Episodes

15: C'mon Unity (feat. Dr. John Barry Ryan)


Communication is as simple as talking, right?


This month we hear from Professor John Barry Ryan about polarization in the United States and its significance to communication and compromise in politics today. Specifically highlighting the issues of gun violence and climate change, we explain why Americans appear so far apart and how this often results in policy inaction. We discuss the nature of American democracy and its limits in order to sort out its potential to mitigate collective action problems.


14: It's (Un)just a Game (feat. Dr. John Emery)


Humanity today has the technological means to annihilate itself ten times over. How do we make sure that doesn’t end up happening?


We sit with Professor John Emery to discuss just that! Covering his research on war ethics, we list the ways in which war has become simultaneously dehumanized and never-ending within the 21st century. Considering the United States’ conceptualization of “enemy”, its interventions across the Middle East, and a growingly belligerent and nuclear armed Russia, could “feelings” maybe hold the answer?


13: Snap, Autocrackle, Prop (feat. Dr. Sarah Wilson Sokhey)


It’s been over 4 months since Russia invaded and initiated war against Ukraine. How much longer will it last?


To kick-off Season 2, we hear from Eastern European Politics scholar, Sarah Wilson Sokhey. Outlining Russian politics and citizenship, we discuss just how immune the Russian state is from public opinion. By examining past protest within Russia, we breakdown current public opinion in Russia and explore its potential to force an end to the war.


12: "Sus"tainable Solutions (feat. Dr. Christina Boyes)


What does it mean to meaningfully produce environmental policy?


On this episode, we chat with Professor Christina Boyes about why we should take a more holistic approach, considering both the human and non-human. Looking specifically at natural resources, we discuss where environmental technology might fall short both ecologically and along lines of social justice, pinpointing some non-obvious consequences that accompany greenwashing today.


11: Social Mediacracy (feat. Dr. Jennifer Forestal)


Are digital technologies and social media relevant to politics? It’s not so much a question of “if” but “how”….


This month we talk with Professor Jennifer Forestal about how the digital world can both support and hurt democracy. Looking at the way platforms are structured and monitored, we discuss ways that social media can build meaningful communities instead of atomized ones, what’s required of democratic citizenship in the 21st century, and how digital technologies might just be a boogeyman that overshadows bigger political issues.


10: Wore On Terror (feat. Kiela Crabtree)


What is and isn’t terrorism, and why does the term matter? On our tenth episode, we talk with Kiela Crabtree to hear about her work on mass violence and racialized violence in both the past and present.


Drawing parallels between 20th century Alabama and today, we ask what has changed and what hasn’t when it comes to violence against racial minorities, as well as against Americans in general. Despite their obvious harm, we attempt to raise the possibilities that might also arise to combat them.


9: Whose War It Best? (feat. Drs. Jess and Alex Braithwaite)


Is war just politics by other means? We sit down with civil war experts Drs. Jess and Alex Braithwaite to get the scoop.


Breaking down the roots of civil war, how they escalate, their consequences, and what to do about them, this episode applies poli sci theories to understand ongoing dilemmas in Haiti, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, …and possibly the United States.


8: Migrants Go Marching One By One (feat. Dr. Jesse Acevedo)

CNN and Fox News definitely want you to believe their theories to explaining immigration. But when actually looking at the data, what truly causes migration, and in turn, what does migration cause politically?


On episode 8, we speak with Professor Jesse Acevedo about his research on migration and remittances. Covering the movement of people and money across the Americas, we debunk assumptions behind migration and offer a path towards engaging questions of immigration in moving forward.


7: Environmental Faux Policies (feat. Adriana Molina Garzon)

Environmentalism should be easy, right? On this episode of Poli Sigh we talk with Adriana Molina Garzon about the faux pas behind what seem like good, green policies.


Covering the realities of balancing different interests and different institutions, we hear about the prospects of environmentalism in a world that's still struggling to figure out how equity fits alongside environmental necessity.


6: Green Spaces and Market Places (feat. Dr. Emily Ray)


In the 21st century, the political environment and ecological environment might as well be the same thing. But if the planet is so important to everything, then why do we have trouble enacting sustainability?

On episode 6, we talk with Dr. Emily Ray about how and why environmentalism still faces difficult hurdles, even in the face of impending doom.


5: The Performance of a Lifetime (feat. Owen Fite)


Always been curious to know what Owen is busy doing when not podcasting?!? Well wait not longer!


In this special episode, Molly sits down with Owen to hear about his work on performative citizenship and how respectability factors into the way race matters to U.S. citizenship today.


4: Me, Myself, and I...dentity (feat. Dr. Tyler Reny)


Group identities matter to politics, but just how much so? And what does and what doesn’t COVID have to do with politics these days?

On episode 4, we hear from Dr. Tyler Reny regarding the way racial groupings, Trump’s rhetoric, Blue Lives Matter, and COVID all interact with one another to affect the way people feel about and participate in politics today….and potentially in a post-pandemic world.


3: Hide and Democraseek (feat. Dr. Carew Boulding)

Following the U.S. Capitol storming, is American democracy faltering?

We talk with Dr. Carew Boulding about whether or not the United States is facing unprecedented challenges, and if Bolivia’s recent history holds any lessons for the United States' current democratic crisis.

2: Drink the Libertea (feat. Dr. Elisabeth Anker)

Drama? Plot twists? Violence? Is American politics really just a TV series?

In this episode we talk with Professor Elisabeth Anker about the theatrics behind U.S. politics, how morality has come to define political messaging, and whether there's benefit to holding on to normative values like freedom.

1: Grin and Polar Bear It (feat. Courtney Johnson)

Just how much do Americans hate each other? Are political divisions worse now than ever? Can we blame social media or Trump? Is there any way out of this?

In this episode we chat with political behavioralist, Courtney Johnson, to discuss partisan polarization and tolerance in the United States today.