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Political Theory Podcasts

Political theory hasn’t been neglected by the podcast boom, but it’s not always easy to know where to go. Here, I list (with links) the best political theory/philosophy related content in the podverse. (There are also some iTunes U courses and related suggestions below).

  1. New Books in Philosophy
  2. Philosophy Bites
  3. LSE: Public Lectures and Events
  4. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society
  5. In Our Time
  6. The University of Chicago Law School Faculty Podcast
  7. History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps
  8. IHS Academic
  9. Elucidations
  10. Free Thoughts
  11. The Reith Lectures
  12. RSA Events
  13. The Partially Examined Life
  14. EconTalk
  15. Talking Politics
  16. A History of Ideas
  17. The Public Philosopher
  18. The Philosopher’s Arms
  19. Analysis (BBC)
  20. Freakonomics Radio
  21. Development Drums
  22. The Ezra Klein Show
  23. Planet Money
  24. Four Thought

None of these podcasts are exclusively political theory; they all include other topics and you have to pick out the things you’re interested in (especially towards the end of the list!). Some of them are just recordings of lectures, others are interviews, some are radio programs. They’re in rough order of relevance/preference. Here are a few more that people have suggested to me, but that I haven’t tried out personally:

  1. Interventions | The Intellectual History Podcast
  2. The Philosopher’s Zone
  3. Minerva
  4. Microphilosophy
  5. The Philosofa
  6. Philosophy Now
  7. Weekly Economics Podcast
  8. Very Bad Wizards
  9. RSA Radio

There’s also a lot of stuff on what was formally “iTunes U”, and which is still a bit tricky to access without iTunes. Here are a few full courses:

  1. The Moral Foundations of Politics – Audio
  2. Reading Political Philosophy: From Machiavelli to Mill – Audio
  3. Game Theory – Audio
  4. Political Philosophy – Audio
  5. Foundations of Modern Social Theory – Audio

Also from iTunes U, some notable collections of disparate items including political theory content:

  1. Colloquium Series – Center for Global Ethics and Politics
  2. Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics
  3. Politics and International Relations
  4. Foundation for Law, Justice and Society
  5. Center for Ethics in Society
  6. Conversations with History

Otherwise, the best way of finding lectures on iTunes U/podcasts is just to search the names of academics you’re interested, as there’s lots of stuff scattered about widely. YouTube also has a large range of this sort of thing, notably a (rather dry!) set of undergraduate lectures by Rawls.

Perhaps best of all, there are lots of free political theory audio-books available (the Federalist Papers worked well for me in this format, being already divided into short chapters). An excellent source for this is LibriVox.

I am a lecturer at Nottingham Trent University. I have worked on the justification of democracy, the relationship between democracy and the market, and the political theory of business corporations.


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Recent Vacancies in Political Theory/Philosophy/Ethics

1 Comment

  1. I wanted to make you and your readers aware that there is a new podcast – interview based – that focus specifically on political philosophy.


    The podcast is a series of discussion with prominent philosophers and public figures on topics such as ethics, political concepts, the history of political thought, religion, liberalism, and republicanism. Our guests to date have included Oxford Professors Roger Crisp, William MacAskill, and Cecile Fabre, as well as American politician Zephyr Teachout, and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.

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