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The Parlia Podcast, with Turi Munthe

Where do your opinions come from? Do we ‘think’ our world views, or ‘feel’ them? And what do our beliefs mean for politics and society? In each episode of the Parlia Podcast Turi Munthe asks thought leaders to share thei
Latest Episode2/24/2021

Polarisation around the World, with Thomas Carothers

Season 2, Ep. 8
“You really do have to do bridge building at the community level. People have to learn to talk to each other across sides”The Left and the Right today are miles apart. In the past few years, polarisation has become an integral part of our societies. But has it always been this way - is polarisation a natural part of democracy?Covering the politics of polarisation from Chile through India to Vietnam, via long-standing democracies such as the US and Germany, this week’s guest Thomas Carothers suggests that there are three roots present in every polarised society - religion, race and ideological clashes. But what about societies with no polarisation? According to Thomas, they’re at risk too.“Too much consensus can lead to a dangerous pressure for alternatives that usually tend to be anti systemic, extreme and dangerous…”Listen to Turi and Thomas discuss:Polarisation as a fixture of democracyHow consensus leads to polarised societiesWhether there are problems with a lack of polarisationThe creation of grievance politicsHow Brexit created a different identity polarisationWhether polarisation can be a good thingHow grievance politics differ from Right to LeftWhether we can manage polarisationIf the pandemic has made us less polarised“I think the pandemic has opened our hearts and our minds a little bit in ways that’ll help us feel at least some sense of common humanity beneath the level of the political noise…”Thomas CarothersThomas Carothers is senior vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is a leading authority on international support for democracy, human rights, governance, the rule of law, and civil society. He is also the author ofDemocracies Divided: the global challenges of political polarisationMore on this episodeLearn all aboutthe Parlia Podcasthere.MeetTuri Munthe:https://www.parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about the Parlia project here:https://www.parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at:https://www.parlia.com
2/24/2021

Polarisation around the World, with Thomas Carothers

Season 2, Ep. 8
“You really do have to do bridge building at the community level. People have to learn to talk to each other across sides”The Left and the Right today are miles apart. In the past few years, polarisation has become an integral part of our societies. But has it always been this way - is polarisation a natural part of democracy?Covering the politics of polarisation from Chile through India to Vietnam, via long-standing democracies such as the US and Germany, this week’s guest Thomas Carothers suggests that there are three roots present in every polarised society - religion, race and ideological clashes. But what about societies with no polarisation? According to Thomas, they’re at risk too.“Too much consensus can lead to a dangerous pressure for alternatives that usually tend to be anti systemic, extreme and dangerous…”Listen to Turi and Thomas discuss:Polarisation as a fixture of democracyHow consensus leads to polarised societiesWhether there are problems with a lack of polarisationThe creation of grievance politicsHow Brexit created a different identity polarisationWhether polarisation can be a good thingHow grievance politics differ from Right to LeftWhether we can manage polarisationIf the pandemic has made us less polarised“I think the pandemic has opened our hearts and our minds a little bit in ways that’ll help us feel at least some sense of common humanity beneath the level of the political noise…”Thomas CarothersThomas Carothers is senior vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is a leading authority on international support for democracy, human rights, governance, the rule of law, and civil society. He is also the author ofDemocracies Divided: the global challenges of political polarisationMore on this episodeLearn all aboutthe Parlia Podcasthere.MeetTuri Munthe:https://www.parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about the Parlia project here:https://www.parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at:https://www.parlia.com
2/17/2021

Dyadic Morality with Kurt Gray

Season 2, Ep. 7
“Dyadic morality is ultimately about the link between perceived harm and immorality…”Why do we believe murder is “wrong”? Why can’t we compare the effects of a hurricane with the acts of a paedophile? Kurt Gray argues that human morality stems from “harm” - that moral acts have an intentional agent and a victim, and it is this perception of harm caused by one person to another that allows us to define moral evils.So could this explain political differences? Do we just all have different definitions of harm? In which case, is there a way of reconciling polarised groups by re-examining our own perception of harm and suffering?“I think one way forward is acknowledging that the other side’s perceptions of harm are legitimate…”Listen to Kurt and Turi discuss how harm is the basis of human morality.How intuitionism is actually about harmWhether morality requires a perpetrator and a victimHow dyadic moral theory deals with self-harmWhy people moralise homosexualityThe importance of theory of mind in dyadic moralityGod versus EnvironmentThe moral differences between Liberals and ConservativesHow people remove moral harmWhy perceptions of harm creates political polarisationWhether recognition of perceptions of harm can bridge the political divide“The way to see people as more moral is to acknowledge that their perceptions of harm are not made up, but instead authentic and that they really are worried about safeguarding others from suffering…”Works cited include:Lawrence Kohlbergand his work on Moral DevelopmentJonathan Haidtand his work on Intuition and Pluralism.Kurt GrayDr. Gray is an Associate Professor in Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he directs the Deepest Beliefs Lab and the Center for the Science of Moral Understanding. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in Organizational Behavior at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC, where he teaches about organizational ethics and team processes.More on this episodeLearn all aboutthe Parlia Podcasthere.MeetTuri Munthe:https://www.parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about the Parlia project here:https://www.parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at:https://www.parlia.com
2/10/2021

