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Keeping It Civil podcast

Keeping It Civil podcast

From a young age, Americans are often told to avoid controversial topics such as politics and race. But avoiding them altogether may have contributed to today’s political polarization. Instead, Americans should engage in civil discourse. That is the rationale behind the relaunch of the podcast “Keeping It Civil,” a partnership between Arizona State University’s School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership (SCETL) and Arizona PBS.

“Keeping It Civil” is dedicated to creating space for disagreement on relevant topics and bridging political polarization through civil discourse. In each episode, host Henry Thomson interviews prominent intellectuals, authors and scholars with diverging views on pressing issues in America. Guests discuss a wide range of topics, including political reform, systemic racism and racial disparities, free speech on campus, meritocracy and populism.

Originally from New Zealand, Thomson is an assistant professor of political science in ASU’s School of Politics and Global Studies.

The podcast’s emphasis on civil disagreement aligns with SCETL’s mission and is an integral part of the Civic Discourse Project, which brings civic leaders, academics and public intellectuals to the ASU campus.

“It is a university — it’s not a public park, it’s not a political campaign. It’s a distinctive kind of discourse meant to be more reasonable, meant to be more civil than other spaces of disagreement. That is the broader mission underlying the school’s educational and public offerings,” said Paul Carrese, director of SCETL.

“At Arizona PBS, our goal is to keep the citizens of this state connected, not only to educational resources and informational programming, but also to each other and to the important discussions taking place in our communities and beyond,” said Adrienne Fairwell, the general manager at Arizona PBS. “A true, collaborative effort, this podcast perfectly aligns with that mission. We look forward to hearing the timely conversations between some of our country’s top thought leaders and our podcast hosts.”

Overseeing the production is Regina Revazova, founder of Open Conversation and a faculty associate at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She works closely with both Arizona PBS and SCETL to deliver a top-quality production.

“’Keeping it Civil’ is a one-of-a-kind content that offers in-depth conversations with the brightest thinkers of our time. I’m so glad this will be available to the public, and (I’m) honored to be a part of this project,” said Revazova.

“Keeping it Civil” is available on all major platforms, including Spotify, TuneIn, Stitcher Radio, iTunes and Google Play.

SCETL is an academic unit inside The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University. The school combines a liberal arts education with outside-the-classroom learning experiences to prepare its students for leadership roles in the 21st century. The school has also developed a robust public programming schedule in the Civic Discourse Project, which addresses the pressing issues of our times, aired on PBS Arizona. For more information about the school, visit

Henry Thomson

Henry Thomson is a political science professor in ASU’s School of Politics and Global Studies. Originally from New Zealand, he studied political science, economics, international relations and German literature in Oxford, Minneapolis, Berlin and Wellington before moving to Arizona.