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Real Democracy Now! a podcast

Real Democracy Now! a podcast answers the question: can we do democracy differently? If you're dissatisfied with the current state of democracy but not sure how it could be improved this is the podcast for you. You'll hear from experts and activists as well as everyday people about how democracy works and how it can be improved. Then you get to choose which reforms you think would make the most difference.
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Real Democracy Now! a podcast
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Now displaying: March, 2019
Mar 26, 2019
In this episode, I am speaking with Professor Pippa Norris about her work on electoral integrity. 
 
Pippa Norris, is the Paul F. McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, ARC Laureate Fellow and Professor of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, and Director of the Electoral Integrity Project.
 
Pippa has published almost fifty books. Most recently these books focus on electoral integrity. with Electoral Integrity (2017 Cambridge), Election Watchdogs (ed. 2017 Oxford), Why American Elections are Flawed (2017 Cornell), Cultural Backlash: Trump, Brexit and Authoritarian-Populism (2018 Cambridge, with Ronald Inglehart) and Electoral Integrity in America (ed. 2018 Oxford University Press).
 
Pippa talks about
  • key features of electoral integrity
  • factors which support or hinder electoral integrity
  • why the United States is at the bottom of the ‘scoreboard’ amongst Western democracies in regard to electoral integrity and
  • how different electoral systems impact on the representation of minorities and women.
Mar 18, 2019
 
Welcome to Episode 10 in this special bonus series of Real Democracy Now! a podcast about Deliberation, Culture and Context.
 
This bonus series has been made in collaboration with the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra. In this series, I’ve spoken with most of the presenters at the Centre's conference on Deliberation, Culture and Context, which was held in early December 2017. This conference brought together scholars from around the world to examine the different forms, meanings, and significance associated with deliberation in various cultures and contexts. A copy of the conference program is available here.
 
This Conference was supported by John's ARC Laureate Fellowship entitled "Deliberative Worlds: Democracy, Justice and a Changing Earth System."
 
In this episode, I’m speaking with Professor John Dryzek about his ARC Laureate Fellowship, his reflections on the Conference generally, how we might establish global deliberative processes and directions for future research in this area.
 
In reflecting on the conference John made a number of interesting points about deliberation, culture and context:
  • deliberation is a universal capacity - anyone anywhere can do it
  • however, deliberation is manifested differently in different cultures and contexts
  • context and culture should not be conflated
  • culture involves processes of meaning-making to which deliberation can contribute
  • there are ethical issues associated with critiquing other cultures.

Despite the range of cultures and contexts in which deliberation occurs John believes that 'we can't simply wait' until we understand these different approaches before we develop global deliberative processes or we could be waiting forever. 

John identifies two broad research agendas:
  1. consider research questions from a non-western perspective
  2. undertake empirical research looking at how deliberative processes can feed into global governance.
The next episode of the podcast will be back to Season 3 looking at Elections, Electoral Systems and Alternatives. In episode 5 of Season 3, I’ll be talking with Professor Pippa Norris about electoral integrity. 
Mar 4, 2019
This is the ninth episode in a bonus series of Real Democracy Now! a podcast talking about Deliberation, Culture and Context.
 
 
This bonus series has been made in collaboration with the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra. In this series, I speak with a number of people who participated in the Centre's conference in early December 2017 which brought together scholars from around the world to examine the different forms, meanings, and significance associated with deliberation in various cultures and contexts. A copy of the conference program is available here.
 
This Conference was supported by John Dryzek's ARC Laureate Fellowship entitled "Deliberative Worlds: Democracy, Justice and a Changing Earth System."
 
In this episode, I’m speaking with Dr Quinlan Bowman.
 
I spoke with Quinlan about his reflections on the Conference where he was one of the speakers in the final roundtable discussion - Deliberation, Culture and Context: the state of play.
 
Quinlan identified recurring anxiety, amongst academics, about making normative judgements about democratic practices around the world. He takes the view that 'all social research is value guided as well as value-laden.'
 
He made four suggestions to address this potential value bias:
  1. be open and transparent about our judgements when looking at other cultures
  2. be open to being wrong, what he calls 'cultural self-criticism'
  3. make cultural self-criticism an explicit component of cross-cultural studies, and
  4. bring the subjects of our investigations into the evaluation of our findings and be open to modifying our conclusions based on their input.

He noted that there are lots of reasons why doing these things is hard.

Quinlan's current research is looking at friendship as a cross-cultural phenomenon which embodies democratic values, such as treating one and another as free and equal. 
 
Finally, Quinlan believes the Deliberation, Culture and Context Conference demonstrates that the field of deliberative democracy continues to develop from its original roots in mainly western cultural practices.
 
In the final episode in this bonus series I’ll be speaking with Professor John Dryzek reflecting on the conference overall. I hope you’ll join me then.
 
 
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