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What is Democracy Works?

5 minutes

From the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State, this is Democracy Works. In this episode, hosts Michael Berkman and Chris Beem take a few minutes to explain why we wanted to start this podcast and what we hope to achieve through our interviews and conversations.

They also explain the meaning behind the name Democracy Works. It’s about people coming together to build things that are greater than the sum of their parts. Much like workers throughout Pennsylvania’s history built ships and trains at iron and steel works, each of us has a role to play in building and sustaining a healthy democracy.

Building and sustaining a democracy is hard work. It’s not glamorous and often goes unnoticed in the daily news cycle. On Democracy Works, we talk to people who are out there making it happen and discuss why that work is so important. Each episode include an interview about an issue and discussion about what that means for democracy.

We are excited about launching this podcast and hope you’ll join us to see what’s in store.

More episodes from Democracy Works

Suspect citizens in a democracy [revisited]

Frank Baumgartner

This week marks the beginning of our summer break here on Democracy Works. We are going to be rebroadcasting a few episodes from our back catalog — with a twist.

In fall 2018, we did two …

The second annual Democracy Works listener mailbag

Michael, Jenna, and Chris in the studio in summer 2019.Michael, Jenna, and Chris in the studio in summer 2019.

Before we take a short summer break, Michael and Chris answer your questions about democracy in our current moment. Thank you to …

How to end democracy’s doom loop

As we bring this season of Democracy Works to a close, we’re going to end in a place similar to where we began — discussing the role of political …

The clumsy journey to antiracism

This week, we are bringing you another interview that we hope will give some context to the discussions about racism and inequality that are happening in the U.S. right now.

We’re  joined …

Civil rights, civil unrest

As protests continue throughout the U.S. in the wake of George Floyd’s death, we’ve been thinking a lot about comparisons to the Civil Rights era and whether the models for demonstrations …

Aaron Maybin on doing the hard work of democracy [rebroadcast]

We are working on an episode about the social and democratic context for the protests taking place around the U.S. after George Floyd’s death; we’ll have it for you on Monday. In the …

How you can listen to this podcast

You can listen to episodes right here on the website, or if you prefer, in a podcast app. Listening in an app makes it easier to keep track of what you’ve already heard, listen without using your data plan and many other conveniences.

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Start listening to Citizenship, patriotism, and democracy in the classroom
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Start listening to Citizenship, patriotism, and democracy in the classroom
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