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TALKING POLITICS

299 EpisodesProduced by David Runciman and Catherine CarrWebsite

Coronavirus! Climate! Brexit! Trump! Politics has never been more unpredictable, more alarming or more interesting: Talking Politics is the podcast that tries to make sense of it all. Every week David Runciman and Helen Thompson talk to the most interesting people around about the ideas and events t… read more

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Twilight of Democracy

July 16th, 2020

42:25

David talks to the writer Anne Applebaum about her highly personal new book, which charts the last twenty years of broken friendships and democratic …

Helen's History of Ideas

July 9th, 2020

48:15

David talks with Helen to get her take on the history of ideas - both what's there and what's missing. Why start with Hobbes? What can we learn from the Federalist Papers? Where's Nietzsche? Plus we talk about whether …

James Meek on Healthcare: from WHO to NHS

July 5th, 2020

37:14

David talks to the writer James Meek about what the Covid crisis has revealed about how we understand healthcare and how we think about the organisations tasked with delivering it. A conversation about hospitals and …

Brexit in the Age of Covid

July 2nd, 2020

44:27

We have passed the deadline for any extension to the Brexit trade negotiations - now it's 31 December or bust. We catch up with three of our resident experts to explore what this means, what the chances are of getting a …

Burma's Hidden History

June 28th, 2020

47:21

In this extra episode David talks to Thant Myint-U about the fraught recent history of Burma (Myanmar) and asks what it can teach us about …

Britain Wrestles with its Past

June 25th, 2020

47:19

We talk with the writer and political commentator Fintan O'Toole about how British politics can and should deal with its imperial past in the age of …

American Fascism: Then and Now

June 18th, 2020

47:23

David and Helen talk with historian Sarah Churchwell about the origins, uses and abuses of the idea of American fascism. Where does American fascism …

Police State USA

June 11th, 2020

53:43

We talk to Adom Getachew, Jasson Perez and Gary Gerstle about the politics of protest and the politics of policing in America. What does 'Defund the …

What Just Happened at the New York Times?

June 8th, 2020

29:47

In an extra episode, we're back with last week's guest Jonathan Shainin, Head of Opinion at the Guardian, so he can talk us through the big blow-up at the NYT. What has it taught us about about the new battlegrounds in …

Matt Forde

June 7th, 2020

45:34

David talks to comedian and host of the Political Party podcast Matt Forde about his lockdown experiences and about his life with the Labour party: …

Facts vs Opinions

June 4th, 2020

45:32

David and Helen talk with Jonathan Shainin, Head of Opinion at the Guardian newspaper, about the challenges of political journalism in a deeply …

Dan Snow on Covid History (and Cummings)

May 28th, 2020

47:19

David and Helen talk to the historian Dan Snow about the parallels for the current crisis. Is it like past pandemics or is it more like a war? What has it exposed about the weak spots in our societies? And what have we …

Bread, Cement, Cactus

May 24th, 2020

54:05

David talks to the writer Annie Zaidi, winner of the Nine Dots Prize, about her remarkable memoir of life in India and the search for identity. It's s story of conflict, migration, belonging and the idea of home. We …

Europe Blows Up

May 21st, 2020

55:54

How does a judgement of the German constitutional court threaten to explode the European project? David talk to Helen Thompson, Adam Tooze and Shahin Vallee about what the court's decision might mean for the Euro, for …

Labour and Brexit: Beyond the Crisis

May 14th, 2020

44:46

David is joined by Helen Thompson and Chris Brooke to try to get beyond the current crisis and work out where British politics is heading. How …

Ebola, COVID and the WHO

May 7th, 2020

49:21

David and Helen talk this week with Amy Maxmen, senior reporter at Nature.  Amy has covered the Ebola epidemic in Western Africa and now COVID-19 in …

David Miliband on the Crisis

April 30th, 2020

42:12

We talk with David Miliband, head of the International Rescue Committee, about the impact of the pandemic on the world's poorest countries. What happens in places where social distancing is not possible? Plus we discuss …

History of Ideas: Wollstonecraft on Sexual Politics

April 28th, 2020

47:06

Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) is one of the most remarkable books in the history of ideas. A classic of early …

History of Ideas: Hobbes on the State

April 27th, 2020

59:56

Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan (1651) reimagined how we could do politics. It redefined many of the ideas that continue to shape modern politics: …

What's Happening in Italy Now?

April 26th, 2020

27:35

We catch up again with Lucia Rubinelli to discuss the latest developments in Italy. With anger against the EU on the rise and regional divisions …

Talking Politics: HISTORY OF IDEAS

April 23rd, 2020

2:12

A short trailer to introduce a brand new podcast called Talking Politics: HISTORY OF IDEAS. In each episode, David Runciman focuses on one writer and …

Lockdownonomics

April 23rd, 2020

45:22

David and Helen talk to the economist Diane Coyle about the long-term consequences of lockdown, for the economy, for society and for our well-being. How can we measure the costs? Who are likely to be the biggest …

Adam Tooze/Shockwave

April 20th, 2020

52:31

David and Helen talk to Adam Tooze about what we know about the crisis that we didn't know a month ago, and what we still don't have much of a clue about. From fights inside the French government to the fate of the …

Nate Silver

April 18th, 2020

42:12

David and Helen talk to 538's Nate Silver about how to read the pandemic data and what they mean for politics. What do we know now that we didn't …

British Politics: The Big Reset?

