I’ve just learned about a new interdisciplinary podcast on the 2016 U.S. presidential election (mostly because they’ve asked me to participate). Campaign Context is sponsored the John Morton Center for North American Studies at the University of Turku in Finland, and hosted by Ph.D. candidate Oscar Winberg.

The podcast is interesting to me for two reasons. First, it’s interdisciplinary. And second, more importantly, it’s not American.

The first two installments are up. Political scientist Mark Miller discusses the Supreme Court, and historian William Chafe discusses the Clintons. As a historian, Chafe’s view of, for example, how the primaries work, is different from what you’d find at this blog. But that just highlights one of the interesting features of political science. We’re a discipline that borrows methods from a lot of other disciplines, but those disciplines also borrow politics as a subject for study. There’s a lot to keep up with.

But more interestingly, the podcast is hosted and run by a center in Finland. In the United States, the study of American politics is a common specialization, but to the rest of the world, we are just part of comparative politics. That’s another perspective that we can use. In global context, U.S. electoral system is weird. And U.S. elections affect the rest of the world more than most countries’ elections do, so the rest of the world has a stake in figuring out how our weird system works.

[Cross-posted at Mischiefs of Faction]

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Hans Noel is an assistant professor of government at Georgetown University.