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Podcasts for Politics: An Introduction, Second Edition

Chapter 1

Is Politics a Science? (5:06)

Politics, political studies, or political science? One of the great debates in our field is what to call it! Spurred by the space race of the 1950s, disciplines like political studies reconsidered the “scientific method.” This podcast looks at the history of politics as a field, the challenge of scientific approaches, and the various methods of studying politics today.

Chapter 2

Who Are We? (5:06)

How does who we are become so fixed, so troubled, and even violent in nature? Can we understand extreme behaviour like genocide through how we see ourselves? Identity in politics is one of the most basic—and significant—aspects of how community is formed, the nature of governance, and the roots of conflict and cooperation. This podcast considers identity, nationalism, and legitimate authority in governments.

Chapter 3

The Women’s Parliament: The Suffragette Movement in Canada (4:52)

It is difficult to believe that as recently as 70 years ago, women in some parts of Canada were not given the right to vote. Early in the twentieth century, Nelly McClung and other women protested their lack of rights, and ultimately changed politics in Canada in a fundamental way. This podcast considers the rights of woman and modern feminism.

Chapter 4

Turning the Tables: Equalization Payments in Canada (4:53)

What is a “have-not” province? Ontario? Newfoundland and Labrador? The answer might surprise you. No two places in Canada can extend exactly the same services to citizens, at least not without assistance. This podcast discusses equalization payments and how they contribute to a “level playing field” in Canadian social benefits.

Chapter 5

Proroguing Government in Canada (5:42)

Minority governments are common in Canada, but in recent years the rise of federal political parties has led to minority governments becoming more commonplace and there is increased talk of coalition governments. This podcast examines the “parliamentary crisis” of 2008, when political parties tried to create a coalition government to replace the Conservative minority government. The results were some tense political moments and uncertainty about leadership and power in Canada.

Chapter 6

The Quiet Revolution (4:38)

Quebec separation? Terrorism in Canada? Changes in politics and economics in Quebec in the 1960s led to changes in Canadian politics more generally. This podcast reviews the history of a turbulent decade in Quebec and its effect on Canada, in general.

Chapter 7

Does Your Vote Count? (4:57)

Who got the most presidential votes in 2000 in the US? Gore? Bush? It is easy to be dismissive of our individual role in national politics, but we would be wrong to accept this as reality. In an age of rising voter apathy, the 2000 Presidential election came down to just 537 votes in the state of Florida. The outcome of this election was the result of one of the most intriguing political dramas in modern politics.

Chapter 8

In Whose Command, Anyway? (4:16)

Do you know the lyrics to our national anthem? Are you sure? The lyrics have changed several times over the years, and an additional change was recommended in early 2010. In what became a robust debate, those for and against the current lyrics argued their cases. This podcast considers “O Canada” as a representation of the nation, as well as a representation of the power of symbolism within this country.

Chapter 9

Beyond the MITI Miracle (5:18)

Changes in the Japanese economy after World War II paved the way for other nations to follow suit. This podcast looks at the success of Japan’s economic development after the war and how other countries adopted its approach for their own gain.

Chapter 10

Population and Development (5:12)

This podcast looks at the close relationship between population growth (and overgrowth) and economic development. Theories of population growth are reviewed, and food production and some specific examples of dealing with the crisis—such as China’s one-child policy—are examined.

Chapter 11

Canada and NATO (5:17)

Should Canada stay in Afghanistan? Should it stay in the NATO alliance? Is the alliance still relevant? During the Cold War, a mission in Afghanistan would have seemed absurd, yet it is the reality today. This podcast looks at alliance behaviour and the specific case of NATO. It also looks at Canada’s reasons for membership in the alliance.

Chapter 12

Why Do Humans Fight? (4:59)

What is the nature of human society? Or, of humans individually? Are we war-like? Are we less so today? This podcast looks at the nature of war and conflict, human perception, and the possibility of a non-violent society.

Chapter 13

Money and the Bretton Woods System (5:07)

The marketplace is a social place. So too is the international system of finance and money, at least in theory. This podcast looks at the development of the modern monetary system, and the politics behind the Bretton Woods Agreement of 1944. It also considers the “end” of this era, starting in the early 1970s.