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Democracy Works

By Penn State McCourtney Institute for Democracy

What does it mean to live in a democracy? Democracy Works seeks to answer that question by examining a different aspect of democratic life each week — from voting to criminal justice to the free press and everything in between. We interview experts who study democracy, as well as people who are out there doing the hard of of democracy day in and day out. Democracy Works is produced by the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State and WPSU Penn State, central Pennsylvania’s NPR station. Hosts Michael Berkman and Chris Beem hold Ph.Ds in political science, and host Jenna Spinelle has more than a decade of journalism experience. We aim to rise above partisan bickering and hot takes on the news to have informed, nonpartisan, thought-provoking discussions about issues related to democracy.

  1. 1.
    Demagogues are more common than you think05/20/2019
    38:44
  2. 2.
    What does the Mueller report mean for democracy?05/13/2019
    32:38
  3. 3.
    School segregation then and now05/06/2019
    39:21
  4. 4.
    What Serial taught Sarah Koenig about criminal justice — recorded live at Penn State04/29/2019
    33:33
  5. 5.
    Send us your questions!04/25/2019
    2:10
  6. 6.
    Is it time to revive civility?04/22/2019
    36:08
  7. 7.
    E.J. Dionne on empathy and democracy04/15/2019
    34:03
  8. 8.
    No Jargon: Who controls the states?04/08/2019
    29:48
  1. 9.
    The ongoing struggle for civil rights04/08/2019
    37:02
  2. 10.
    Immigration, refugees, and the politics of displacement04/01/2019
    36:10
  3. 11.
    A playbook for organizing in turbulent times03/25/2019
    39:26
  4. 12.
    Jonathan Haidt on the psychology of democracy03/18/2019
    43:53
  5. 13.
    Future Hindsight: Ian Bremmer on the failure of globalism03/14/2019
    32:48
  6. 14.
    Brexit and the UK’s identity crisis03/11/2019
    28:29
  7. 15.
    Brazil’s tenuous relationship with democracy03/04/2019
    39:50
  8. 16.
    Yellow vests and the “grand debate” in France02/25/2019
    37:23
  9. 17.
    Viktor Orbán’s “velvet repression” in Hungary02/18/2019
    41:42
  10. 18.
    A brief history of “people power”02/11/2019
    40:40
  11. 19.
    The power of local government02/04/2019
    42:40
  12. 20.
    Using the tools of democracy to address economic inequality01/28/2019
    36:08
  13. 21.
    What is democracy? A conversation with Astra Taylor01/21/2019
    38:01
  14. 22.
    Trump on Earth: The Red State Paradox01/14/2019
    30:03
  15. 23.
    It’s good to be counted [rebroadcast]01/07/2019
    32:40
  16. 24.
    When states sue the federal government [rebroadcast]12/31/2018
    31:15
  17. 25.
    Citizenship, patriotism, and democracy in the classroom [rebroadcast]12/24/2018
    35:12
  18. 26.
    2018: The year in democracy12/17/2018
    38:44
  19. 27.
    The complicated relationship between campaign finance and democracy12/10/2018
    33:57
  20. 28.
    Bonus: Capturing the nation’s mood12/06/2018
    28:08
  21. 29.
    Are land-grant universities still “democracy’s colleges?”12/03/2018
    32:04
  22. 30.
    Norman Eisen’s love letter to democracy11/26/2018
    34:16
  23. 31.
    Winning the “democracy lottery”11/19/2018
    40:39
  24. 32.
    From soldier-statesman to the warrior ethos: Gen. Wesley Clark on the military and democracy11/12/2018
    39:43
  25. 33.
    Protecting democracy from foreign interference — recorded live at the National Press Club11/05/2018
    32:39
  26. 34.
    Will Millennials disrupt democracy?10/29/2018
    37:46
  27. 35.
    David Frum on developing the habits of democracy10/22/2018
    40:27
  28. 36.
    When states sue the federal government10/15/2018
    29:51
  29. 37.
    How “if it bleeds, it leads” impacts democracy10/08/2018
    34:37
  30. 38.
    A story about democracy, told through 20 million traffic stops10/01/2018
    31:41
  31. 39.
    Breaking the silence in Syria09/24/2018
    35:38
  32. 40.
    Citizenship, patriotism, and democracy in the classroom09/17/2018
    33:57
  33. 41.
    Behind the scenes of the “Year of the Woman”09/10/2018
    26:47
  34. 42.
    The democrats in public sector unions [Labor Day rebroadcast]09/03/2018
    32:12
  35. 43.
    Middle America, Part 2: Grassroots organizing and rebooting democracy08/27/2018
    34:48
  36. 44.
    Middle America, Part 1: Populism and the Trump Voter08/20/2018
    33:05
  37. 45.
    Facebook is not a democracy08/13/2018
    37:37
  38. 46.
    How will we remember Charlottesville?08/06/2018
    29:37
  39. 47.
    A democracy reading list07/09/2018
    51:47
  40. 48.
    Bonus: A dose of optimism about the future of democracy07/05/2018
    12:40
  41. 49.
    The constitutional crisis episode07/02/2018
    24:20
  42. 50.
    What public sector unions can teach us about democracy06/26/2018
    32:12
  43. 51.
    Unpacking political polarization06/25/2018
    31:26
  44. 52.
    What should voting look like in the 21st century?06/18/2018
    27:44
  45. 53.
    When the “business of business” bleeds into politics06/11/2018
    26:10
  46. 54.
    Michael Mann’s journey through the climate wars06/04/2018
    36:50
  47. 55.
    Can young people revive civic engagement?05/29/2018
    26:05
  48. 56.
    Bonus: Democracy In Action #105/24/2018
    7:25
  49. 57.
    A conversation about conversation05/21/2018
    32:27
  50. 58.
    Ten thousand democracies05/11/2018
    27:37
  51. 59.
    It’s good to be counted05/08/2018
    31:49
  52. 60.
    Satire is good for more than just a few laughs05/01/2018
    33:47
  53. 61.
    Tommie Smith: From sharecropper to Olympic protester04/24/2018
    36:13
  54. 62.
    Generation Z and the future of democracy04/17/2018
    35:39
  55. 63.
    How Democracies Die author Daniel Ziblatt on the ‘grinding work’ of democracy04/10/2018
    31:42
  56. 64.
    What can Pennsylvania voters do about gerrymandering?04/03/2018
    26:26
  57. 65.
    Fake news, clickbait, and the future of local journalism03/27/2018
    32:05
  58. 66.
    Checking the President’s power03/20/2018
    33:10
  59. 67.
    Is Colin Kaepernick a good democrat?03/14/2018
    26:34
  60. 68.
    What is Democracy Works?03/12/2018
    4:55

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