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The QoG Podcast

Making sense of politics and governments all over the world

The QoG podcast: Making sense of politics and governments all over the world är en podcast från QoG-institutet, Göteborgs universitet. QoG-institutet bedriver världsledande forskning om orsaken till och konsekvenserna av korruption och samhällsstyrningens kvalitet. I den här poddserien diskuterar vi statsvetenskapliga frågor i samtal med välkända experter för att försöka förstå frågor kopplade till samhällsstyrning över hela världen.

Värd för denna show är Victor Lapuente,  universitetslektor och professor vid statsvetenskapliga institutionen och forskare vid QoG-institutet.

Säsong 1

In this episode, we have Professor and bestseller author James Robinson guesting us, with whom we will talk about some of the big questions in social sciences: why do some nations fail and others succeed? What is the secret of economic and democratic prosperity? Thanks to the encyclopedic knowledge of James Robinson, we will be travelling through different time periods and geographies searching for the Holy Grail of progress. The message of hope for humankind that Robinson gives us in this podcast, about the balance between the power of Civil society and Government, is both simple and counterintuitive, very old and very fresh.

Listen to episode #2


In this episode, Professor and influential public intellectual Sheri Berman talks with host Victor Lapuente about the challenges of current-day democracies. Both in comparison and in contrast to, the fall of liberal regimes and the ascent of totalitarian systems in the 1930s - what are the similarities, and what are the differences?

Berman will provide us with many interesting insights to grasp the true nature of the problems our liberal democracies currently face.

Listen to the episode #2 


In this episode, Professor Deirdre McCloskey guests us to talk about a question McCloskey has devoted a great deal of her work: Why some nations are Successful and others Fail. McCloskey will explain to us her answer, which may not be the most convincing for many, but that definitely is the most beautiful and romantic: economic development is not the result of the accumulation of capital, or of exploitation, or of military conquest and colonial oppression, but of ideas and values; and, in particular, of Love. In doing this, McCloskey will defend her view that Economics is not about material or materialism, but it is about ideas. It’s not only about factories, cars, and smartphones, but mostly about what happens between the ears. And even though we will talk a lot about ideas, there will be space for the materialist's most pressing social questions: how to alleviate poverty and tackle inequality?

Listen to episode #3

Guesting this episode is Tomila Lankina, Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science and one of the greatest experts on current Russia, thanks to her knowledge of Russian History.

Tomila has worked on democracy and authoritarianism. Mass protests and historical drivers of human capital and political regime change in Russia and other countries; she has also analyzed the propaganda and disinformation campaigns in the wake of Russia's annexation of Crimea and aggression in Ukraine.

Victor and Tomlia discuss Tomlia's book: The Estate Origins of Democracy in Russia: From Imperial Bourgeoisie to Post-Communist Middle Class. To try to understand the war resistance within Russia today, looking at both History and the current day. 

Listen to episode #4

In this episode, Victor will talk to Francis Fukuyama - A professor at Stanford University, political scientist, political economist, and writer who might be most known for his book: The end of History and the Last Man, published in 1992. He has inspired both academics and practitioners all over the world. And since that book, no important world event has been untouched by the idea that we may be experiencing the "end of history" or the triumph of the western model of liberal democracies.

Francis and Victor will talk about the war in Ukraine: is the end of History closer or further away, given conflicts like this one). They will also talk about Francis's more recent books, like "Liberalism and Its Discontents", where he, seen by many of his critics as a "former neocon", is defencing liberalism. In addition, Francis outlines the main challenges current liberalism faces, which he argues come more from inside our societies (like the increasing monopolistic and oligarchic power of some corporations) than from outside enemies. 

Listen to episode #5

Hosting this show is professor Victor Lapuente, and in this episode, he is joined by Giovanni Capoccia, Professor of Comparative Politics in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford.

Victor and Giovanni will discuss how democracies respond to extremism in European and US politics. For example, how we should understand the relationship between Putin and Berlusconi, why radical right parties have taken up the space left by communist parties in European countries, if we are in a critical juncture of democracy right now, and whether democracy in the US runs a risk of extinction or not.

Listen to episode #6

Hosting this show is professor Victor Lapuente, and in this episode, he will talk to Cathrine de Vries. Cathrine is the Dean of International Affairs and Professor of Political Science at Bocconi University. 

In her work, Cathrine examines some of the key challenges facing the European continent today, such as Euroscepticism, political fragmentation, migration and corruption. And in this episode, we'll hear about exactly those topics as Victor and Cathrine dive into thinking about today's Europe in relation to the war in Ukraine, generational and national differences when it comes to supporting the EU, Brexit, Covid-19, and far-right parties. Cathrine will also tell us about her study on the two-speed Europe, which she categorizes as those wanting enhanced cooperation within the European Union and those who want to Opt-out if the cooperation were to be intensified. Finally, we'll hear a discussion on Cathrine's book "Political Entrepreneurs: The Rise of Challenger Parties in Europe." Which will help us answer the question: What do Giorgia Meloni and Elon Musk have in common? 

Listen to episode #7

Welcome to the QoG podcast - a podcast brought to you by the Quality of Government!

Hosting this show is professor Victor Lapuente, and in this episode, he is joined by Matia Vannoni, Senior Lecturer in Public Policy in the Department of Political Economy, King's College London.

Matia's research has included several topics, including the business and government in the European Union, public policy and public opinion in tobacco control and the representation and transparency in local democracies. In this episode, we'll focus on Matia's research on what explains the increase in regulation seen in contemporary democracy and its consequences.

We hope you enjoy the episode, don't forget to like, share and subscribe if you do! 

Listen to episode #8

Welcome to the QoG podcast – a podcast brought to you by the Quality of Government Institute at the University of Gothenburg. 

In this series, we have conversations with well-known experts to try to make sense of politics and governments around the world.

Hosting this show is Professor Victor Lapuente, and in this episode, he is joined by Simon Hix who currently holds the Stein Rokkan Chair in Comparative Politics at the European University Institute in Florence.

Simon's research interests include comparative political behaviour and institutions – in particular political parties and party systems, public opinion and voting behaviour, electoral system design, and legislative behaviour – as well as the study of political behaviour and institutions in the European Union. He is one of the authors of the core textbook The political system of the European Union.

We hope you will enjoy the episode – don't forget to like, share and subscribe if you do! 

Listen to episode #9

Hosting this show is Professor Victor Lapuente, and in this episode he is joined by Jenifer L. Selin, Attorney Advisor at the Administrative Conference of the United States. Prior to joining ACUS, Dr. Selin was a professor at the Universities of Illinois and Missouri and most recently served as Co-Director of Carl Levin Center for Oversight and Democracy’s Washington, DC Office. Her published research illustrates that the legal structure of the administrative state has important implications for the functioning of the American separation of powers system.

The views expressed in this podcast are those of the scholars and do not represent the position of ACUS or the federal government of the United States.

We hope you will enjoy the episode – don't forget to like, share and subscribe if you do!

Listen to episode #10