Podcast guidelines – updated

We have recently updated our podcasting guidelines. You can find it here: PSR podcasting guidelines – Political Studies Review: our blog (brunel.ac.uk), as well as in the summary below.

In the era of widespread and often unverified information, science can start to be considered as just another voice in the room. Given that our mission is to provide high-quality scientific analysis for a wider audience in an easy to understand manner, podcasts can be an invaluable way of getting the key findings from your article across to the broader public.

A great example of how engaging and professional talks raised a topic’s or person’s profile is professor Brene Brown’s TED talk has been viewed over 41 million times and made her a global superstar. Or writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book “We Should All Be Feminists” has become a worldwide bestseller after her talk.1

Example 1

Example 2

Our idea is much more humble. We aim to start a series of short podcasts with a duration of up to 140s (however, due to technical reasons your recording should be no longer than 135 sec). The key point is to explain the major idea of the PSR publication by its author. You can create a podcast that is a short digital audio recording of your talk, or a video podcast.

Example 3

You can also include any interesting visual content connected with your article (video, pictures, graphs, charts, etc).

Example 4

Once you decide to participate, here’s what we recommend:


Get your audience interested. Show them the topic in the wider context and why it’s important in the first couple of sentences. Try to connect major points of your podcast with key political or social challenges. Don’t make your talk too abstract. Show the importance of your research and why are you so passionate about it. Be aware that some of your viewers/ listeners may need some description to help them understand why the topic matters.


Try and keep your podcast brief – no more than 135 seconds or even shorter. Ensure that your talk gets straight to the point, keep things simple and tie every element in your presentation to the theme. Remember about a clear structure.


You are probably going to communicate with people who don’t know the topic on which you are an expert. Avoid academic jargon and if it’s necessary to do so, try to explain complex terms. Using words no one understands will confuse listeners. The real challenge is to talk about complex concepts in an easy to understand way, not the other way round.


What you want to say needs to be you. Although you might choose to prepare a written script, do use words you would normally use, in regular conversations.


“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou Leave your listeners with a sparkling thought – something to be remembered by.


• Have you decided on words that express your meaning correctly?
• Could you be less abstract?
• Have you got things in the best order?
• Is your argument coherent?
• Are your facts right?
• Is the tone of voice right?


  • Choose a comfortable place.
  • Minimize distractions: choose a quiet place, and – in the case of a video recording – a calm background with good light).
  • When you start recording wait about 3s before you start speaking.
  • Similarly, when you finish speaking wait before switching off the camera.
  • Send us your script – it will help us to prepare subtitles.
  • If you prefer to speak in your native language – do so.
  • Just prepare a precise translation to be transformed into subtitles.
  • You can also attach any interesting visual content you want to use to explain your point (videos, pictures, graphs, charts, etc) – we’ll use it in your podcast.

Sources and inspirations:

(1) M. Aarons-Mele The Myth Of The TED Talk, “Forbes”, 12.01.2018

(2) K. Roman, “Writing that works”

Podcast #6: Decolonising the Curriculum – Rima Saini and Neema Begum

“White, middle-class forms of knowledge are disproportionately valued over others. Working-class, female and academics of colour often find themselves struggling to ‘fit into’ the predominantly White, middle-class, heteronormative academic environment.” – Dr Neema Begum (University of Manchester) and Dr Rima Saini (Middlesex University London) speak about the need for the decolonisation of academia and political science, described in their article: Decolonising the Curriculum.

You can also read the PSA’s response by PSA former Chair, Prof. Angelia Wilson. Moreover, PSA Chair Prof. Roger Awan-Scully and Vice-Chair Prof. Claire Dunlop have recently published their statement on #BLM events in the US.

Dr Rima Saini is a Lecturer in Sociology ar Middlesex University London. She completed an MSc in Research Methods at City, the University of London in 2014 following a BA in Politics (SOAS), and an MA in Legal and Political Theory (UCL School of Public Policy). She completed a 3-year post as a City University of London Q-Step Ph.D. Teaching Fellow in the Department of Sociology in September 2017.

Dr Neema Begum is a political scientist researching ethnic minority voting, political participation and representation. Neema is a Research Associate at the Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) working on Politics, Representation and Ethnic Minorities


Dr Eliza Kania, Brunel University London

Podcast #4: Donald Trump and right-wing populism – Daniel Béland

“Since he entered the race for the White House in June 2015, the politics of insecurity has also become a central aspect of Donald J. Trump’s populist discourse about how to ‘Make America Great Again’. Key to this discourse is the idea of building a wall on the US–Mexico border to protect the country against irregular migrants, who are described as a criminological and national security threat”- the fourth episode of our PSR 140-sec short podcast series by Professor Daniel Béland. The author speaks about his article: Right-Wing Populism and the Politics of Insecurity: How President Trump Frames Migrants as Collective Threats.

Daniel Béland – James McGill Professor; Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada (MISC) .


Dr Eliza Kania, Brunel University London

Podcast #3: Consultant Lobbyists and Public Officials – Maxime Boucher

“When we first reviewed the literature on lobbying, we quickly realized that there was more than one definition of lobbying and that these different definitions can be grouped into two main visions of lobbying. Our main objective in our paper was to empirically test this central theoretical distinction between well-connected generalist lobbyists that specialize in navigating the political process and issue specialist lobbyists that specialize in a specific policy sector and provide substantive expertise to policymakers.”the third episode of our PSR 140-sec short podcast series by Maxime Boucher. The author speaks about the article: Consultant Lobbyists and Public Officials: Selling Policy Expertise or Personal Connections in Canada? by Maxime Boucher and Christopher A Cooper.

Maxime Boucher – his research focuses on two complementary aspects of lobbying and corporate political activities. By making use of “big data” sources such as the lobbying registry, it shows how Canadian political institutions affect the relations between organized interests and policy-makers. He is also interested in the regulation of lobbying and other forms of corporate political activities in North America and Europe. His research on the topic shows how lobbying regulation affects the state of corporate political rights in contemporary democracies.


Dr Eliza Kania, Brunel University London

Podcast #2: Fighting Misperceptions and Doubting Journalists’ Objectivity and fact-checking – Sakari Nieminen

“The fact-checking industry has grown enormously in recent years. Because the practice is becoming more and more well known, Lauri Rapeli and I conducted a literature review about the issue, to find out, what research has to say about the subject”- the second episode of our PSR 140-sec short podcast series by Sakari Nieminen. The author speaks about the article: Fighting Misperceptions and Doubting Journalists’ Objectivity: A Review of Fact-checking Literature by Lauri Rapeli and Sakari Nieminen.

Sakari Nieminen is a doctoral student in political science at Turku University, Finland. His current research interests include fact-checking, argumentation, and political rhetoric.


Dr Eliza Kania, Brunel University London

Podcast #1: Populist Peril to Democracy – Yunus Sözen

“In the last two decades, parties, or leaders widely claimed to be populist have come to power in different countries beyond populism’s traditional stronghold of Latin America, such as Thailand, United States, and Turkey” – the first episode of our PSR 140-sec short podcast series by Yunus Sözen. The author speaks about his article: Populist Peril to Democracy: The Sacralization and Singularization of Competitive Elections.

Yunus Sözen is a Fung Global Fellow at Princeton University’s Institute for International and Regional Studies. He is also a faculty member in the International Relations Department of Özyeğin University, Istanbul. He received his BA from Boğaziçi University, Department of Political Science and International Relations, and his PhD in Politics from New York University. Sozen’s areas within Political Science are Comparative Politics and Democratic Theory. His research focuses on the relationship between populism and political regime dynamics.


Dr Eliza Kania, Brunel University London