ReConsidering Russia Part 1: Russia Today

ReConsidering Russia Part 1: Russia Today

(Not the news source.)

Joining us is Sean Guillory of Sean's Russia Blog and Podcast, at seansrussiablog.org. He has a PhD in Russian History from UCLA.

Sean helps us dive into the nitty gritty about what's actually going on with Russia today. We ask:
-Who's in charge? How does Russia's leadership work?
-Why is United Russia so popular?
-What's the economy really look like?
-How corrupt is Russia?
-How do Russians feel about the world?
-What's the plan in Ukraine? How's it going?
-What about the Syria intervention?
-Did Russia manipulate US elections?
-Why is Russia picking a fight with NATO?
-What common narratives about Russia just don't make sense?

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The Effectiveness of Political Violence in History

The Effectiveness of Political Violence in History

Or, "How'd punching Nazis work out last time?"

People in the United States are starting to talk about using political violence in response to perceived dangerous political extremism and violent rhetoric. We look through history to see how the use of violence had worked or not worked to suppress unwelcome political ideologies.

We look purely at the results and consequences of the violence, rather than discussing the morality or ethics of it. 

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Podemos, Trump, and the Populist's Path to Power

Podemos, Trump, and the Populist's Path to Power

If we want to learn a little bit more about Trump's path to the Presidency, we can look to recent history. It's not actually totally unprecedented. 

Spain, going through its own very tough economic times, has vaulted the populist-left Podemos to the fore, out of nowhere at all. Podemos is a bunch of political outsiders with a Marxist approach to campaigning--and they adopted this style very deliberately. They have a lot to teach us about what might become the new politics of the 21st century.

We're joined by author, campaign adviser, and VisualPolitik director Fonseca Porras to learn more about Podemos and discuss the parallels with Trump in this particularly exciting episode!

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Shakespeare's Sir Thomas More (Immigration & Xenophobia in History Special)

Shakespeare's Sir Thomas More (Immigration & Xenophobia in History Special)

There's a play called Sir Thomas More that is _not_ Shakespeare... but scholars have agreed that its most awe-inspiring monologue was indeed written by Shakespeare himself. In Sir Ian McKellen's words: "you'll know when you hear it."

Xander delivers a special episode today: he reads the famous monologue from the play, on refugees. He does it first in modern English so you can understand it well, and then follows up with the Original Pronunciation, which was the English used in Shakespeare's time. the OP dramatically improves the rhyme and rhythm of the reading.

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Immigration and Xenophobia in History

Immigration and Xenophobia in History

People of another religion are showing up, and not all of them are friendly--some are even kinda terrorists. The economic situation is pretty tough and people are worried about jobs being lost to new arrivals.

Sound familiar? It's 1555 in England. We've been through this before; how did England deal?  What can we learn about today?

Today we have guest Heather Teysko of the Renaissance English  History Podcast to help us learn about those troubled times!

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The Changing International Order

The Changing International Order

The role of the US in the world since WWII has been unprecedented in history. It has established a complex liberal world order with itself at the top, unchallenged.

Is it time to change that role? What challenges is the current international order facing, and how can the US face those? How can it adjust its strategy in the face of these challenges and changes? 

In this episode we interview the esteemed Michael Mazarr, of RAND, at the lead of one of their most ambitious projects yet, "Building a Sustainable International Order."

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The Electoral College: WHY!?

The Electoral College: WHY!?

But seriously, why on earth do we have the Electoral College? Something about having to travel in carriages? 

It's a question a lot of people are asking after an election with a pretty big gap between the popular vote and the outcome. 

So why on earth does it exist? What's the point? Is it fulfilling its purpose? What alternatives are there, and how would we get to them?

Learn all this and more, including why you don't kill your admirals, on today's episode!

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The Very Big Deal FARC Peace Deal

The Very Big Deal FARC Peace Deal

A 55-year-old civil war may be about to come to an end. The government of Colombia and FARC have hammered out a big, complicated, icky peace deal, and it's going to referendum on October 2nd. 

The consequences for Colombia, the geopolitics of the Western Hemisphere, and other civil conflicts could be huge. It's something you should know about, and we'll give you the context to be up to speed. 

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After the Conventions: Do The Parties Know How to Party?

After the Conventions: Do The Parties Know How to Party?

The Party Conventions have come and gone. Each of the two major parties has made their case to America that their candidate is fit to lead. What's the takeaway for the country? What are the underlying strategies of each party and what groups are they trying to win? What do each of them, and the convention system in general, mean for the future of the US?

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