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3 days ago
301 | The Long-term Legacy of Brexit
David and Helen are joined by Diane Coyle and Anand Menon to have another go at pinning down the long term consequences of Brexit. Now we have a deal, what are the prospects for rebalancing the UK economy? Do EU politicians want a post-Brexit UK to succeed or to fail? Can Labour really avoid re-opening the Brexit wars for the next four years? Plus, an update on the next series of History of Ideas.
5 days ago
300 | Jill Lepore on the Insurrection
David talks to historian Jill Lepore about what took place at the Capitol on January 6th. What should we call it? What can we compare it to? And what should happen next? Plus we ask how Biden ought to address what happened in his inaugural next week. Are we past the time for talk about reconciliation?
Jan 7, 2021
299 | New Year, New World?
Happy New Year! David and Helen look at what's changed - and what hasn't - since we last spoke, from Brexit to Biden to Covid. Has the Brexit deal really given the UK a chance to do things differently? Do Democrat wins in the Georgia Senate races open up new possibilities for Biden? What is at stake in the politics of vaccination? Plus, we talk about where things now stand for the future of the Union.
Jan 3, 2021
297 | How to Fix British Democracy?
Another recent talk by David on democracy: does it make sense to talk about fixing British democracy, and if so, how? David discusses electoral reform, institutional change and he returns to the question of votes for children.
Dec 31, 2020
296 | Did Covid Kill the Climate?
A recording of a recent talk by David on what we've learned in 2020 about the resilience of democratic societies in the face of disaster. Has the experience of Covid shown us how we can deal with climate change, or has it shown us what we are missing? An argument about optimism, pessimism and everything in between.
Dec 24, 2020
295 | Looking Back, Looking Forward
This week David, Helen and our producer Catherine Carr look back at five years of podcasting and five years of crazy politics, to pick our favourite moments and to discuss what we've learned. From the 2015 general election to the current crisis, via the Corn Laws and Crashed, the politics of abortion and super forecasting, Corbyn and nuclear weapons. Plus, we'll let you know about some of our plans for 2021.
Dec 17, 2020
294 | Where is the Opposition?
We look past Covid and Brexit to ask where the long-term opposition to Johnson's government is going to come from. Can Corbynism remain a force in British politics, even without Corbyn? Is there room for a challenge to the Conservatives from the right? Will climate politics drive street protest politics or can it help the Greens? Plus we consider whether Nicola Sturgeon is really the leader of the opposition. With Helen Thompson and Chris Brooke.
Dec 9, 2020
293 | What's Next for France and Italy?
As we wait for a Brexit deal or no deal, we discuss what the next year might hold for French and Italian politics. What are Macron's prospects as he heads towards the next presidential election? Has Giorgia Meloni replaced Matteo Salvini as the leader of the Italian far right? And what chance of a return to political normalcy in either country? With Lucia Rubinelli and Chris Bickerton.
Dec 3, 2020
292 | From Brexit to Scottish Independence
We try to join the dots from the final days of the Brexit negotiations to the looming prospect of another referendum on Scottish independence. Can the government really risk a no-deal outcome? Will the SNP still hold a referendum if the courts say no? What will Labour do? Plus we ask how COVID politics intersects with the fate of the Union. With Helen Thompson, Anand Menon and Kenneth Armstrong.
Nov 26, 2020
291 | Young People vs Joe Biden
This week we talk about race and representation with Cathy Cohen of the GenForward Survey project based in Chicago. What do young Americans want from democratic politics? How do their priorities vary according to race and ethnicity? And can a Biden presidency deliver on the desire for real change? Plus we catch up with Jeevun Sandher and Michael Bankole of the Politics Jam podcast to explore a UK perspective on why young and minority voices find it so hard to be heard.
Nov 22, 2020
290 | James O'Brien
David talks to author and radio host James O'Brien about everything from therapy to Brexit and from educational privilege to Keir Starmer's leadership of the Labour Party. Recorded as part of the Cambridge Literary Festival https://cambridgeliteraryfestival.com/. James's new book is How Not to be Wrong: The Art of Changing Your Mind.
Nov 19, 2020
289 | Post-Covid Economics
This week a special edition from the Bristol Festival of Economics with Helen Thompson and Adam Tooze talking about what might follow the pandemic. From vaccines to changing patterns of employment, from action on climate to new tensions with China, we explore what the long-term effects of 2020 might be. Plus we discuss what options are open to a Biden administration: with the Georgia run-offs to come and the disease still spreading, how much wriggle room has he got?
Nov 12, 2020
288 | War: What Is it Good For?
We talk to the historian Margaret MacMillan about the changing character of war, from the ancient world to the twenty-first century. Do we still understand the risks? Where are the conflicts of the future likely to break out? And how can we reconcile the terrible destructiveness of war with its capacity to bring about positive change? Plus we talk about why war produces so much great art.
Nov 9, 2020
287 | President Biden
Now that we have a result, David and Helen reflect on what the next four years might hold. What issues could define a Biden presidency? Has this election indicated a possible realignment of American politics? And is it enough to restore faith in democratic politics? If Trump is not how democracy ends, where does the real danger lie?
Nov 4, 2020
286 | What Just Happened?
David, Helen and Gary convene on very little sleep to try to make sense of another extraordinary election. Though we still don't know who won, we do know that some things are going to get even harder for American democracy. What's the nightmare scenario: the loser refusing to lose, or the winner being unable to govern? Why did the pollsters get it wrong again? And what's likely to happen when the contest reaches the courts? Plus we ask if the American Constitution can cope with close elections any more.
Nov 2, 2020
285 | Are Young People Losing Faith in Democracy?
David talks to Roberto Foa about his recent report into young people's attitude to democracy around the world. Why are millennials so much less satisfied with democratic politics than older generations? Can populist politics do anything to alter that? And what does the generation divide tell us about changing attitudes to Trump? Plus we discuss the generational politics of climate change, education and wealth inequality.
Nov 1, 2020
284 | China, Climate, Covid: The New Energy Map
A conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Daniel Yergin about the new energy map of the world. What impact has the shale revolution had on global politics? Is China winning or losing the energy wars? And will the energy transition happen fast enough for climate change?
Oct 29, 2020
283 | What Trump Means to Us
Helen and David talk about what four years of Trump - and of talking (and talking) about Trump - have meant or their thinking about America and about democratic politics. Is it possible to give a balanced picture of Trump's presidency? Have the last four years followed a pattern or has it just been chaos? What is the likely legacy of Trump's extraordinary level of global fame? Plus we discuss whether 2020 marks the beginning of the 'short' twenty-first century and what that means for Trump's place in it.
Oct 22, 2020
282 | Democracy for Sale
We talk to Peter Geoghegan of openDemocracy and Jennifer Cobbe of the Trust and Technology Initiative about Cambridge Analytica, money, power and what is and isn't corrupting our democracy. How easy is it to buy influence in British politics? Did Cambridge Analytica break the rules, or show just how little difference the rules make anyway? Who has the power to take on Facebook? Plus we discuss why the British government's failure to handle the pandemic tells us a lot about the corrosive effects of cronyism. Order Peter’s book here…
Oct 15, 2020
281 | Trump Stress Test
David talks to the historian Sarah Churchwell about how well America's political institutions have withstood the stress of the last four years. Have we seen the limits of presidential power or have we discovered how easy it is to trash those limits? Are constitutional checks and balances still intact? Is it really Mitch McConnell who is putting American democracy under stress? Plus we talk about what will be needed to restore the social contract and the perils of political humility.