political Forgiveness leads the April 2013 issue.

In this podcast, Jean Cahan discusses her lifelong interest in political forgiveness and its role in the relationship between German and Jewish communities after World War II and, more recently, the situation in Iraq in 2003. By explaining the structure of her article, Cahan also explores the historical, philosophical, and religious arguments behind her political theory. In the course of a lively discussion, Cahan reveals an inspiring and enduring dedication to her intellectual life and hints at the direction her future work will take. Cahan’s article is available FREE to read online for a limited time.

Patrick Neal interviews Jean Cahan

(Audio mp3 file, 37:35min) (mp3, 17.2 MB)
Volume 45, Issue 2

Polity podcast – Volume 45, Issue 1

Polity Associate Editor Jeffrey Ladewig interviews Dustin Tingley of Harvard University, whose article Public Finance and Immigration Preferences: A Lost Connection? leads the January 2013 issue.

Tingley revisits the debate on how material interests affect an individual’s political views with a range of new data that examines how public finance environments in different states influence an individual’s support of immigration. In this podcast, the author discusses how he became interested in the topic, as well as his views on the future of the discipline and possible areas of exploration and study for young scholars. By weighing in on the larger theoretical and empirical difficulties of his work, he contextualizes his research in current and ongoing debates within his field. Tingley’s article is available FREE to read online for a limited time.

Jeffrey Ladewig interviews Dustin Tingley

(Audio mp3 file, 29:59min) (mp3, 13.7 MB)
Volume 45, Issue 1

Polity podcast – Volume 44, Issue 4: Symposium on Deepening Democracy

Polity Editor Cyrus Ernesto Zirakzadeh interviews Michael Goodhart (University of Pittsburgh), Guest Editor of Polity’s first Symposium: Deepening Democracy. The Symposia are a new feature of the journal, planned to publish every other issue, and are intended to foster a conversation among scholars on a topic that is both timely and theoretically rich. The topic is proposed to potential contributors which include well-known political scientists and emerging scholars who may have a unique and fresh perspective. The Guest Editor’s role is to ensure a dialogue on the subject highlighting convergences and divergences of thinking.
In this podcast, Goodhart and Zirakzadeh discuss the origins of this Symposium, which is based on the background papers for Democratic Imperatives, the report of the APSA Task Force on Democracy, Economic Security, and Social Justice in a Volatile World. Goodhart also touches on his own intellectual growth and development, including his interest in the history of political thought and how it ties into global politics and issues of human rights and democracy. Read Michael Goodhart’s Issue Introduction.

Symposium on Deepening Democracy – Cyrus Ernesto Zirakzadeh interviews Michael Goodhart

(Audio mp3 file, 24:11min) (mp3, 11.0 MB)
Volume 44, Issue 4

NEW Polity podcast – Volume 44, Issue 3

Polity Editor Cyrus Ernesto Zirakzadeh interviews Orion A. Lewis (Middlebury College) and Sven Steinmo (European University Institute), whose article How Institutions Evolve: Evolutionary Theory and Institutional Change leads the July 2012 issue. Lewis and Steinmo argue that gradual institutional change can be understood as an evolutionary process – and not in the metaphorical sense. Instead, they build on the growing body of literature that argues that biology is just one arena in which evolutionary processes take place, and that the way in which human social institutions literally “evolve” can be understood as one example of “generalized Darwinism”. In the podcast, the authors add context to their controversial assertions by providing an introduction to notions of Darwinian thinking and a synthesis of Darwinian assumptions and concepts within theories of cognition and decision making. Lewis and Steinmo’s article is available FREE to read online for a limited time.

Cyrus Ernesto Zirakzadeh interviews Orion Lewis and Sven Steinmo

(Audio mp3 file, 15:36min) (mp3, 39.3 MB)
Volume 44, Issue 3

Polity podcast – Volume 44, Issue 2

This podcast features an interview with Stephen Marshall (The University of Texas at Austin), whose article Taking Liberty behind God’s Back: Mastery as the Central Problem of Slavery leads the April 2012 issue. Professor Marshall is interviewed by Polity Editorial Board member Dean Hammer (Franklin & Marshall College) in a wide-ranging discussion about the need to further explore the moral and political problems of mastery when addressing the problem of slavery. Marshall argues that this is particularly crucial in light of the revisionist efforts of recent political discourse, in which the problem of the human condition that allows these things to happen is obscured to serve different political agendas: either in the service of a narrative of racial progress by Barack Obama, or framed as an aberration in a larger quest for American justice by Michelle Bachman and Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell. In exploring the problem of mastery, Marshall looks closely at the writings of St. Augustine, which illuminate the quest for mastery as the principal pathology of political life. Marshall’s article is available FREE to read onlinefor a limited time.

Dean Hammer interviews Stephen Marshall

(Audio mp3 file, 31:49min) (mp3, 29.1 MB)
Volume 44, Issue 2

Polity podcast – Volume 44, Issue 1

Polity Editor Cyrus Ernesto Zirakzadeh interviews Xavier Marquez (Victoria University of Wellington), whose article Spaces of Appearance and Spaces of Surveillance leads the January 2012 issue. Marquez argues that Hannah Arendt and Michel Foucault developed different but complementary theories about visibility and power, and that the contrast between an Arendtian “space of appearance” and a Foucauldian “space of surveillance” enhances both Arendt’s and Foucault’s critiques of modern society by both clarifying Arendt’s concerns with the rise of the “social” in terms of spaces of surveillance, and enriching Foucault’s notion of “resistance.” Marquez’s article is free to read online for a limited time.
The interview enriches understanding of the article by touching on the strong impact of Arendt in Marquez’s early studies, compelling him to conceive a “rescue operation” of her work against some of the criticisms that have been raised. Zirakzadeh and Marquez also discuss how the ideas of “spaces of appearance” and “spaces of surveillance” are playing out in the context of today’s Occupy movement.

Cyrus Ernesto Zirakzadeh interviews Xavier Marquez

(Audio mp3 file, 28.00min) (mp3, 20.6 MB)
Volume 44, Issue 1

Polity podcast – Volume 43, Issue 4

Our first podcast features an interview with Gary Jacobsohn (University of Texas at Austin), whose article Rights and American Constitutional Identity leads the October 2011 issue. Professor Jacobsohn is interviewed by Polity Editorial Board member Ken Kersch (Boston College), in a lively discussion on how contemporary constitutional theory can underestimate both the disharmonies within the document, and between the document and the society within which it is situated. Jacobsohn’s article is available FREE to read online for a limited time.

Ken Kersch interviews Gary Jacobsohn

(Audio mp3 file, 30:56in) (mp3, 2.2 MB)
 Volume 43, Issue 4