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Film Clips, Chapter 1

Studying Politics

Can Democracy Exist Without Trust?

In this TED Talks clip, political theorist Ivan Krastev suggests that five major revolutions since the 1960s (socio-cultural, market, anti-communist, communications, and neuroscience) have connected us as societies and people. But, he suggests, that another, unanticipated consequence has occurred, too: we’ve become more mistrustful of others (those not like us), and elites in particular. “The other side of the picture,” of revolution, is the decline of trust. Can democracy exist in such a world?

Celebrity Diplomacy: Fad or Phenomenon?

Celebrities act, sing, dance, write; diplomats act on behalf of governments and pursue policy. One might think the two roles do not overlap. But many entertainers are heavily involved in activism. Do they have a voice? Could their celebrity bring attention to serious issues like natural disasters, genocide, health care, and economic reform? In this clip from news agency France24.com, Canadian political scientist Andrew Cooper discusses the debate and its effect on politics.

The Antidote to Apathy

Perhaps society is not apathetic; maybe it’s the way we avoid inclusion in society. Politics affects us all, and decisions should reflect our views and ideas. Dave Meslin, a Toronto-based community activist, suggests that we should fundamentally rethink the way we put politics in public life. We are not apathetic. We care about our communities and our fellow citizens. If we rethink about the ways we are barred from our politics (Meslin identifies seven that are key), we’ll start the path towards joining with others for a closer relationship with our politics.

The Space Race and Sputnik

Sputnik’s launch in 1957 changed the role of science in society globally. The Soviet Union managed to best the Americans, being the first to successfully placing a human-made object in orbit. The “space race” was on, and the United States reacted by putting more money than ever in fields of research and development. Universities rushed to show how their disciplines would contribute to scientific endeavour, which now was seen as part of political superiority. This radio clip from CBC’s broadcast on 4 October 1957 broke the news to Canadians, who may not have been aware of the significance of this event.