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Democracy Works

Building and sustaining a democracy is hard work. It’s not glamorous and often goes unnoticed in the daily news cycle. On the Democracy Works podcast, we talk to people who are out there making it happen and discuss why that work is so important. We aim to rise above partisan bickering and hot takes on the news to have informed, intelligent, and thought-provoking discussions about issues related to democracy.

The show features interviews with leading experts by Jenna Spinelle and commentary and opinion from hosts Michael Berkman and Christopher Beem from the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State and Candis Watts Smith of Duke University. It's a collaborative project between The McCourtney Institute and WPSU.

Democracy Works won the Circle of Excellence Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education in 2020 and the People's Choice Podcast Award in the Government and Organizations category in 2018.

For more information and additional episodes, visit or subscribe to Democracy Works wherever you listen to podcasts.