Landecker Democracy Fellow Catherine Neilan’s podcast Making Common Ground launched in January 2021. Catherine, a journalist who currently serves as Politics Live Editor at the Telegraph, created this podcast with the goal of creating in-depth conversations amongst different groups of people.
Throughout the month of June, Catherine has launched the total of four new episodes of Making Common Ground.
In episode 19, Cat talks to Robert Ford, Professor of Political Science at the University of Manchester, co-author of the book Brexitland, about Brexit and its aftermath, how people have become polarized and why some do see Boris Johnson’s Tories as the party of change. (Listen: Apple | Spotify)
Episode 20 brings Catherine back to the second Making Common Ground focus group to discuss labels – what is a centrist, do Brexit labels still apply and are people becoming more pro-Remain as the reality of what they voted for kicks in; and who has it worse: Millennials or Generation-X. (Listen: Apple | Spotify)
In episode 21, Catherine talks with Robert B Talisse, Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he is also a Professor of Political Science. “Some argue that the solution to our current crisis in democracy is more democracy. Not Rob. He believes that our politics have seeped into every corner of our lives, from the coffee shop we get our frappuccinos from to where we go on our holidays. But it’s not just about signaling that we are progressives because we put our quinoa in a canvas tote bag. The problem, Rob argues, is that we become so divorced from the other side we start to find them repellant – and that’s where democractic dialogue collapses,” wrote Catherine as the episode summary. (Listen: Apple | Spotify)
Finally, in episode 22, Catherine returns to the Making Common Ground focus group yet again to look back at the five years since the EU referendum, to discuss why they voted as they did, whether they’ve changed their mind since then and whether they knew anyone at the time who voted differently. Cat and the focus group also discuss whether they believe Boris Johnson is a liar, whether it matters and if journalists and opposition politicians should do more to call it out. (Listen: Apple | Spotify)
Catherine is one of thirty Landecker Democracy Fellows. This fellowship, a collaboration between the Alfred Landecker Foundation and Humanity in Action, was created to strengthen a new generation of leaders whose approaches to political and social challenges can become catalysts for democratic placemaking and community building. Read more about the fellowship here.