Academic Influence Interviews

At we have the opportunity and honor to speak with many scholars who are highly influential in their fields.

Our interviews typically reveal insights about an academic discipline that prospective students intent on studying that discipline find helpful. At the same time, our interviews explain

  • what top scholars are doing,
  • what got them into their profession,
  • what continues to excite them in their research, and
  • what it’s like being part of the communities into which their studies have led them.

Often we learn that there is so much more happening in a given discipline than is commonly imagined, so that these interviews turn into truly enlightening conversations.

We hope you enjoy these interviews as much as we have enjoyed making them.

We are always bringing out new interviews, so please stay tuned.


How true academic freedom creates intellectual conflict | Interview with Dr. Norman Finkelstein

Discrimination and political reform | Interview with Dr. Theda Skocpol

How Black women think differently about politics | Interview with Dr. Nadia Brown

How citizen disaffection can drive changes in government | Interview with Dr. Margaret Levi


How do you become a political scientist? Political scientist Nadia Brown talks with Karina

How effective is American foreign policy? | Interview with Dr. Stephen Walt

Interview with Don Green and Jed Macosko

How friendship can boost voter turnout | Interview with Dr. Donald Green

How game theory and competition explain politics | Interview with Dr. Bruce Bueno de Mesquita

How gender impacts politics & international relations | Interview with J. Ann Tickner

How institutions form and change over time | Interview with Dr. Kathleen Thelen

How liberal democracy outshines other systems of government | Interview with Dr. Francis Fukuyama

How mail-in ballots could affect the 2020 election | Interview with Dr. Henry Brady


How nations build and reinforce their influence | Interview with Dr. Harris Mylonas


How Russia, Fascism, and Nationalism impact world politics | Interview with Dr. Andreas Umland

How to think about Brexit, globalization, and pandemics | Interview with Dr. Kristian Gleditsch

How to think like a revolutionary and establish freedom | Interview with Dr. Alina Mungiu-Pippidi

How weakness afflicts Russia today | Interview with Dr. Alexander Motyl


How women of color impact politics | Interview with Dr. Nadia Brown

Is American liberal democracy morally defensible? | Interview with Dr. Rogers Smith

Truth, Lies, Nationalism, War, and Election Meddling | Interview with Dr. John Mearsheimer