Podcast: The biographers on political leadership and COVID-19

17 April 2020

In this Second Serve, we discuss the best and worst of political leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Has the COVID-19 crisis exposed the failure of ‘Anglophone conservatives’ to listen to expert advice? Is talk of economic and societal transformation wishful thinking on behalf of the political left in the face of huge deficits and economic devastation? And will the crisis lead to big changes in the way governments operate in the future? In this Democracy Sausage Second Serve, Professor Mark Kenny chats to Bloomberg journalist and Angela Merkel’s biographer, Alan Crawford, and Dr Chris Wallace, historian at The Australian National University. Listen here.

Professor Mark Kenny is a Senior Fellow in the ANU Australian Studies Institute. He came to the university after a high-profile journalistic career including six years as chief political correspondent and national affairs editor for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and The Canberra Times.

Dr Chris Wallace is a Visiting Fellow at The Australian National University School of History. Entering the history profession after a first career as an economic and political journalist in the Canberra Press Gallery, her work focuses on political, international and global history with special reference to leadership. Her book historicising the 2019 Australian federal election, How To Win An Election, is expected in November of 2020.

Alan Crawford is a Senior Editor in Bloomberg’s Berlin office. He specialises in international government and is the author of Angela Merkel: A Chancellorship Forged in Crisis, a biography of one of Germany’s most successful political leaders.

Democracy Sausage with Mark Kenny is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or 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 join us on the Facebook group.

This podcast is produced in partnership with The Australian National University.

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