Ezra Klein brings you far-reaching conversations about hard problems, big ideas, illuminating theories, and cutting-edge research. Want to know how Mark Zuckerberg intends to govern Facebook? What Barack Obama regrets in Obamacare? The dangers Yuval Harari sees in our future? What Michael Pollan learned on psychedelics? The lessons Bryan Stevenson learned freeing the wrongly convicted on death row? The way N.K. Jemisin imagines new worlds? This is the podcast for you. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.
Political science is a misunderstood discipline. It's often laughed off by people who think it's ridiculous that something as human and contingent and unpredictable as politics can be called a science. Chemistry is a science. Politics is a hobby. Politics isn't chemistry. But it is something that can be studied rigorously, and understood using models, evidence and testable theories. In this episode, Theda Skocpol, a political scientist at Harvard (and a former chair of the American Political Science Association!) explains how political scientists learn about politics, what makes their work different both from pundits and from each other, and how it's helped her understand this insane election. She also talks through some of her research on what really drives the tea party and the ways in which the Koch Brothers are setting up an organization that's almost become a shadow political party of its own. Don't miss it.