Keeping It Civil

Keeping It Civil is co-produced by the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership and Arizona PBS. The podcast seeks answers to key questions about the future of American life with fast-paced interviews with scholars and intellectuals. Hosted by Joshua Sellers and Henry Thomson.

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Thursday Sep 22, 2022

Kmele Foster is a media entrepreneur and a co-founder of Freethink. Henry spoke to him about the trajectory of human innovation and what the mainstream media gets wrong about progress. They also discussed freedom of speech in higher education and Kmele Foster's critique of Black Lives Matter movement. 

Thursday Sep 08, 2022

This week, Josh speaks with John Tomasi of the Heterodox Academy. They discuss John’s background studying philosophy at the University of Arizona, his conception of the university as an environment for free-thinking and the teaching of leadership, the goals of the Heterodox Academy, the philosophy articulated in his book, “Free Market Fairness,” and his forthcoming book on libertarianism.

Thursday Aug 25, 2022

In this conversation with the writer and public policy analyst Michael Lind, Josh and Henry discuss his book, “The New Class War: Saving Democracy From the Managerial Elite,” how elites consolidated power in the late twentieth-century, the weakness of modern political parties, the need for “countervailing power,” his argument against sending more students to colleges and universities, and prevailing economic and legal obstacles to building national consensus.

Thursday Aug 11, 2022

Heather Wilson, the current President of the University of Texas-El Paso, and former Secretary of the Air Force, has had a distinguished life in public service. In this conversation, Josh and Henry discuss her childhood desire to be a pilot, military service, experience in Congress, and the lessons she’s learned from working in higher education.

Thursday Jul 28, 2022

In this conversation with Brown University economist Glenn Loury, Josh and Henry discuss his intellectual journey, the strengths of neoclassical economics, his opposition to affirmative action in higher education, and how he thinks about persistent racial disparities.

Thursday Jul 14, 2022

Steven Smith is a political philosopher at Yale. His most recent book, “Reclaiming Patriotism in an Age of Extremes,” makes the case that patriotism should be restored as a guiding civic value. In discussing his book, Josh and Henry cover his notion of “enlightened patriotism,” the necessity of teaching patriotism in schools, and the challenge of balancing patriotism and cosmopolitanism. They also discuss the crucial distinction Smith draws between patriotism and nationalism.

Thursday Jun 23, 2022

The relationship between race and crime is a central part of the American story. In this week’s episode, Josh and Henry talk with Khalil Muhammad, the Ford Foundation Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School. They discuss the contemporary uses of history in public discourse, his award-winning book, “The Condemnation of Blackness,” the uses and misuses of crime statistics, and the need for prosocial interventions to combat community harms.

Thursday Jun 09, 2022

Andrew Sullivan has been a fixture in American intellectual life for over thirty years. Josh and Henry covered several topics with him, including the role of the essayist, his journey from traditional print journalism to Substack, his thoughts on the foundations of a liberal society, the potential consequences of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, his fear of intellectual orthodoxy in society, and more.

Thursday May 26, 2022

Josh and Henry have a wide-ranging conversation with Lara Bazelon, the Director of the Criminal & Juvenile Justice and Racial Justice Clinics at the University of San Francisco School of Law. We discuss her thoughts on systemic racism, her work representing indigent clients, “progressive prosecutors,” and her new book on motherhood, “Ambitious Like a Mother: Why Prioritizing Your Career is Good for Your Kids.”

Thursday May 12, 2022

Former Russian journalist Regina Revazova is the fabulous producer of the “Keeping It Civil” podcast. In this personal conversation with Josh and Henry, she describes the illiberalism of life under Putin’s regime, her decision to leave Russia and seek political asylum in the United States, the state of free media in Russia today, and how the war in Ukraine has surfaced difficult memories. 


Keeping It Civil

What can future leaders learn from today’s most prominent scholars and commentators? Keeping It Civil is co-produced by the School of Economic Thought and Leadership and Arizona PBS. The podcast seeks answers to key questions about the future of American life with fast-paced interviews with scholars and intellectuals. Hosted by Joshua Sellers and Henry Thomson. 

About Joshua Sellers:

Joshua S. Sellers joined the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU in 2017. He holds an Honors B.A. in political science and Afro-American and African studies from the University of Michigan, along with a J.D. and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago.  

About Henry Thomson:

Henry Thomson is an assistant professor of political science at Arizona State University's School of Politics and Global Studies. His research focuses on the political economy of authoritarianism and democratization.


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