Crossing Channels

Can democratic political leaders ever meet our expectations?

Listen on

Episode notes

This episode looks at what we expect from our leaders, how that's changed over time, and whether democratic leaders are particularly prone to disappointing us. 

This episode is hosted by Rory Cellan-Jones, and features experts Dr Roberto Foa, Assistant Professor in Politics and Public Policy at the University of Cambridge, and Dr Zachary Garfield, Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse.

Listen to this episode on your preferred podcast platform.

Episode 8 transcript

For more information about the podcast and the work of the institutes, visit our websites at and .

Tweet us with your thoughts at @BennettInst and @IASToulouse.

Audio production by Steve Hankey.
Podcast editing by Annabel Manley

More about our guests

Dr Roberto Foa

Roberto Stefan Foa is Assistant Professor in Politics and Public Policy at the University of Cambridge, Co-Director of the Cambridge Centre for the Future of Democracy, and Director of the YouGov-Cambridge Centre for Public Opinion Research. His research examines the quality of government, regimes, and comparative social indicators, and is frequently cited in academic and media debates.

Zachery Garfield

Zachary Garfield is a Research Fellow at the IAST. He studied as an evolutionary anthropologist with research interests in the evolution of human leadership and the nature of social and political hierarchies across human societies.  He is also the co-director of the Omo Valley Research Project which is working to create a large scale dataset from the various ethnolinguistic groups within the Omo Valley region of Ethiopia.