On Democracy and Difficult Questions

The idea behind this show is pretty simple: We invite scholars, makers, and professionals out to brunch for an informal conversation about their work, and then we turn those brunches into a podcast.

It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it.

For our last episode of 2019, we had the chance to welcome a Notre Dame alum back to campus. His name is Chris Beem, and he is the managing director of the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State University.

Chris is the author or co-editor of five books, most recently Democratic Humility: Reinhold Niebuhr, Neuroscience, and America’s Political Crisis, which was published by Lexington Books. Currently at work on a book about democratic virtues, he is also a co-host of the McCourtney Institute’s Democracy Works podcast.

His conversation with host Ted Fox did eventually find its way to podcasting, but on the way there they talked about things like the nature of democracy—not to mention human beings themselves—as well as the role of ethics in a democratic society. They also discussed the one thing everyone listening to this episode could do to help make our democracy better.

Chris’ answer to that question provided some good food for thought heading into 2020.

Finally, to close out the episode (and the year), we said a special thank you to our Twitter peeps.

Office of the Provost
About the Podcast:

“With a Side of Knowledge” is a podcast produced at the University of Notre Dame. It features interviews with fascinating people from both Notre Dame and elsewhere that take place over brunch—or if we’re really in a pinch, coffee.

Learn More

December 5, 2019

Health and SocietyLaw and PoliticsReligion and Philosophydemocratic virtuesdemocratic humilityAlumniDemocracyGovernmentLiberal StudiesPolitical SciencePoliticsWith a Side of Knowledge