Evolutionary Psychology and Politics with Hector Garcia

Season 2, Ep. 6
“A lot of the human behaviour that seems perplexing, irrational (like politics or religion) is often most effectively explained by Evolutionary Psychology”We evolved to live in hunter-gatherer communities clustered in small units spread sparsely across the landscape. Existentially threatened by outsiders - who brought war as well as germs - humans evolved adaptive psychological behaviours to help negotiate our ancestral environment.Evolutionary Psychology seeks to understand human psychological behaviour from that adaptive perspective. If we protect our children, fall in love, create social hierarchies - what were the evolutionary reasons to do so?“Evolutionary psychology allows us to get sighted to our instincts”Listen to Hector and Turi discuss what evolutionary psychology can teach us about our Politics.Evolutionary Basis for Conservatism and LiberalismThe Politics of Sex: why men and women have different political tendenciesWhy there’s a correlation between conservatism and upper-body strength in menWhy there’s a correlation between liberalism and greater facial expressiveness across both gendersSimon Baron Cohen’s work on autism and the “essential male brain”Why Conservatives are from Mars and Liberals are from VenusHow we can map our politics across the Big 5 Personality TestWhy high-testosterone men tend to share lessThe evolutionary basis for Xenophobia and XenophiliaWhy Conservatives love dominance hierarchies and Liberals spend all their effort trying to pull them down.Why Fear is such a big driver for conservatives (who tend to have a larger amygdala than liberals)What the difference between Chimps and Bonobos can teach us about the evolution of our politicsHow to explain the manifestation of strong man politicians, like Donald Trump, in evolutionary termsThe idea of “Evolutionary Mismatch”: that certain types of behaviour today are a useless hold over from our hunter-gatherer ancestry (like a psychological version of the appendix)And why the Iroquois had a split leadership system: one for war (led by young men) and one for peace (led by the old and the women).“Democracy is the answer, but it often needs tuning”Works cited include:John Hibbing, Kevin B. Smith and John R. Alfordand their work on the Biology of Political Differences.Sir Simon Baron Cohenand his work on autism.Hector GarciaHector Garcia is Professor in the department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas and a Clinical Psychologist working with veterans. He’s the author ofSex, Power and Partisanshipand hosts aYouTube channeldiscussing those issues.More on this episodeLearn all aboutthe Parlia Podcasthere.MeetTuri Munthe:https://www.parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about the Parlia project here:https://www.parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at:https://www.parlia.com
2/3/2021

The Problem with MicroAggression, with Regina Rini

Season 2, Ep. 5
“Microaggressions are so hard because they typically don’t meet traditional philosophical conceptions of blameworthiness…”Microaggressions are the latest front in the culture wars - seemingly harmless comments such as “yes, but where are youreallyfrom…” or misused pronouns, over time, can cause profound damage to the receiver. But the idea of cautioning an act so seemingly harmless feels like thought-policing.In her bookThe Ethics of Microaggression, Regina Rini defines a MicroAggression as “an act or event that is perceived by a member of an oppressed group as possibly but not certainly instantiating oppression.”There’s a lot to unpack here, and a lot to trigger both Right and Centre, since it tells us the aggression is in the eye of the beholder. Microaggressions can’t be ‘judged’ from the outside, they can only be heard.To many, that feels intuitively dangerous: old school totalitarianism could see you hauled off for ideas other might suspect you of having; with MicroAggressions, one might be hauled off for ideas someoneelsecould have based on your suspected intent.Rini explains the philosophical misunderstanding at the heart of the war around microaggression: the huge mismatch between the Harm Felt and the Blame Attributable.Minute acts of indignity can add up to systemic violence and have profound real-world consequences for their victims, but how do you blame the often unconscious perpetrator for an act so ‘micro’?Listen to Regina and Turi discuss:Why MicroAggressions have become such acause celebrein the Culture WarsMicroAggression and the threat to freedom of speechThe history of the idea to Chester Pierce in the 1970s.The problem of Collective Harm vs Individual BlameHow the idea of MicroAggression is woven into thinking about systemic inequality.“We’re suffering from an inability to hold two thoughts in our heads the the same time… First, MicroAggressions add up to real and serious harm in the lives of marginalised people. Second, most MicroAggressions are NOT the sort of the thing we can easily blame people for”Works Cited include:Derald Wing Sue:Race TalkChester Pierce, who coined the term.Jon Haidt and Greg Lukianoff’sThe Coddling of the American MindRegina RiniRegina Rini holds the Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Moral and Social Cognition at York University in Toronto. Prior to that, she taught at NYU’s centre of bioethics. She writes a regular philosophy column for the TLS.More on this episodeLearn all aboutthe Parlia Podcasthere.MeetTuri Munthe:https://www.parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about the Parlia project here:https://www.parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at:https://www.parlia.com
1/27/2021

