S05E07: Craig Cal­houn on the Cur­rent Cri­sis of Amer­i­can and Glob­al Democ­ra­cy and Poten­tial Remedies

U.S. Amer­i­can democ­ra­cy is exhibit­ing symp­toms of decline or even of degen­er­a­tion giv­en the con­tin­u­ing denial of the results of the last pres­i­den­tial elec­tion by many in the Repub­li­can Par­ty and par­ti­san efforts to cur­tail vot­ing rights in the Unit­ed States. How alarmed should one be about leg­isla­tive cap­ture and vot­er sup­pres­sion by an increas­ing­ly com­bat­ive Repub­li­can Par­ty, which could sig­nif­i­cant­ly alter the very nature of Amer­i­can democ­ra­cy? Do we need to re-eval­u­ate our deep-seat­ed faith in the irre­versibil­i­ty of demo­c­ra­t­ic achieve­ments in the face of soft author­i­tar­i­an rulers all over the world becom­ing ever more pop­u­lar? Is it time to recon­sid­er issues of socioe­co­nom­ic inequal­i­ty and of class to revive a strong sense of col­lec­tive pur­pose and sol­i­dar­i­ty that may indeed be indis­pens­able for a defense of democracy?

Guests fea­tured on this episode:

Craig Cal­houn, Uni­ver­si­ty Pro­fes­sor of Social Sci­ences at Ari­zona State Uni­ver­si­ty and Cen­ten­ni­al Pro­fes­sor at the Lon­don School of Eco­nom­ics and Polit­i­cal Sci­ence. He has writ­ten on the strug­gle by stu­dents for democ­ra­cy in Chi­na, a book titled “Nei­ther Gods nor Emper­ors.” He has co-authored the vol­ume, “Does Cap­i­tal­ism Have a Future?” with Immanuel Waller­stein and oth­ers. His lat­est book, “Degen­er­a­tions of Democ­ra­cy,” writ­ten with Charles Tay­lor and Dilip Gaonkar, notes the signs that  U.S. Amer­i­can democ­ra­cy exhibits symp­toms of decline or even of degen­er­a­tion, and inspires our con­ver­sa­tion in this episode.


Shalini Randeria

Shalini Randeria is Rector and President of the Central European University (Vienna/Budapest). Before, she was Professor of Social Anthropology and Sociology at the Graduate Institute Geneva, and Rector of the Institute of Human Sciences (IWM) in Vienna from 2014 to 2021. She has published widely on the anthropology of globalisation, law, the state and social movements. Her empirical research on India also addresses issues of post-coloniality and multiple modernities.