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Rear Vision - ABC RN

50 EpisodesProduced by ABC Radio NationalWebsite

We tease out the complex history behind those baffling events in the news.

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A destructive mine and a civil war—Bougainville's path to an independence vote

November 24th, 2019


The desire for independence is driving politics in places as far flung as Catalonia, Scotland and New Caledonia. Will the people of Bougainville …

Protests in Lebanon: Is this the end of their religion-based political system?

November 17th, 2019


For over a month Lebanon’s streets have been brought to a standstill by protesters. The demonstrators are demanding a complete dismantling of …

The making and breaking of the Berlin Walll

November 10th, 2019


On the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, hear the whole story—why was it built, how did affect the lives of Berliners on both …

Who are the Kurds?

November 3rd, 2019


Since the first Gulf War in 1991 the Kurds have been a key player in the Middle East first in Iraq and later in Syria.

But, who are the Kurds, where …

Franco’s body—the politics of the Spanish dictator’s remains

October 27th, 2019


Francisco Franco, an ally of Hitler and Mussolini, remains a controversial figure in Spain. The exhumation of his remains is the latest twist in his …

A radical change in drug policy: Decriminalising drug use and possession

October 20th, 2019


Senior police officers in NSW are making the case for decriminalising drug use and possession. But they're not alone — across Australia and …

Australia’s no-fault divorce—why it remains controversial

October 13th, 2019


Divorce in Australia can be a straightforward matter if both sides agree but if not, it can be expensive as well as destructive. The Family Law Act has been the subject of dozens of reports and over a hundred amendments …

Why do America and Iran hate each other?

October 6th, 2019


Iran and America have despised each other for decades. The Americans see Iran as a nation of Islamic extremists and terrorists, while Iranians believe America is an imperial power determined to destroy their nation and …

Mao's revolution - why did the Communists win?

September 29th, 2019


How did the Communists pull off an unexpected victory in China?

Why is Zimbabwe an economic basket case?

September 22nd, 2019


Zimbabwe is potentially one of the richest nations in Africa — it has productive agricultural land, a vast array of mineral resources and a …

Can we feed a growing population without destroying the planet?

September 15th, 2019


Farming and soil - how can we get the most out of agricultural land?

South Korea and Japan: A relationship in turmoil

September 8th, 2019


While the world’s focus has been on the trade war between China and America, you might have missed the economic stalemate brewing between Japan and South Korea.
But unlike most trade disputes their war isn’t …

Trump, Greenland and the longer tale of American real estate

September 1st, 2019


Following the failure of President Trump’s clumsy attempt to buy Greenland from Denmark, here's the longer story of US land acquisition.

Kashmir in lockdown: The story behind Pakistan and India's ongoing battle for control over Kashmir

August 25th, 2019


The Indian parliament has revoked Article 370 of the India Constitution — which had guaranteed some form of independence for Indian-controlled …

What's behind the protests in Hong Kong?

August 18th, 2019


Public demonstrations and vigils have long been part of political life in Hong Kong, but nothing matches the current protests.

How history can help shape the debate about an Indigenous voice to Parliament.

August 11th, 2019


In the Uluru Statement from the Heart, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are calling for an Indigenous Voice to parliament. While they haven’t …

Counterculture - the birth of the environment movement

August 4th, 2019


The movement to protect Australia’s rich environmental heritage shifted from polite, backroom persuasion to sometimes violent confrontation in bush …

Australian farming: family farms or Agro-business

July 28th, 2019


As a nation we have a great affection for our farmers and the family farm. But rural Australia is changing, and there’s an ongoing fear that some of …

How low can they go? A history of interest rates.

July 21st, 2019


A history of interest rates from Ancient Babylon to today.

Being Boris - Boris Johnson

July 14th, 2019


Boris Johnson, the gaffe-prone showman of British politics, is about to get the job he’s always coveted.

The King Crane Commission: America's first political intervention in the Middle East

July 7th, 2019


There’ve been numerous American interventions in the Middle East. But does anyone remember the 1919 King Crane Commission, America's first political …

The Impact of the Versailles Treaty

June 30th, 2019


The Treaty of Versailles was signed 100 years ago - it ended WWI and was supposed to end all wars.

But as we all know it didn't end war and arguably …

The Paris Peace Conference 1919

June 23rd, 2019


The Paris Peace Conference of 1919, held just months after the end of WWI, gathered together the leaders of the world. Their task: to redraw the …

Monopoly power in America

June 16th, 2019


In the United States there is concern about the power and market share of tech companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple. But distrust of …

Monarchies of Southeast Asia

June 9th, 2019


Royal families have survived colonialism, occupation and democratisation but will they last?

