UCL Uncovering Politics podcast

Biden’s First 100 Days

Rewind 15 seconds
Fast Forward 15 seconds

This week, we’re focusing on politics in the United States. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have been in office for a little over 100 days now. So how is it going? 

Has Biden been sleepy Joe? Has he pursued the path of moderation and coalition-building that has characterized so much of his long career? Or has he turned out much more of a radical than many expected? What role is being performed by Vice President Harris? How, meanwhile, have Republicans responded to their defeat? And just want is Donald Trump up to now that he is out of office and banned from Twitter?

Host: Professor Jennifer Hudson

Dr Thomas Gift

Dr Colin Provost

Dr Julie Norman

More episodes from "UCL Uncovering Politics"

  • UCL Uncovering Politics podcast

    Prison Protests in Palestine


    Today we’re looking at protest by prisoners. Some of the most famous cases of protest politics involve protests by prisoners. Think of hunger striking suffragettes in early-twentieth-century Britain.Think of the dirty protest among republican prisoners in Belfast in the late 1970s, and then the hunger strikes there in 1981.Indeed, just two weeks ago on this podcast we were discussing Alex Navalny, Russian opposition leader, who remains influential despite being behind bars.Prison protests may be invisible to the outside world, but they can nevertheless resonate widely.And in this episode, we're exploring another case – the case of Palestinian prisoners – in particular, of Palestinians who are in prison in jails in Israel. We are joined by Dr Julie Norman, Lecturer in Politics and International Relations here in the UCL Department of Political Science, whose book, The Palestinian Prisoners Movement: Disobedience and Resistance, came out over the summer, and Dr Carl Gibson, Assistant Professor in the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham. Mentioned in this episode:IAS Book Launch: The Palestinian Prisoners Movement by Julie M. Norman. 25th October 17.30-18.30The Palestinian Prisoners Movement: Disobedience and ResistanceUnderstanding Nonviolence. The Second Palestinian Intifada
  • UCL Uncovering Politics podcast

    How Has Covid Affected Voter Preferences


    In this episode we are looking at a new piece of research - Flight to Safety: COVID-Induced Changes in the Intensity of Status Quo Preference and Voting Behavior.This paper focusses on some important questions around covid. How do emotions and particularly anxiety, shape or influence voters preferences? How does anxiety resulting from this unforeseen external force, covid, or manufactured for political gain, influence democratic politics and elections? Are voters inherently risk averse during periods of uncertainty? And how did covid induce a flight to safety among voters?Joining host Professor Jennifer Hudson is Dan Honig, Associate Professor of Public Policy here at the Department of Political Science who has been exploring all of these questions and more.
  • UCL Uncovering Politics podcast

    Don't miss an episode of UCL Uncovering Politics and subscribe to it in the GetPodcast app.

    iOS buttonAndroid button
  • UCL Uncovering Politics podcast

    Alexei Navalny and the Future of Russian Politics


    In this, our first episode of the new academic year, we’re looking at politics in Russia. Alexei Navalny – who hit the headlines around the world last year by surviving an attempt to assassinate him by lacing his underpants with Novichok, and who now languishes in prison 100km east of Moscow – is Russia’s best known opposition leader. Indeed, a new book about Navalny’s life and activism describes him as ‘the main political counterforce in the country’ and ‘its second most important politician’. So who is Alexei Navalny? What does his current predicament say about the state of Russian politics? And what chance is there that he – or anyone else – might be able to lead Russia towards a more democratic future?Our host Professor Alan Renwick is joined by one of the new book’s authors Dr Ben Noble, Associate Professor in Russian Politics at UCL’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies, and Dr Katerina Tertychnaya, Lecturer in Comparative Politics in the UCL Department of Political Science and expert on Russian politics, who is now leading a major research project on ‘Non-Violent Repression in Electoral Autocracies’.Mentioned in this episode:Navalny: Putin's Nemesis, Russia's Future? Jan Matti Dollbaum, Morvan Lallouet, and Ben NobleHurst publishers: use the code NAVALNY25 for 25% discount.For those buying the in United States: use the code ADISTA5 for 30% discount.Amazon 
  • UCL Uncovering Politics podcast

    Should the Civil Service Be Neutral?


