Uncommon Decency

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"A shared commitment to liberty and self-government" is how Michael Kimmage defines the West, a notion at once elusive but also intuitive when it comes to world politics. Prof. Kimmages's The Abandonment of the West (2020) is an attempt to trace the cultural undercurrents that propelled "the West" to elite appeal in the early 20th century, but he brings unparalleled expertise on Russian matters too, having led the Russia & Ukraine portfolio at former Secretary of State John Kerry's Policy Planning Staff. In this episode we discuss with him Russia, the West and how Prof. Kimmage envisions the relationship between the two moving forward.   Rate and review Uncommon Decency on Apple Podcasts, and send us your comments or questions at @UnDecencyPod or uncommondecencypod@gmail.com.
Vernon Bogdanor is one of Britain’s foremost constitutional experts, which for a country that lacks a written constitution, means not that he lacks a working subject. In his latest book Britain and Europe in a Troubled World (2020), Mr. Bogdanor traces the historical undercurrents behind the UK’s troubled, always ambivalent ties with the European continent. Brexit in fact has thrust into broad daylight a relationship far more complicated than was suggested just by the issues at stake in the referendum of 2016. In this episode, Mr. Bogdanor helps us unpack what these diverging visions about the future of Europe were all about. fIj0BYr1RhkIQGHR9DsJ Rate and review Uncommon Decency on Apple Podcasts, and send us your comments or questions at @UnDecencyPod or uncommondecencypod@gmail.com.
David Goodhart is one of the UK's foremost scholars of populism. His previous book The Road to Somewhere (2017) documented the profound value divides that Trump and the Brexiteers rode in 2016, between an elite of anywheres driven by self-actualization, individualism and adaptiveness to social change and a majority of communitarian patriots, the somewheres. In his latest book Head Hand Heart (2020), his inquiries have taken him one step further, into the so-called "cognitive meritocracy" that governs how our societies apportion status and self-esteem between different careers and lifepaths. Hear us discuss with him his case for a fairer balance of rewards across the occupational ladder. Rate and review Uncommon Decency on Apple Podcasts, and send us your comments or questions at @UnDecencyPod or uncommondecencypod@gmail.com.
What is "illiberal democracy"? What do Fidesz and Hungary's PM Viktor Orbán stand for? To answer those questions we have with us Mr. Schöplfin, a former Member of the European Parliament (MEP) with Fidesz, Hungary’s Christian-Democratic ruling party for 15 years. Previously, he had a long career as an academic in the UK, and will be publishing two titles this year, A Contested Europe and The European Polis. We unpack with him the trends and philosophical foundations that are transforming the EU from a project built on consensus to one based on a single proto-federalist path and a punitive approach to recalcitrant countries, not least his native Hungary.   Rate and review Uncommon Decency on Apple Podcasts, and send us your comments or questions at @UnDecencyPod or uncommondecencypod@gmail.com.
Five years after the Charlie Hebdo attack, a Chechen Islamist beheaded a middle school teacher for showing a cartoon of Mohamed during a class on freedom of expression. Despite Emmanuel Macron’s bill on “islamist separatism” there’s a distinct feeling that France’s identity and unity are at stake. Gilles Kepel, one of the country’s most respected voices on the issue of Islamist terrorism, helps us unpack how France got there and how to deal with the Islamist poison. Rate and review Uncommon Decency on Apple Podcasts, and send us your comments or questions at @UnDecencyPod or uncommondecencypod@gmail.com.
"White fragility" wasn’t yet a term of art when Ed West published Small Men on the Wrong Side of History (2020), but our ever-growing culture wars since seem to have confirmed his every pre-existing thesis. Conservatives may still win elections on both sides of the Atlantic, but in the culture war they’re losing “bigly”. In the third episode of Uncommon Decency, Ed unpacks these profound cultural and demographic trends with a lot of wit and humour. Rate and review Uncommon Decency on Apple Podcasts, and send us your comments or questions at @UnDecencyPod or uncommondecencypod@gmail.com.
John Kampfner was a young reporter in East Germany when the Berlin Wall came down. He has since experienced first-hand the country's unique journey through reunification, multiculturalism, migration, the European project and its own troubled memory of the Holocaust. John’s ode to Germany in Why the Germans Do It Better (2020) is about a deep admiration for the country’s embrace of maturity, consensus, political moderation and liberal democracy. The book is a fascinating read, timelier than ever as Chancellor Angela Merkel reaches her twilight months in office. Rate and review Uncommon Decency on Apple Podcasts, and send us your comments or questions at @UnDecencyPod or uncommondecencypod@gmail.com.
Trump has rattled the transatlantic relationship, but is he as anomalous as he’s made out to be? In Paradise Lost (2019), Ben Haddad argues that the trends pulling America away from a position of liberal hegemony buttressing Europe’s security infrastructure are older and more profound. In it, he calls for Europe to wake up to a new world order marked by the return of History and grow its own strategic autonomy. A former senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and advisor to presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, Ben is currently director of the Future Europe Initiative at the Atlantic Council in Washington D.C. Through his own journey and work, Ben encapsulates the kind of transatlantic conversation that Uncommon Decency will work to spark. Rate and review Uncommon Decency on Apple Podcasts, and send us your comments or questions at @UnDecencyPod or undecencypod@gmail.com.
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Podcast Details

Created by
Jorge González-Gallarza & François Valentin
Podcast Status
Active
Started
Oct 1st, 2020
Latest Episode
Nov 20th, 2020
Release Period
Weekly
Episodes
8
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour
Explicit
No
Order
Episodic
Language
English
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