Daniel Drezner

Ep.20: Public Intellectuals, Thought Leaders, and the Marketplace of Ideas with Daniel Drezner



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Episode Summary for Public Intellectuals, Thought Leaders, and the Marketplace of Ideas with Daniel Drezner

In this episode of Hidden Forces, host Demetri Kofinas speaks with political scientist Daniel W. Drezner about public intellectuals, thought leaders, and the marketplace of ideas. Dr. Drezner is professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and the author of “Spoiler Alerts” for the Washington Post. He has written six books, including All Politics is Global and The System Worked. Daniel Drezner has published articles in numerous scholarly journals as well as in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Politico, and Foreign Affairs, and has been a contributing editor for Foreign Policy and The National Interest. He received his B.A. in political economy from Williams College and an M.A. in economics and Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University. His latest book, The Ideas Industry, explores the balance that must be struck between public intellectuals and thought leaders in a properly functioning marketplace of ideas.

What is the state of intellectual thought in American society? In this episode of Hidden Forces, we explore the marketplace of ideas populated by public intellectuals and thought leaders from the media to academia and from think tanks to Ted Talks. We begin to realize that truth may be a relative concept. Facts are only as good as the word of the issuer. Ideas are a dime a dozen. Where does one go in order to find good information? How does one measure the value of an idea if he or she cannot determine its veracity? How have the foundations of Western intellectual development like empiricism and reason been turned into political footballs? Why has trust in institutions eroded? Why has the credibility of journalists, scientists, and experts been brought into question? How has the wealth gap, partisanship, and information overload created a landscape welcoming to thought leaders, but hostile to the very types of public intellectuals that would have been celebrated less than 50 years before?

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas
Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

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Reading List for Public Intellectuals, Thought Leaders, and the Marketplace of Ideas with Daniel Drezner

The Ideas Industry: How Pessimists, Partisans, and Plutocrats are Transforming the Marketplace of Ideas, by Daniel Drezner
The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters, by Thomas M. Nichols
Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, by Richard Hofstadter
The Theory of the Leisure Class, by Thorstein Veblen
The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics, by Mark Lilla
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, by Jonathan Haidt
The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart, by Bill Bishop
American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century, by Kevin Phillips