    In this our final episode for the current academic year, we’re going to tackle one of the biggest questions of political science: How do you run an effective government? In particular, how do you build a bureaucracy that’s able to deliver? Is it better to have neutral civil servants, who are appointed on merit and retain their posts whichever parties are in power? Or should we prefer a politicized bureaucracy, whose members are appointed at least in part for their loyalty to the politicians in charge, and who come and go with their political masters?That question is particularly salient here in the UK just at the moment. As we have discussed on several episodes of this podcast over the year, the current government under Boris Johnson has been widely criticized for undermining Britain’s longstanding tradition of civil service neutrality by pushing some senior officials out and bringing in others it thinks better attuned to its agenda. Government ministers counter, however, that a nominally neutral civil service in fact betrays the prejudices of the establishment, and that a democratically elected government should not be fettered by unelected bureaucrats.Similar questions arise in countries around the world. Indeed, by guest today has conducted research in dozens of countries aimed at answering these and related questions. That guest is Christian Schuster, who is Professor of Public Management here in the UCL Department of Political Science.
  • UCL Uncovering Politics podcast

    The Principles of Education Policy


    Many of the most important policy decisions that a state can make relate to education. What kind of education should children receive? How far should parents be able to dictate that choice? Is it acceptable to have schools that instruct pupils in a particular religious faith? Should elite private schools be allowed to exist? Given that such schools do exist, can socially progressive parents send their children there with a clean conscience?Our guest today has been exploring these and many other related questions for decades. Adam Swift is Professor of Political Theory here in the UCL Department of Political Science. His books and papers includeEducational Goods: Values, Evidence and Decision-Making, written with Harry Brighouse, Helen F. Ladd, and Susanna LoebFamily Values: The Ethics of Parent-Child Relationships, with Harry BrighouseHow Not To Be A Hypocrite: School Choice for the Morally Perplexed Parent.How to Regulate Faith SchoolsHow Not to Defend Private SchoolsPandemic as Political TheoryHe starts with the basic principles of political theory. And from these he draws out key implications for policy-makers and for parents.
  • UCL Uncovering Politics podcast

    Deciding Northern Ireland’s Future


    The future of the Union here in the UK – that is, the union of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland – is very much in the news. In Scotland, many opinion polls over the past year (though not so much over the last few months) have suggested majority support for independence, and political parties that want another referendum on the issue secured a majority of seats in the Scottish Parliament elections last month. In Wales, support for independence seems to have grown, though still at a far lower level. And in Northern Ireland too, there has been a rise in talk of a referendum – a referendum, that is, on whether Northern Ireland should remain part of the United Kingdom or become part of a united Ireland.In this episode we’re going to focus on Northern Ireland. If there were a referendum on the constitutional question there, how would it best be designed and conducted? Who would get to vote? What would the question on the ballot paper be? Would there need to be a referendum in the Republic of Ireland as well? Who would work out designs for a united Ireland? Would they do so before a referendum, or only afterwards, in the event that the vote went in favour of unification?It turns out that many of these questions haven’t previously been answered. Indeed, many haven’t been thought about very much. A landmark agreement was reached in 1998 between the British and Irish governments and most of the political parties in Northern Ireland – an agreement known variously as either the Belfast Agreement or the Good Friday Agreement. That brought an end to a quarter century of violent conflict in Northern Ireland and led to the creation of the Northern Ireland Assembly and the current arrangements for power-sharing government. It also included some provisions for a possible future referendum. But it left many questions unanswered.Well now a Working Group on Unification Referendums on the Island of Ireland has published a major report that seeks to fill that gap. Comprising twelve academics from six universities, including UCL, the group – which is impartial as to whether there should be a referendum or what the outcome should be if there is one – has looked into all the questions I just raised, and many more. It finds that referendums on this topic may be required in the coming years, but would carry significant risks. Conducting them well would be vitally important. And careful thought is needed as to what that would mean. Host: Dr Alan RenwickProfessor Katy Hayward Dr David Kenny Dr Etain TannamWorking Group on Unification Referendums on the Island of Ireland (report)
  • UCL Uncovering Politics podcast

    Does the UK Still Have a Political Constitution?


