The Americans is a new RNZ podcast hosted by Maria Armoudian in association with the University of Auckland. Every week between now and the US presidential election, three experts in US politics, history and media from the University of Auckland, all from the USA but currently happily living here in New Zealand, will take us through the systems, the history and the precedents, and try to explain why things might be happening the way they are.

This series features: 

Associate Professor Jennifer Frost is a historian of social, cultural, and political developments in 20th century United States. Her research focuses on women’s history, social movements, and popular culture.

Dr Maria Armoudian is a senior lecturer in politics and international relations at the University of Auckland. She studies media, politics, and law, particularly in the areas of human rights, the environment, and good governance.

Dr Tim Fadgen is a lecturer in politics and international relations at the University of Auckland where he teaches public policy. He has research interests in immigration policy and law and has held roles in US politics, law and government.

September 30: Episode One

What are the parts of the US political system that will most affect the election outcome?


Hans Noel – Associate Professor of Political Science at Georgetown University. His research looks at political coalitions, political parties and ideology, with a focus on the United States.

October 7: Episode Two

Who gets to vote? What are the laws that help or hinder the vote? How are those changing and how might that affect the results of the 2020 election?


Bertrall Ross – Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. He is an expert in American election law and voter disenfranchisement.

October 14: Episode Three

What is the current state of the media and its place in American politics?


Lisa Desjardins – Political correspondent at PBS NewsHour.

Daniel Bush – Senior political reporter at PBS NewsHour.

October 21: Episode Four

How is class and identity politics shaping today’s elections?


Nancy Isenberg – Professor of History at Louisiana State University. Her research looks at American political culture.

October 28: Episode Five

How has Donald Trump reshaped the Supreme Court and Federal Judiciary and what does it mean for democracy?


Michele Bratcher Goodwin – Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine.






This podcast has been republished with permission from RNZ.

Disclaimer: The ideas expressed in this podcast series reflect the views of the guests and not necessarily the views of The Big Q.