Saving Liberalism, with Timothy Garton Ash

Season 2, Ep. 4
“We need to borrow from both the Left and the Right to achieve a renewal of liberalism…”As a journalist and political commentator, Timothy Garton Ash took a front row seat watching Eastern Europe open up in the 1990s - the heyday of Liberal expansionism around the world.Today, faced with populist authoritarians and illiberal democrats at home, and the rise of China's new model of modernity abroad, Liberalism is on the back foot - we're experiencing an "anti-Liberal counter-revolution".Timothy argues liberalism is to blame for its troubles - over-exporting free-market ideas, under-investing in culture, community and politics in a world of massive, destabilising change. He argues for a "conservative-socialist-Liberalism" - a civic patriotism focused on the common good deeply embedded in national communities.On the back of his recent manifesto for Liberalism's renewal in Prospect Magazine, listen to Timothy and Turi discuss:Whether Liberalism can survive in the 21st CenturyWhether Joe Biden's America can still hope to lead the "free world"The demise of liberal ideas in the student bodyEquality of Esteem alongside economic securityLevelling up vs Levelling downCivic VirtuePatriotism vs Nationalism“The nation is just too important, and too strong in its emotional appeal, to be left to the nationalists”Timothy Garton AshTimothy Garton Ash is the author of ten books of political writing or ‘history of the present’ which have charted the transformation of Europe over the last half century. He is Professor of European Studies in the University of Oxford, Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.More on this episodeLearn all aboutthe Parlia Podcasthere.MeetTuri Munthe:https://www.parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about the Parlia project here:https://www.parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at:https://www.parlia.com
1/20/2021

Negotiating with Warlords, with Hichem Khadhraoui

Season 2, Ep. 3
“We have to come to the table, even if it’s just to say we disagree… then you have a chance to move forward”The number of armed groups created in the last 6 years surpasses the number created since WW2. States themselves have been creating them, globalisation has linked them up, and the population displacement driven by climate change has only exacerbated the problem.Through his work withGeneva Call, Hichem has worked all over the world - successfully convincing militias in Northern Syrian to not recruit child soldiers, and securing the release of hostages in the DR Congo.His work is centred around Dialogue - engaging, listening and negotiating. How do you ask a militia leader to commitnotto use human shields? How do you ask an armed group to divert some of its resources towards protecting civilians?The guiding principles used by Geneva Call offer a way to approach dialogue in a polarised world.Listen to Turi and Hichem discuss the three pillars of constructive dialogueOwnership: granting the other side autonomy, and shared ownership of the dialogue.Localisation: working with the physical reality of your interlocutor, understanding their community.Contextualisation: every community is individual and different - we tend to apply the same rules everywhere irrespective of what is happening on the ground.Hichem KhadhraouiHichem Khadhraoui is Director of Operations at Geneva Call, where he has travelled across the world negotiating with armed groups who violate human rights. Geneva Call works in situations of conflict or violence where armed groups are at risk of violating human rights law and endangering civilians. They have worked everywhere from Colombia (FARC) to the Philippines (with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front).More on this episodeLearn all aboutthe Parlia Podcasthere.MeetTuri Munthe:https://www.parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about the Parlia project here:https://www.parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at:https://www.parlia.com
1/13/2021

How Cultures Think, with Julian Baggini

Season 2, Ep. 2
"By gaining greater knowledge of how others think, we can become less certain of the knowledge we think we have, which is always the first step to greater understanding"It goes without saying that the way we think is embedded in our own time and culture. The same is true even of Philosophers: our 'professional' thinkers.Julian Baggini's How the World Thinks is an exploration of the world's non-Western philosophical traditions (China, Japan, India, Islam and the oral traditions of Africa and elsewhere) - how they differ, what they can teach us.Nothing deflates western philosophy's claims to universalism so much as seeing how deeply embedded they are in time and place.Baggini looks at four epistemological areas across each philosophical tradition:How we think we knowHow we understand the workings of the worldHow we understand ourselves in the worldWhat we see as the 'Good Life'From the Confucian ideal of Harmony, the interplay of Falsafa and Kalam in the Islamic world, the Indian principle of Pratyaksa and ideas around Karma in numerous cosmologies, listen to Julian and Turi discuss how very differently we all see the world:Truth-seeking vs Way SeekingProgress vs TraditionFreedom vs HarmonyIntimacy vs IntegrityAnd how the way we see the world impacts what we do to it - from the development of empirical science to the rise of capitalism, populism and today's atomised society."An insider is like a fish in a fishbowl," said Xu Zhiyuan, "unable to see the exact shape of its surroundings even though those surroundings are perfectly clear to everyone else." Come take a step outside.Works Cited:Derek Parfit, Reason and PersonsThomas Kasulis, Intimacy or IntegrityJulian BagginiDr. Julian Baggini is a philosopher, journalist and the author of over 20 books about philosophy written for a general audience. He is co-founder of The Philosopher's Magazine and a patron of Humanists UK.More on this episodeLearn all aboutthe Parlia Podcasthere.MeetTuri Munthe:https://www.parlia.com/u/TuriLearn more about the Parlia project here:https://www.parlia.com/aboutAnd visit us at:https://www.parlia.com