Referred to as the great experiment, American democracy has been tested as we strive to become a more perfect union.  We have witnessed deep divides in our country and now more than ever, it’s important to be able to see things from a variety of perspectives. The American Democracy Lab podcast at WashU brings together experts from different fields and backgrounds to talk about an issue or aspect of our American democracy and where different perspectives may converge.

Launched on President’s Day 2021, the American Democracy Lab podcast is presented by the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement in partnership with WashU Engage and the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences. Episode 1 is available now.

More episodes exploring our democracy will be added throughout spring 2021.

Episode 1: The Presidency

Presented in partnership with the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy, and the Department of History.

About the Episode

Our first episode is focused on the highest office in our democracy, the presidency, and explores the transition from Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States, to the recently inaugurated 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden.

Our Guests

Dr. Steve Fazzari is the Bert A. and Jeanette L. Lynch Distinguished Professor of Economics, and Professor of Sociology. His research studies the sources of economic growth and how macroeconomic policy affects job creation and contains business cycles. His commentary on economic issues appears regularly in the local and national press.

Dr. Peter Kastor is chair of the History Department.  He teaches about and studies the American Presidency.  A regular guest on St. Louis Public Radio and other broadcasts, he’s also written about the Presidency for outlets including The Huffington Post, The Conversation, and Fortune Magazine.

About The Host

Dr. Alan Lambert is an associate professor of psychology at Washington University. The overarching focus of Professor Lambert’s research is the cognitive and affective processes that underlie social and political judgment. 

Lambert’s work is highly interdisciplinary, drawing from research and theory within psychology (social, personality, cognitive) as well as from sociology and political science.

Connect With Us

“Let no one be discouraged by the belief there is nothing one person can do against the enormous array of the world’s ills, misery, ignorance, and violence. Few will have the greatness to bend history, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. And in the total of all those acts will be written the history of a generation.”

Robert Kennedy

For more information about the American Democracy Lab podcast or Gephardt Institute, contact Theresa Kouo, Associate Director for Civic Engagement: