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The Andrea Mitchell Center Podcast

55 EpisodesProduced by Matthew RothWebsite

The ANDREA MITCHELL CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF DEMOCRACY aims not just to promote, but to understand, democracy. Global in its outlook, multifaceted in its purposes, the Mitchell Center seeks to contribute to the ongoing quest for democratic values, ideas, and institutions throughout the world. In THE … read more

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Episode 4.2: Tupinambá de Olivença: Indigenous Territory and Environmental Rights in Brazil – Glicéria Tupinambá

September 23rd, 2022


Note: This interview was conducted in Portuguese. A transcript with an English translation is available here. Interviewer: DANIELA ALARCON. Amid …

Episode 4.1: Enemy of the State: Untangling the Case of Matt DeHart – Sonia Kennebeck

September 9th, 2022


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. As director of the film Enemies of the State, now available on Hulu and for rent on other platforms, SONIA KENNEBECK

Episode 3.16: The Grip of History in Post-Apartheid South Africa – Carolyn E. Holmes

June 24th, 2022


Interviewer: RAFAEL KHACHATURIAN. The transition away from Apartheid in South Africa during the 1990s has been hailed as a double miracle of nation-building and the establishment of democracy, so much so that at the …

Episode 3.15: Made to Eat Dirt: The Rhetoric and Politics of Humiliation – Roxanne Euben

June 6th, 2022


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. Of all of the emotions that spur political engagement, whether in the form of electoral participation or disruptive …

Episode 3.14: Dark Mirror: How the West Imagines Itself Through Imagining Russia – Sean Guillory

May 20th, 2022


Interviewer: RAFAEL KHACHATURIAN. At a moment when its actions truly demand international scrutiny, Russia’s place at the center of Western attention …

Episode 3.13: Naming the Problem: Capitalism is the Crisis – Richard Wolff

May 6th, 2022


Interviewer: RAFAEL KHACHATURIAN. As our economy, political system, and society in general weather a number of immediate crises, from pandemics to …

Episode 3.12: The Jim Crow South: Myths and Realities – Adolph Reed

March 18th, 2022


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. Especially since the national reckoning with race following the death of George Floyd, there has been a focus, in both …

Episode 3.11: Beyond the Ruins of Neoliberalism – Wendy Brown

March 4th, 2022


Interviewer: RAFAEL KHACHATURIAN. Over the course of decades, Neoliberalism has shifted from being an overt ideological position, explicitly arguing …

Episode 3.10: The Eroding Foundations of Putin’s Power – Ilya Matveev

February 17th, 2022


Interviewer: RAFAEL KHACHATURIAN. As he sparks an international crisis over a possible invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has seemingly consolidated …

Episode 3.9: The Capitalist Roots of the Arab Spring and Its Aftermath – Joel Beinin

January 28th, 2022


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. Many accounts of the Arab Spring of 2010-11 view it primarily through a political lens: whatever the underlying …

Episode 3.8: The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine – Rashid Khalidi

January 7th, 2022


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. The story of Palestine, as much as its territory, has been subsumed by Israel, its recent history typically told as a …

Episode 3.7: Reports of Neoliberalism’s Death Are Greatly Exaggerated – Martijn Konings

December 17th, 2021


Interviewer: RAFAEL KHACHATURIAN. Ever since Marx himself, Marxists have anticipated the day of capitalism’s comeuppance, when its crisis-inducing …

Episode 3.6: Universal Suffrage: From Revolutionary Project to Minimalist Politics – Kevin Duong

December 3rd, 2021


Interviewer: RAFAEL KHACHATURIAN. For many on the Left, elections have come to represent a minimal baseline for political engagement – and not a …

Episode 3.5: The Fingerprints of Intelligence: Allen Dulles and the Kennedy Assassination – David Talbot

November 19th, 2021


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. It has long been argued, in support of the case that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, that the Kennedy administration was not threatening enough to …

Episode 3.4: Politics in the Time of Climate Change – Eric Orts

October 25th, 2021


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. In 2021, Wharton professor ERIC ORTS took a leave of absence to run as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. He was driven in part by his desire to reform the Senate …

Episode 3.3: No Easy Answers: A Conversation with Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch

October 1st, 2021


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN.  For two years, LORETTA LYNCH held one of the most powerful and most complicated jobs in the United State government. …

Episode 3.2: Do Presidents Have the Right to Lie (or Do We Have the Right to Stop Them)? – Catherine J. Ross

September 17th, 2021


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN.  In her new book, A Right to Lie? Presidents, Other Liars, and the First Amendment, constitutional scholar CATHERINE J. …

Episode 3.1: Enemies by Choice: U.S.-Iranian Relations in the Long View – John Ghazvinian

September 3rd, 2021


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. There are some countries which, by dint of geography or incompatible national interests, seem destined for perpetual conflict and antagonism. This is not true, however, in the case of Iran …

Episode 2.16: No Nation Is an Island: Rethinking How Borders Should Work – Paulina Ochoa Espejo

May 18th, 2021


Interviewer: RAFAEL KHACHATURIAN. As citizens and politicians in many countries argue passionately about how – or whether – national borders should …

Episode 2.15: The Double Life of Violence: Social Discourse, Personal Agency, and the Unresolved Meanings of a Key Term – Matt Shafer

May 4th, 2021


Interviewer: RAFAEL KHACHATURIAN. Recent movements to reform society and address interpersonal behavior have placed eliminating violence at their …

Episode 2.14: Climate Apartheid, Racial Capitalism, and the Future of Democracy - Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò

April 5th, 2021


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. As envisioned by philosopher OLÚFẸ́MI O. TÁÍWÒ, a coming age of climate apartheid will create a new kind of social division within countries and communities between those who can pay to …

Episode 2.13: The Scandalous Secret History of the First Amendment - Fara Dabhoiwala

March 15th, 2021


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. The approach to free speech embodied by the First Amendment of the American Constitution is often considered, by Americans at least, to be a model for the rest of the world. Historian FARA …

Episode 2.12: Academic Freedom and the Work of the University - Joan Wallach Scott

March 1st, 2021


Interviewer: RAFAEL KHACHATURIAN.In an era when “free speech on campus” has become a slogan weaponized by conservative groups, historian JOAN WALLACH SCOTT insists on treating academic freedom not as an individual right …

Episode 2.11: On Social Media, the Personal Is Political - Jaime Settle

February 16th, 2021


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. It is widely known that social media increases political polarization among its users, creating an environment in which …

Episode 2.10: "Hurt Sentiments" and Forbidden Speech in India - Neeti Nair

January 29th, 2021


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. The concept of hurt sentiments first became ensconced in the Indian legal code almost two-hundred years ago, under the …

Episode 2.9: The 100-Million Dollar Question: Is The University of Pennsylvania Really Paying Its Fair Share?

December 22nd, 2020


Interviewer: KATIE RADER. For decades, University of Pennsylvania student activists have demanded that Penn pay PILOTs (Payments in Lieu of Taxes) to …

Episode 2.8: The Fall of the Party of Lincoln: A Conversation with Tara Setmayer

December 15th, 2020


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. As an African-American Republican, political commentator TARA SETMAYER had long embraced the compassionate …

Episode 2.7: Art, Activism, and Putin: A Conversation with Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova

December 7th, 2020


Interviewer: RAFAEL KHACHATURIAN. Conceptual artist and political activist NADYA TOLOKONNIKOVA is a founding member of the art collective Pussy Riot, …

Episode 2.6: Countering White Nationalism: A View from the Inside – Derek Black

October 30th, 2020


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. Growing up within the white nationalist movement as the son of one its leaders, Don Black, and the godson of its most …

Episode 2.5: Hate Speech: The Case Against Censorship – Nadine Strossen

October 5th, 2020


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. As the political climate and the prevalence of social media have combined to raise the incidents and visibility of …

Episode 2.4: Bad Populism, Good Populism – Rogers Smith

September 18th, 2020


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. Nationalist populist movements, fueled by resentment against ruling elites, typically attack the norms and procedures …

Episode 2.3: Bulwark of the Opulent Minority: Can the Senate Ever Be Democratic?

September 4th, 2020


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. As the Democratic Party seeks to regain the Presidency and retain the House of Representatives in November, it well …

Episode 2.2: Restoring a Rules-Based World: A Conversation with Gen. Wesley Clark

August 24th, 2020


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. Amid our current partisan rancor, Retired Army General WESLEY CLARK has chosen to focus instead on the common ground …

Episode 2.1: Roy Cohn: His Life, Misdeeds, and Inescapable Legacy

August 10th, 2020


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. In her discussion with political scientist Matthew Berkman, documentarian IVY MEEROPOL describes the stories she was …

Episode 1.21: After Bern: Progressive Activist Winnie Wong on the Future of a Movement

May 29th, 2020


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. Bernie Sanders has twice failed to win the nomination for President, but in the process has transformed the policies …

Episode 1.20: The American Jewish Philanthropic Complex - Lila Corwin Berman

May 22nd, 2020


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. American Jewish philanthropy has long been celebrated for its virtues, extending from the local to the global, the Jewish to the non-Jewish, and modest donations to vast endowments. In her …

Episode 1.19: Thinking Beyond Universal Peace: How Our Highest Ideal Underwrites Violence - Murad Idris

May 15th, 2020


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. For those who seek an end to intergroup violence, it might seem natural to embrace peace as a universal ideal. MURAD …

