As my previous posts suggest (see here, here, and here), I am a huge fan of podcasts. I find that they are a great way to encounter a diverse range of ideas and perspectives while walking to class, doing laundry, or partaking in any number of other mundane life tasks. The result of my hearty support of the medium is an overabundance of episodes on my phone – I definitely subscribe to too many podcasts. But the upside is that I have no shortage of series to recommend. So, if my previous podcast suggestions weren’t enough, here are two more worth checking out.
Talking Politics (by David Runciman) – This may be my new favorite podcast. In a media landscape where so much of the news is dominated by obsessive coverage of Donald Trump and similarly clownish politicians around the world, it is refreshing to see these frustrating topics put into perspective. Talking Politics does an excellent job of incorporating contemporary politics into broader and deeper discussions of the future of our political systems. Featuring a wide range of guests and a knowledgeable group of regular commentators from the University of Cambridge, the podcast is able to deliver reliably interesting and provocative content that is neither too esoteric to bore nor too newsy to be redundant. So, if you are looking for consistently interesting political commentary from a British perspective, this podcast is absolutely worth checking out.
UPenn Center for the Study of Contemporary China Podcast (by Neysun Mahboubi) – I came across this podcast series purely fortuitously (that is, by regularly reading Andrew Batson’s excellent blog), and I am extremely glad that I did. While the episodes are quite long and often require several sittings to work through, they feature some of the most thorough and wide-ranging commentaries on China available. Each episode has a guest, whose expertise forms the focus of the discussion. This means that each conversation covers a different aspect of contemporary China. Ranging from property rights to military power to governance and Taiwan, this podcast series promises to be of interest to anyone interested in social science, China, or politics in general. But honestly, given China’s diversity and ever-growing importance, these topics should be of interest to just about everyone.