BALLPARK_SocMedBox-TranspThe Ballpark is the LSE Phelan US Centre’s media centre encompassing our podcast and explainer videos.

This is your chance to go beyond the headlines and get the facts, figures, quotes, and context to form a more informed view on the United States.

We’d love to hear what you think of our podcasts and videos – you can send us a message on Twitter @LSE_Ballpark, or email us at

The Ballpark has been produced with help from the LSE’s KEI Fund and the Phelan Family Foundation. Our theme tune is by Ranger and the “Re-Arrangers”, a Seattle based gypsy jazz band.


The Ballpark is the LSE US Centre’s regular online audio show on US politics, policy, and research. In each episode, the hosts take a closer look at American politics, economics, policy and news. We’ll feature and dissect the research of academics from the LSE and around the world.

The Politics of Race in American Film

Season 4 – The State of the States (2020-22)

Season 3 – The State of the States (2018/19)

There are lots of ways to catch-up with upcoming episodes of The Ballpark podcast: this website, our SoundCloud page, subscribe on iTunes or iTunesU, or add this RSS feed to your podcast app.

Season 2 (2017)

Listen to Season 2 (9 episodes)

Season 1 (2016)

Listen to Season 1 (9 Episodes)

Extra Innings podcasts

Every other week we post Ballpark Extra Innings podcasts where we spend some more time on an interview, topic or discussion that we cover in regular episodes of The Ballpark.

Listen to our Extra Innings


Video Explainers

Ahead of the 2016 US presidential election, the LSE US Centre produced explainer videos which describe key parts of the US political system:

The Two Party System

Dr Nick Anstead of the LSE Department of Media and Communications discusses the history, evolution and the potential future of the two party system in American politics.

The Nomination Process

Derek Valles of the LSE Government Department discusses how the American political primary and presidential nomination systems work, and their history.

Voter Eligibility

Dr Daniel Laurison of LSE Sociology looks at the history of voter eligibility in America and recent trends and changes to voting laws and voting rights.


Dr Jordi Blanes i Vidal of the LSE Department of Management discusses what lobbying is and how it works in Washington DC, including the ‘revolving door’ between lobbyists and public sector workers.

Trade Policy

Dr Julia Gray of LSE’s International Relations Department discusses what trade deals are, their recent history, and who benefits and who loses from them in the economy.

Criminal Justice

Professor Nicola Lacey looks at the fragmented nature of the US criminal justice system and how judicial elections and ‘appeals to toughness’ have influenced the incarceration rate at the state level.

The Transition of Power

Dr Derek Valles from the US Centre looks at power transitions between presidents of the United States. He also considers the challenges facing the president-elect in the coming months.


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