Episode 1.18: Fifty-State Anarchy: The Failed Federal Response to Covid-19 - Eric Orts

May 8th, 2020


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. In the absence of a robust and coordinated response from the national government, U.S. states have shouldered the …

Episode 1.17: The Class Ceiling: How Privilege Shapes British Careers - Sam Friedman

May 1st, 2020


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. Even in the United Kingdom, with its longstanding reputation for rigid class distinctions, the common presumption in the twenty-first century is that people progress in their careers …

Episode 1.16: A World Without Police: Toward the Abolitionist Horizon - George Ciccariello-Maher

April 24th, 2020


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. As the old saying goes, when you are holding a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. GEORGE CICCARIELLO-MAHER argues …

Episode 1.15: The Two-State Solution: An Autopsy – Ian Lustick

April 17th, 2020


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. In his book Paradigm Lost, IAN LUSTICK argues that negotiations for a two-state solution between the Mediterranean Sea …

Episode 1.14: The Emancipation of All: Marxism in the Age of Identity Politics – Asad Haider

April 10th, 2020



Interviewer: RAFAEL KHACHATURIAN. “Identity politics” is a term typically marshaled to attack something the speaker dislikes, whether it a …

Episode 1.13: Germans, Israelis, and Palestinians in the Shadow of the Holocaust - Sa'ed Atshan and Katharina Galor

April 3rd, 2020


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. Berlin is home to Europe’s largest Palestinian diaspora community and one of the world’s largest Israeli diaspora communities. In their book, The Moral Triangle, SA’ED ATSHAN and KATHARINA …

Episode 1.12: Human Rights Are Not Enough to Fix an Unequal World - Samuel Moyn

March 27th, 2020


Interviewer: RAFAEL KHACHATURIAN. The rise of human rights as an international ideal has not only failed to address the longstanding problem of distributional equity, argues historian SAMUEL MOYN, but has coincided with …

Episode 1.11: Taking a Pound of Flesh: The Punitive Impacts of Monetary Sanctions - Alexes Harris

March 18th, 2020


Interviewer: RAFAEL KHACHATURIAN. More than seven million Americans are either incarcerated, on probation, or on parole, with their criminal records …

Episode 1.10: Men Die Quicker, Women Get Sicker: Gender Disparities in Health Policy and Research - Chloe Bird

February 19th, 2020


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. For many decades, health researchers assumed that they knew how to correct for gender – specifically, how to take research carried out primarily on men and adjust their recommendations for …

Episode 1.9: The Quiet Conservative - An Interview with Jeb Bush

January 27th, 2020


Interviewer: AUDREY JAQUISS. The 43rd Governor of Florida and presidential candidate JEB BUSH is currently a Penn Presidential Professor of Practice affiliated with the Mitchell Center, and we appreciate his engagement …

Episode 1.8: Childhood Adversity, Toxic Stress, and Social Inequality - Bruce and Craig McEwen

January 3rd, 2020


Interviewer: MARTHA FARAH. Combining the perspectives of neuroscience and sociology, brothers BRUCE MCEWEN (head of the Harold and Margaret Milliken …

Episode 1.7: The Criminal Justice System as a Predatory Revenue Racket - Joe Soss

December 20th, 2019


Interviewer: RAFAEL KHACHATURIAN. In March 2016, American learned from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that the city of Ferguson, Missouri had …

Episode 1.6: Partisan Gerrymandering and the Rise of Democracy Deserts - David Daley

December 10th, 2019


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. Since the days of Massachusetts Governor Eldridge Gerry (pronounced with a hard g), whose 1812 redistricting plan for the state senate produced the salamander-shaped district that made his …

Episode 1.5: The Decline of American Labor and the Rise of Inequality – Brishen Rogers

November 22nd, 2019


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. Union membership in the United States has experienced a long decline. From a peak of over 30 percent of the labor force …

Episode 1.4: The Mediated Cacophony of Facebook and Its Threat to Democracy - Siva Vaidhyanathan

November 11th, 2019


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. The ways in which Facebook pollutes public discourse are inherent and inescapable features of its business model, …

Episode 1.3: No Asylum for Mankind: The Long, Twisting History of U.S. Refugee Policy – Evan Taparata

October 25th, 2019


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. Since its beginnings after the Revolutionary War, refugee policy has helped establish the contours of the U.S. …

Episode 1.2: Understanding Russian Interference Through a Russian Lens - Marlene Laruelle

October 16th, 2019


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. The United States, and Western democracies more generally, currently view Russia through the lens of their own internal …

Episode 1.1: The Enduring Threats to Voting Rights - Ari Berman

May 20th, 2019


Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. Since the Voting Rights Act of 1965, many have celebrated the expansion of voting rights to more Americans. Journalist ARI BERMAN (Mother Jones) has focused his reporting on areas where …

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