The Big, Big Ideas Industry

Chris Shea of Vox and Author Daniel Drezner discuss the ideas industry on the governmentality podcast.

By Allen McDuffee | November 6, 2017
Photo credit: Business vector created by Freepik

Alfred Nobel, the Swedish chemist, engineer and innovator who used his enormous fortune to fund the Nobel Prizes, once said, “If I have a thousand ideas and only one turns out to be good, I am satisfied.” Today, ideas are all around us. From tiny tweaks to mundane products to popularizing space travel, we are inundated with ideas from more channels than we can count. What used to live firmly in the world of academia and, later, think tanks is now the business of many and broadcast through a plethora of channels like TED talks, ideas festivals and media outlets dedicated to the world of ideas. We’ve become obsessed with this world of innovation, but it’s also come to resemble an industry all its own. On this episode, I talk with Chris Shea, senior editor at where he edits The Big Idea Section. And in the book chat, I’ll speak with Tufts University professor Daniel Drezner about his book, The Ideas Industry.

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Chris Shea is a senior editor at where he edits The Big Idea section. Previously, he wrote the Ideas Market blog and Week in Ideas column for the Wall Street Journal Review. Before that, he was a columnist and blogger for the Boston Globe Ideas section. Follow him on Twitter: @cshea4.

Daniel Drezner is professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He is a regular contributor to The Washington Post’s PostEverything and the author of The Ideas Industry: How Pessimists, Partisans and Plutocrats Are Transforming the Marketplace of Ideas. Follow him on Twitter: @dandrezner.

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The governmentality podcast was produced and edited by Michele Zipkin. The show’s music was composed and performed by Jeremy Carlstedt.