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Primitive Culture: A Star Trek History and Culture Podcast

May 9, 2018

Federation Politics in Star Trek.

The United Federation of Planets is at the heart of Star Trek’s utopian vision of a deeply complex future society, though relatively little interest has been shown in the nuts and bolts of the organization’s democracy and governance. The machinations of the Klingon High Council have taken up more screen time than the workings of the Federation’s own equivalent, and the bulk of our time is spent in the military environment of Starfleet rather than the civilian halls of power.

In this episode of Primitive Culture, hosts Tony Black and Duncan Barrett are joined by Star Trek novelist Keith R.A. DeCandido, author of Articles of the Federation, a West Wing-inspired novel about the day-to-day business of the Federation president and her staff. They discuss the three Federation presidents shown on screen—in The Voyage Home, The Undiscovered Country, and Deep Space Nine’s “Homefront” and “Paradise Lost”—and examine how future Star Trek might engage with the democratic and diplomatic process in more detail.

Intro (00:00:00)
Military and Civilian Authority (00:09:36)
Presidential Qualities (00:17:34)
The Birth of the Federation (00:35:59)
President Ian McKellan (00:43:24)
Closing (00:49:44)

Tony Black and Duncan Barrett

Keith R.A. DeCandido

Tony Black (Editor) Duncan Barrett (Producer) C Bryan Jones (Executive Producer) Matthew Rushing (Executive Producer) Ken Tripp (Executive Producer) Norman C. Lao (Associate Producer) Amy Nelson (Associate Producer) Richard Marquez (Production Manager) Brandon-Shea Mutala (Patreon Manager)