Our podcast series engage in the academic and policy debate on how to ensure that democracies govern more effectively


The Centre’s podcast series Democracy in Question? explores the variety of democratic experiences and experiments the world over. Shalini Randeria, Director of the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy, is in conversation with some of the most important voices in contemporary academia.

The series will feature 10 episodes, one every two weeks, starting from 8th October.

MORE INFO about the series

Episode 1:
Timothy Snyder
Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale University and a Permanent Fellow of the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna
Release date: October 8, 2020
• American democracy: A Trumpian blip or a deeper malaise?

Episode 2:
Laurence Whitehead
Official Fellow in Politics at Nuffield College, Oxford University, and Senior Fellow of the College and
Yanina Welp
Research Fellow, Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy
Release date: October 22, 2020
• How viable is Western liberal democracy when transplanted across the world?

Episode 3:
Kim Scheppele
Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Sociology and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and the University Center for Human Values, Princeton University

Release date: November 5, 2020
• Dismantling democracy by democratic means (Hungary and US compared)

Episode 4:
Nancy Fraser
Henry A and Louise Loeb Professor of Political and Social Science, The New School for Social Research
Release date: November 19, 2020
• Does Democracy Provide Distributive Justice? Issues of Race and Gender

Episode 5:
John Keane
Professor of Politics at the University of Sydney and at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB). Co-founder and director of the Sydney Democracy Network (SDN)
Release date: December 3, 2020
• Is ‘Soft Authoritarianism’ the New Face of Elected Democracy?

Episode 6:
Ivan Krastev 
IWM Permanent Fellow and Chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia
Tim Snyder
IWM Permanent Fellow and Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale University
Release date: December 17, 2020
• Interpreting the Lessons of U.S. Election Results for Democracy in the US and Elsewhere

Episode 7:
Robert Skidelsky
Keynesian economist, crossbench peer in the House of Lords
Release date: January 14, 2020
• Can Democracy Exist in Austerity? How much of a Welfare State does Democracy need?

Episode 8:
Branko Milanovic

Visiting presidential professor at The Graduate Center, CUNY, and a senior scholar at the Stone Center on Socio-economic Inequality
Release date: January 28, 2020
• Does Untamed Capitalism Destroy Democracy?

Episode 9:
Michael Ignatieff
Rector and President of Central European University in Budapest
Release date: February 11, 2020
• Is Liberalism up to the Task of Saving Liberal Democracy?

Episode 10:
Mary Kaldor
Professor of Global Governance and Director of the Conflict and Civil Society Research Unit in the LSE Department of International Development
Release date: February 25, 2020
• Democracy from Below: What real utopias can we build on?


This podcast series is co-produced by the Graduate Institute’s Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy, the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) Vienna, and the Excellence Chair, University of Bremen (Research Group: Soft Authoritarianism) in collaboration with Richard Miron and Anouk Millet (Earshot strategies).





The first episode of “Parlons-en” features a discussion between Roger de Weck, Swiss journalist, former Director of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SSR and former member of the Graduate Institute’s Foundation Board, and Christine Lutringer. They analyse the strength of democracy in the age of illiberalism and the ways in which its institutions could be modernised and reformed.


In the first episode of “In Conversation With”, Ivan Krastev, Director of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia and Permanent Fellow at the Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna, and Shalini Randeria focus on the paradoxical world and new power dynamics emerging from the COVID-19 crisis.