Democracy Works Podcast.
Published on: Jun 18, 2019

Penn State podcast series covering issues impacting democracy

Penn State’s The McCourtney Institute for Democracy has crafted an intellectual podcast series, Democracy Works, to highlight issues in American democracy. Instead of bipartisan debate, the series addresses problems from a broader perspective and reveals the ways in which American citizens are yearning to make democracy work.

Winner of a 2018 People’s Choice Podcast Award, Democracy Works has covered a wide-range of topics and experts to provide listeners with educated perspectives on important matters.

The podcast team consisting of Penn State faculty members Michael Berkman, Christopher Beem, Jenna Spinelle and Giovanni Castro has established this engaging dialogue through over 60 episodes. Summaries of recent podcasts are found below.

Will Al Destroy Democracy?

In this episode of Democracy Works, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation are considered along with their impact on democracy in the United States. Penn State alumnus Jay Yonamine, head of data science, ops and quality, global patents at Google LLC, addresses the issue of AI replacing human jobs and potentially hurting democracy.

Democracy in America

The hosts of Democracy Works sit down with Lindsey Lloyd, director of the Human Freedom Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute, to talk about the results of the Democracy Project Survey. This important survey gathers information from Americans of all ages about their support for and concerns regarding America’s democracy.

Demagogues are more common than you think

This Democracy Works podcast features Patricia Roberts Miller, professor of writing and rhetoric at the University of Texas and author of Demagoguery and Democracy, to explain the characteristics of a demagogue and uncover how democracy in America may be subject to certain features of demagoguery.

School segregation then and now

Penn Staters Crystal Sanders, associate professor of history and African American studies, and Erika Frankenberg, professor of educational leadership, join Democracy Works for a podcast to discuss the 1954 ruling of Brown vs. the Board of Education. The experts uncover the impact this ruling had to direct democracy where it is today.

Is it time to revive civility?

Democracy Works welcomes Timothy Shaffer, assistant professor in the department of communication studies at Kansas State University, for a discussion around the issue of civility (or lack of) in today’s democracy. Civility, defined as having a mutual respect for all fellow citizens, is debated for its significance in running a successful democracy.