Ezra Klein gives you a chance to get inside the heads of the newsmakers and power players in politics and media. These are extended conversations with policymakers, writers, technologists, and business leaders about what they believe in and why. Look elsewhere for posturing confrontation and quick reactions to the day's news. Subscribe for the anti-soundbite.
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.