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Policy Forum Pod: Power to the people?

26 September 2018

On this week’s Policy Forum Pod, we’re taking a close look at populism – what it is, why it’s such a big deal, and how it’s leaving its mark on our political landscape.

From the corridors of Brussels to the streets of New Delhi, populist politics have swept through democracies around the globe. But despite all the headlines, is this wave of populism particularly new? And should we see it as a symptom of democracy in decay, or rather as a welcome sign that politics is returning to the people? On this week’s podcast, hosts Nicky Lovegrove and Sara Bice hear from Duncan McDonnell, Jill Sheppard and Paul Kenny about populism in Europe, Asia, and Australia – with due mention to one particularly powerful populist leader sitting in the White House.

Listen to the podcast here.

Professor Duncan McDonnell is Professor of Politics in the School of Government and International Relations at Griffith University. His main research interests are political parties, populism, and Euroscepticism.

Dr Jill Sheppard is a political scientist at the School of Politics and International Relations at the Australian National University. Her research focuses on why people participate in politics, what opinions they hold and why, and how both are shaped by political institutions and systems.

Dr Paul Kenny is a Fellow and Head of the Department of Political and Social Change at the Australian National University. His research covers several areas of comparative politics including the political economy of populism, corruption, and immigration.

Show notes | The following were referred to in this episode:

Populism and Patronage: Why Populists Win Elections in India, Asia, and Beyond by Paul Kenny

Swedish model beckons for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael: Duncan McDonnell opinion piece in the Irish Times

Fanning the Flames of Hate: Social Media and Hate Crime: Karsten Müller and Carlo Schwarz. University of Warwick Working Paper series.

For future’s sake…! by Ian Chubb

Lies, damn lies, and the Global Financial Crisis by Quentin Grafton

Cooler heads, calmer waters by Michele Miller

The Executive Master of Public Policy offered by Crawford School and convened by Sara Bice.

Policy Forum Pod is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback for this podcast series! Send in your questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes to You can also Tweet us @APPSPolicyForum or find us on Facebook.

This episode of Policy Forum Pod was written and produced by Nicky Lovegrove and Martyn Pearce. It was edited by Martyn Pearce.

This post and podcast was first published on, Crawford School’s platform for public policy debate, analysis, views, and discussion.

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