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Harvard Kennedy School PolicyCast

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A weekly podcast on public policy, politics and global issues hosted by Matt Cadwallader and featuring leading voices from Harvard Kennedy School and beyond.

A weekly podcast on public policy, politics and global issues hosted by Matt Cadwallader and featuring leading voices from Harvard Kennedy School and beyond.
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A weekly podcast on public policy, politics and global issues hosted by Matt Cadwallader and featuring leading voices from Harvard Kennedy School and beyond.




203 Robot Car Revolution: Using Policy to Manage the Autonomous Vehicle Future

Harvard Kennedy School Lecturer Mark Fagan is spearheading the Autonomous Vehicles Policy Initiative at the Taubman Center for State and Local Government, helping to ensure government officials can successfully navigate the impending robot car revolution. Mark talks with host Thoko Moyo about how AVs could have disruptive impacts on traffic safety and congestion, public transit, jobs, and even data privacy.


PolicyCast is back!

Harvard Kennedy School's PolicyCast is back! Enjoy this preview of our relaunch with host Thoko Moyo of upcoming episodes featuring autonomous vehicles expert Mark Fagan, Center for Public Leadership Director Ambassador Wendy Sherman, and Professor Erica Chenoweth, who has conducted groundbreaking research on the effectiveness of nonviolent civil movements.


201 Predicting the Future Through Know-How

Professor Ricardo Hausmann, director of the Kennedy School’s Center for International Development, and Tim Cheston, a research fellow with the center’s Growth Lab, explain how they leveraged data from the Atlas of Economic Complexity to assess the knowhow of more than 130 countries and predict their economic growth over the next eight years.


200 Securing Elections Against Cyber Threats

Robby Mook, co-director of the Defending Digital Democracy Project, discusses the cyber security challenges faced by both political campaigns and election officials, and how they can be addressed.


199 How History Shapes Our Political Beliefs

HKS Professor Maya Sen, co-author of the new book “Deep Roots: How Slavery Still Shapes Southern Politics,” explains how she and her colleagues were able to pinpoint the extent to which slavery continues to affect political beliefs to this day.


198 Negotiating with the North: The Political Stakes

Lecturer John Park, director of the Kennedy School’s Korea Working Group, lays out the stakes for both North and South Korea, as well as China and the United States, as they enter into negotiations over denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.


197 Negotiating with the North: Talks and Tactics

In the first part of an ongoing series on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, Dr. Gary Samore, the Belfer Center’s executive director for research, describes the history of North Korea’s nuclear weapons development and subsequent international efforts to dismantle it, including a landmark 1994 agreement which he helped negotiate. He details the negotiating tactics employed by North Korea in the past, expresses skepticism over the possibility of a complete denuclearization, and weighs in...


196 Europe's Evolving Stance on Russia

Cathryn Clüver-Ashbrook, executive director of both the Future of Diplomacy Project and the Project on Trans-Atlantic and European Relations out of the Kennedy School’s Belfer Center, describes the changing nature of relations between Europe and Russia, providing historical context, examining contemporary factors such as the Syrian civil war and Russian election meddling, and describing how the new Project on Trans-Atlantic and European Relations, chaired by HKS Professor Nicholas Burns,...


195 Lin-Manuel Miranda: The Megaphone from the Diaspora

Hamilton Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda discusses his advocacy for Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, how he thinks about using his celebrity to effect change, and the falling barriers to minority representation in film and television.


194 Piketty’s Prescription for Wealth Inequality

Economist Thomas Piketty details the policies he believes will be key to overcoming the wealth inequality illustrated in his seminal 2013 book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century.” He also discusses the 2018 World Inequality Report, which builds on and updates the data sets first featured in “Capital,” except on a global scale thanks to the involvement of more than one hundred economists around the world. Piketty was on campus to deliver the Wiener Center’s inaugural Stone Lecture on...


193 Data Dystopia: Online Ads and Elections

Shorenstein Fellow Dipayan Ghosh joins us again for part two of our extended interview on data privacy, digital advertising, and their effect on our democracies. In this episode, Ghosh moves beyond the Cambridge Analytica scandal to focus on publically available, data-driven advertising tools and how they can be leveraged by politicians and nefarious agents alike to manipulate voters.


192 Data Dystopia: Privacy and Regulation

As the Cambridge Analytica scandal continues to unfold, Joan Shorenstein Fellow Dipayan Ghosh, who recently left Facebook's Privacy and Public Policy team, joins us for a double-header on data privacy, digital advertising, and their effect on our democracies. In this episode, Ghosh walks through the myriad ways companies like Facebook and Google collect and leverage data to target users, increase engagement, and ultimately sell advertising. He then discusses the challenges inherent in any...


191 The Equal Rights Amendment

Professor Jane Mansbridge explains why efforts to pass an Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution have failed in the past, but could now have a real shot at ratification.


190 How Cities are Thriving in a Populist Era

Bruce Katz explains what makes cities different from state and national governments, and why that difference has allowed them to thrive while populism and partisanship grip state and national governments. Using Boston, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and Copenhagen as examples, Katz illustrates how the unique network effects of cities lead to innovative solutions to public problems. Katz was on campus as a guest of both the Center for Public Leadership and Ash Center.


189 Bringing Economics to the People

Tufts Professor Michael Klein explains how he’s using Econofact.org to better inform the broader public about economics. The non-partisan publication features easily-digestible briefs on topical economic issues authored by a network of economists around the country, including HKS Professors David Deming, Jeffrey Frankel, and Mark Shepard.


188 New Orleans' Confederate Monuments

Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans, a Hauser Visiting Leader at the Center for Public Leadership, describes the years-long process involved with removing four confederate monuments in New Orleans, including statues of Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis.


187 Reinventing City Government

HKS Prof. Stephen Goldsmith describes how cities are poised to shed the strict bureaucracies of the 20th century in favor of a distributed governance model where the city acts as a platform and service providers can be evaluated by outcomes.


186 Is Social Media Good For Democracy?

Adam Conner, a spring 2018 fellow at the Institute of Politics, digs into the nuance behind the question many are asking about platforms like Facebook and Twitter, namely: are they good for democracy?


185 Turning a Personal Loss into Policy Action on Opioids

Admiral James “Sandy” Winnefeld, a non-resident senior fellow at the Kennedy School’s Belfer Center, knows firsthand the damage inflicted by the ongoing opioid crisis. After losing his son to addiction in late 2017, he has committed himself to finding solutions to the seemingly intractable public health dilemma. He discusses his recently-launched foundation Stop the Addiction Fatality Epidemic (SAFE) and the six strategies they are pursuing from awareness to prevention to treatment.


184 Lessons Learned as a Political Prisoner in Venezuela

Francisco Marquez Lara MPP 2012 describes his experience as a political prisoner in his home country of Venezuela. He describes what drove him to pursue his political advocacy despite the inherent risks, what his experience was like in captivity, what he learned from the ordeal, and what motivates him to continue his advocacy in exile. Marquez is the Executive Director of Vision Democratica Foundation and a fellow at the Ash Center’s Democracy in Hard Places Initiative.