Fear: Trump in the White House

In this episode of the USC Bedrosian Bookclub Podcast, Lisa Schweitzer hosts a discussion with Christian Grose, Jeff Jenkins, and me about Bob Woodward’s latest reportage on the Presidency: Fear. How does this stack up to other Woodward titles and how does the principal-agent theory work its way into conversation with these political junkies? Click below to find out!

Bedrosian Book Club Podcast: “Draft No. 4”

Anyone who reads or watches the news might feel like we are in a news assault. The news happens so fast, technology helps us disseminate and consume with speed, and media outlets are in a relatively new competition: a competition for relevancy. As “papers of record” are being attacked as “fake,” the question of how to communicate with fairness about important issues has never been more relevant.

John McPhee has had a long, storied career in writing for magazines “of record” using in-depth long-form journalism. Draft No. 4 is McPhee’s 32nd book of nonfiction. It is a series of essays on his writing process.

In today’s episode, we use McPhee’s thoughts on structure and nonfiction to discuss some of the difficulties of communicating policy and research in today’s frenetic climate of news and propaganda and anti-elitism.  Policy communication should be nuanced and deep, how can we do this in an age of immediate consumption and tribalism? How do we know what we know, and how do we tell others how we know what we know?

Continue reading “Bedrosian Book Club Podcast: “Draft No. 4””

Our American Discourse, Ep. 4: The Ethics of Governing

Democracy is a dialogue. It requires our leaders to ask, to listen, and to react. Good governance thus hinges on conversation and consent—and whether we like it or not, conflict. Planners and policymakers have to balance competing needs, never more so than in today’s polarized environment. How do they do the right thing? Does such a thing even exist? Citizenship demands that we engage with these uncomfortable questions, especially in this troubled era.

In this episode, we find sagacity and even humor in the hard work of ethical governing with Lisa Schweitzer.

Prof. Schweitzer is an associate professor of urban planning in the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. She teaches classes in city life and structure, justice in public policy, and public transit. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. She blogs regularly, provocatively, and wittily at lisaschweitzer.com.

To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the orange arrow in the Soundcloud player at the top of this post. Or you can download it and subscribe through iTunes, Soundcloud, or Google Play.

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“Our American Discourse” is produced by Aubrey HicksJonathan Schwartz, and myself, and mixed by Corey Hedden.