Roe V Wade

June 2nd, 2019


States across America are passing heartbeat laws, which aim to outlaw abortions at any stage of pregnancy with no exceptions for rape or incest.

They are reigniting debate in the US around abortion and threatening to …

The anti-vaccination movement

May 26th, 2019


Anti-vaxxers - despite the safety and success of vaccines, why do some parents choose not to vaccinate their children?

Terrorism in Southeast Asia

May 19th, 2019


The recent terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka shocked the world. Yet terrorism in our region has a very long and bloody history, one that begins with …

The art market — how does it work?

May 12th, 2019


Who decides what a painting is worth? The history of the art market and how it works.

New Zealand's electoral system — is it better than ours?

May 5th, 2019


What's behind New Zealand's impressive political response to the Christchurch terrorist attack?

Australia's upper houses

April 28th, 2019


Members have included racists, religious zealots and gun lovers, but are they vital for Australia’s democracy?

INTERPOL — the International Criminal Police Organization

April 21st, 2019


INTERPOL facilitates worldwide police cooperation - where does it come from and how does it work?

Legalising cannabis

April 14th, 2019


What lessons can be learned from the US experience?

Uyghurs the people of Xinjiang

April 7th, 2019


Now the Chinese government is rounding up and interning large number of  Uyghurs — the Muslim ethnic group from the western Chinese province of Xinjiang. While for decades there have been tensions, between the Uyghurs …

Justin Trudeau - has the shine gone off Canada’s golden-haired boy?

March 31st, 2019


Justin Trudeau - Canada’s charismatic leader - struggles with a political scandal that has cost him some of his political gloss.

Algeria and the ghost president

March 24th, 2019


Two weeks ago, Algeria citizens took to the streets demanding that the aging, ill president - Abdelaziz Boteflika stand aside and not run for a 5th term as president.

While he has now agreed to this demand. He has …

The Conservative Party and Brexit

March 17th, 2019


Why has Britain's relationship with Europe been a poisonous obsession in the Conservative Party?

Brexit, British Labour and Jeremy Corbyn

March 10th, 2019


Why is membership of the EU such a divisive political issue for Jeremy Corbyn and many Labour Party voters?

Is the war over in Syria?

March 3rd, 2019


As the last fighters of the Islamic State group are forced from land along the border with Iraq, Rear Vision looks both back at eight years of war and at what lies ahead.

Nancy Pelosi: The most powerful woman in US politics

February 24th, 2019


Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House of Representative and third in line to the President of the United States. For over ten years she has been the …

Understanding assassination

February 17th, 2019


What do we know about assassins and their motivation? Do they change the course of history, as many assassins hope?

Political and Economic Crisis in Venezuela

February 10th, 2019


Venezuela is stuck in political turmoil – it has two legislative bodies claiming to right to pass laws, and two Presidents both arguing that they are …

Menindee fish kill - politics and water

February 3rd, 2019


A decade into the most ambitious program to save the Murray-Darling river system from ecological disaster, hundreds of thousands of dead fish suggest …

American foreign policy in Central America and the migrant crisis

January 27th, 2019


The large number of migrants arriving on the Mexico/United States border come from El Salvador, Honduras or Guatemala. These three central American nations have in common high poverty rates, wealth inequality, problems …

First contact between Aboriginal people and the British of the First Fleet.

January 20th, 2019


What is known about the earliest encounters between the Aboriginal people and the British of the First Fleet?

Race Relations in Australia: From the Tent Embassy in 1972 to the Uluru Statement.

January 13th, 2019


The third and final part of Rear Vision’s series tracing the story of the relationship between indigenous and nonindigenous Australians. In this program we trace the story from the Tent Embassy in 1972 through to the …

Race relations in Australia: From assimilation to activism

January 6th, 2019


In post WW2 Australia the key policy adopted by all state and territories in relations to Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders was one of …

Race Relations in Australia: from 1901 to the Uluru Statement

December 30th, 2018


The story of the relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians is contested and complex. Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders are …

Russians in the UK

December 23rd, 2018


Russians in the UK – spies and billionaires, mysterious deaths and money laundering - and the long arm of Vladimir Putin.


December 16th, 2018


Volkswagen and the story of its success.

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