    Most countries have a document call the Constitution – a legal text setting out basic principles of how that country is governed. And in most of those countries there’s a constitutional court (or supreme court) that determines whether the ordinary laws passed by the legislature are compatible with the Constitution and that strikes them down if it concludes they are not.The UK, famously, has no such capital C Constitution – no codified rulebook. And the courts here in the UK can’t (at least formally) strike down laws on the basis that they contravene higher law.So what kind of constitution do we have? Well, it’s often said that, in contrast to the legal constitutions found in many other countries, the UK has a political constitution – a constitution whose norms are enforced in the realm of politics rather than in the realm of law.But many think that the UK’s political constitution is today under threat, with potentially serious consequences for the polity’s ability to serve all those who live within it.So today we ask the question, ‘Does the UK still have a political constitution?’ And to do so, we’re joined by one of the leading experts on constitutional theory, Professor Richard Bellamy. Richard, who is Professor of Political Science here in the UCL Department of Political Science, is the author of ten monographs – the most relevant of which to our conversation today is Political Constitutionalism: A Republican Defence of the Constitutionality of Democracy, published by Cambridge University Press.Host: Dr Alan RenwickProfessor Richard Bellamy
  • UCL Uncovering Politics podcast

    The Ethics of Violent Protest


    The coming week sees the first anniversary of the murder of George Floyd. His killing by a white police officer in the American city of Minneapolis, sparked a global wave of protests. The vast majority of these were peaceful. But some were not. It’s estimated that, in the United States, acts of rioting, arson, and looting in the weeks that followed caused over a billion dollars-worth of damage – the highest recorded damage from civil disorder in US history.So can such violent protests ever be justified? Much public and political opinion says no. Here in the UK, even last year’s toppling of the inanimate statue of a seventeenth-century slave trader was condemned across much of the political spectrum.But one of our colleagues here at the UCL Department of Political Science argues differently. Dr Avia Pasternak, who is Associate Professor in Political Theory here, argues that, sometimes, violent protests are morally justified.Political Rioting: A Moral AssessmentHost: Dr Alan RenwickDr Avia Pasternak
  • UCL Uncovering Politics podcast

    Fostering Norms for Dispute Resolution


    Alexandra Hartman is Associate Professor in Political Science and Public Policy here at UCL, and her research focuses on the political economy of institutions in fragile states. She looks not just at formal political institutions such as courts or legislatures, but also at what we political scientists like to call informal institutions – the unwritten structures of norms and established practices that people follow in their interactions with each other. Such informal institutions can be crucial in shaping how society operates. And Alex examines whether policymakers can intervene to nudge them in directions that might lead to better outcomes.In particular, her new study – recently published in the Journal of Politics and co-authored with Robert Blair from Brown University and Christopher Blattman from the University of Chicago – looks at ways of resolving land disputes in Liberia. It’s fair to say that the results are mixed. And they help us think both about the kinds of policy mechanisms that might be effective—both in Liberia and elsewhere—and about how we can measure that effectiveness so that we can seek to identify the best policies for the future.Article: Engineering Informal Institutions: Long-Run Impacts of Alternative Dispute Resolution on Violence and Property Rights in LiberiaHost: Dr Alan RenwickDr Alexandra Hartman
  • UCL Uncovering Politics podcast

    Biden’s First 100 Days


    This week, we’re focusing on politics in the United States. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have been in office for a little over 100 days now. So how is it going? Has Biden been sleepy Joe? Has he pursued the path of moderation and coalition-building that has characterized so much of his long career? Or has he turned out much more of a radical than many expected? What role is being performed by Vice President Harris? How, meanwhile, have Republicans responded to their defeat? And just want is Donald Trump up to now that he is out of office and banned from Twitter?Host: Professor Jennifer HudsonDr Thomas GiftDr Colin ProvostDr Julie Norman

Get the whole world of podcasts with the free GetPodcast app.

Subscribe to your favorite podcasts, listen to episodes offline and get thrilling recommendations.

iOS buttonAndroid button
© radio.de GmbH 2021radio.net logo