Prof. Scott Radnitz of UW joins James to discuss Russia and Vladimir Putin's influence on elections & democracy at home and abroad; potential hacking in the 2020 election; and the role that conspiracy theories play in post-Soviet politics. Scott is the author of the new book, Revealing Schemes: The Politics of Conspiracy in Russia and the Post-Soviet Region, as well Weapons of the Wealthy: Predatory Regimes and Elite-Led Protests in Central Asia.
Jake Grumbach, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington, joins Morgan and Nicolas to discuss the indicators and causes of American democratic backsliding. Jake is the author of a forthcoming paper entitled “Laboratories of Democratic Backsliding.” Coverage of the article, which details his development of the State Democracy Index utilized to assess subnational institutions and policies, has extended to pieces in The Economist, New York Times, New York Magazine, Vox, and The Washington Post.
Wendy Wong, Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto & Nicholas Weller, Associate Professor of Political Science at UC-Riverside join James to discuss datafication, human rights, regulation of big tech, and democracy. Wendy and Nick are the authors of the forthcoming paper "We Haven’t Gone Paperless Yet: Why the Printing Press Can Help Us Understand Data and AI." Wendy is the author of Internal Affairs and Nick is the author of Finding Pathways: Mixed-Method Research for Studying Causal Mechanism. They have written recent pieces on facial recognition and the Capitol Riot, and the role of big tech and regulation of speech.
Jeff Paller, Assistant Prof. at the University of San Francisco, joins James and Morgan to discuss the daily interactions and informal governance that characterize and inform politics in African democracies. The conversation includes Jeff's insight regarding the influence of shifts in urbanization and demography on regional development and democratization. Jeff is the author of Democracy in Ghana: Everyday Politics in Urban Africa and co-founder of the popular newsletter This Week in Africa.
Michael Albertus, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago joins James to discuss politics and democratization in Latin America - including when/how the region gained independence, the importance of land and land reform, property rights, left-wing radicals vs. right-wing reactionaries, drug wars and cartels, and whether democracy is responsible for corruption today. Mike is the author of Property without Rights: Origins and Consequences of the Property Rights Gap, Authoritarianism and the Elite Origins of Democracy (with Victor Menaldo), and Autocracy and Redistribution: The Politics of Land Reform
Ugandan political scientist Frederick Golooba-Mutebi joins James to discuss the recent election in Uganda, historical and contemporary conflict over democracy, President Yoweri Museveni's retail campaign compared to the role of social media and the rise in popularity of the opposition leader Bobi Wine, whether the January vote was rigged and who really won, and what Ugandan democracy teaches us (or not) about democracy globally. Fred ends with a provocative statement on Rwanda, which he promises to explore on a future episode! Fred is recently the author of "The master of institutional multiplicity? The shifting politics of regime survival, state-building and democratization in Museveni’s Uganda.
In this special, crossover episode with the Political Economy Forum podcast, Professors Long and Menaldo are having an open, live discussion with Forum affiliates and friends on the Biden Agenda, the state of American democracy, COVID, and social media in politics.
This podcast is hosted by Morgan Wack and Nicolas Wittstock and produced by Matthew Dagele.
Karen Ferree, Prof. at UCSD joins James to discuss what it means for voters to be ‘tribal,’ partisanship in the US, racial/ethnic voting in South Africa and Kenya, and the implications of identity to democratic politics. Karen is the author of Framing the Race in South Africa: the Political Origins of Racial Census Elections and “Mixed Records, Complexity, and Ethnic Voting in African Elections” (co-authored with James and Clark Gibson)
Dr. Jessica Beyer of the University of Washington joins James to discuss online coordination of the Jan. 6th attack, Facebook groups, QAnon, and the ability to "deprogram" followers of online conspiracy theories and far-right extremism. Jessica is the author of the book Expect Us: Online Communities and Political Mobilization.
Prof. Dan Slater of Univ. of Michigan discusses with James the ongoing protests, coup, election fraud, and democratization in Myanmar. Dan is author of Ordering Power: Contentious Politics and Authoritarian Leviathans in Southeast Asia and a co-editor of Southeast Asia in Political Science: Theory, Region, and Qualitative Analysis.
Prof. Victor Menaldo of UW Political Economy Forum discusses with James their recent piece on Section 230 and Trump’s deplatforming in the Seattle Times, and obscure features of the Constitution regarding Impeachment and the upcoming Senate trial.
Prof. Megan Francis of Univ. of Washington & Harvard joins James to explain the Capitol Riot and the 2020 election in historical context; the role of race in contemporary American political life; and the contribution of Black women to the success of the Democratic Party. Megan is the author of the award winning book, Civil Rights and the Making of the Modern American State, and host of the podcast ‘Philanthropy and Social Movements.’ Megan specializes in the study of American politics, with broad interests in criminal punishment, Black political activism, philanthropy, and the post-civil war South.
Prof. Victor Menaldo of UW Political Economy Forum discusses with James whether the mob that attacked the Capitol is a coup attempt, insurrection, or sedition, the 25th amendment, and future prosecutions. James and Victor also discuss these issues in a recent piece published in The Conversation: Why Trump’s challenges to democracy will be a big problem for Biden.
Victor Menaldo of Political Economy Forum joins James to discuss why a coup is unlikely in the US, the anxieties & realities of political transitions, and what the historical record can teach us about contested elections. See links on the showpage here.
In part 2, Kevin Johnson discusses election reform frontiers & challenges with James regarding the electoral college, gerrymandering, impartial election administration, campaign finance, and rank choice voting.
A special crossover episode of Neither Free Nor Fair? with the Political Economy Forum, James Long, Victor Menaldo, and Mark Smith discuss the presidential debates, whether the remaining debates should be canceled or not, and the role of debates to democracy.
In this new podcast series, “Neither Free Nor Fair?” we will try to make sense of the evolving threats to election security and democracy in the US and around the world. The series is produced by the Political Economy Forum at the University of Washington and hosted by me, James Long, Associate Professor of Political Science and co-founder of the Forum. I research and teach on elections, corruption, and democracy in a global context, and for more than a decade, have observed elections in Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East.
Each episode, global experts from academia, advocacy, policymaking, and the tech industry will join me to discuss how we can apply lessons from around the world to understand threats to elections in the US, and how these lessons inform the conversation around the fate of global democracy in the 21st century.
We hope you’ll join us.