April 16th, 2020

43:13

We discuss whether British politics is about to undergo a fundamental shift. Are we seeing a new role for the state? Have the lines between the …

In Praise of Hilary Mantel

April 12th, 2020

41:27

In an Easter special David and Helen discuss their love of Hilary Mantel's Thomas Cromwell trilogy, and in particular the final volume The Mirror and …

Can America Cope?

April 9th, 2020

48:29

David, Helen and Gary Gerstle discuss the impact of the pandemic on the fundamentals of American politics. What have we discovered about the …

Michael Lewis Updated

April 5th, 2020

55:57

Another chance to hear the prophetic interview we recorded with Michael Lewis late last year, when he warned about the risks to us all of what the Trump presidency was doing to the capacity of the American state to cope …

States of Emergency

April 2nd, 2020

48:45

David talks to Lea Ypi in Berlin and Helen Thompson in London about the various states of emergency that have been declared around the world. We …

Tara Westover/Educated

March 29th, 2020

1:01:03

We catch up with Tara to reflect on what her experience of being educated without going to school means for a world where so many kids are being kept …

From Cholera to Coronavirus

March 28th, 2020

38:27

David talks to the historian Richard Evans about the history of cholera epidemics in the 19th century and what they can teach us for today. How did …

Co-operation or Conflict?

March 26th, 2020

45:07

This week we try to assess whether the Covid-19 pandemic is driving the world together or pushing it further apart. From US-Chinarelations to tensions within the EU, we discuss how coronavirus is exacerbating existing …

The View from Italy

March 22nd, 2020

41:39

David talks to Lucia Rubinelli, who is locked down in Northern Italy, about what life is like there and what politics is like too. Do people still …

Adam Tooze Part 2

March 19th, 2020

28:30

We catch up with Adam on the latest twists in the crisis: from the ECB's change of heart to new threats in emerging markets. What is happening in …

Adam Tooze on the Crisis

March 19th, 2020

43:43

We talk to Adam Tooze in New York about the possible impact of coronavirus on the global financial and political system. How does this crisis compare …

Doomsday Clock

March 15th, 2020

35:02

A special extra episode with Rachel Bronson, president of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, about their decision to move the Doomsday Clock 20 …

Superforecasting

March 12th, 2020

47:21

We talk to David Spiegelhalter, Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk, about the science of forecasting. Who or what are the superforecasters? How can they help governments make better decisions? And will …

Super Tuesday Special: Biden's Back!

March 4th, 2020

53:20

A special live edition recorded on the morning after Super Tuesday: we try to make sense of where the Democratic race now stands. How did Biden pull …

Blair's Labour and Johnson's Brexit

February 27th, 2020

48:25

David and Helen catch up on the state of British politics, from Blair's advice to the Labour party on its 120th birthday to growing divisions in …

Michael Ignatieff on the Future of Democracy

February 23rd, 2020

54:32

A special live edition recorded in front of an audience in Cambridge: David talks to writer, broadcaster, academic and politician Michael Ignatieff …

Macron vs Everyone

February 20th, 2020

49:57

We talk to Shahin Vallee, former economics advisor to Emmanuel Macron, about the state of the Macron presidency: from the gilets jaunes to the pensions protests, from dealing with Merkel to facing off with Putin, and …

Sinn Fein and Sardines

February 13th, 2020

49:35

We talk about two countries going through dramatic democratic change: Ireland, where Sinn Féin came top of the vote in last weekend's general election, and Italy, where the Sardines are the latest movement trying to …

Oh Iowa!

February 6th, 2020

43:37

We try to peer through the chaos in Iowa to see who won, who lost and what it means for the future of this presidential race and for American democracy. Are we heading towards a Bernie vs Bloomberg showdown? What might …

Are We Losing Faith in Democracy?

January 30th, 2020

44:48

We talk to Roberto Foa about some of the findings in his groundbreaking new report 'Global Satisfaction with Democracy'. Where are people most dissatisfied with democracy and why? Is it being driven by economic factors …

Trump vs Iran: Is it for Real?

January 23rd, 2020

45:27

David and Helen talk to Shashank Joshi, Defence Editor at the Economist, about the fallout from the killing of Soleimani and the future of American …

Predictions for 2030 with Azeem Azhar

January 19th, 2020

40:46

An extra episode with Azeem Azhar, tech entrepreneur and host of the Exponential View podcast and newsletter. We talk about Azeem's predictions for …

What's the Future for Labour?

January 16th, 2020

47:45

We are back for 2020 to talk about Labour's future after Corbyn. How can the party move the argument beyond Brexit? Does the voting system help or hinder Labour's chances of returning to power? And what to do about …

The Great Abortion Switcheroo

January 9th, 2020

32:15

 In the final episode of our American Histories series, Sarah Churchwell tells the incredible story of the politics of abortion during the 1970s. How …

Deporting Mexicans

January 5th, 2020

30:28

Gary Gerstle explores the forgotten history of Mexican deportations from the southern United States in the 1930's and asks how it fits into the …

The 15th and the 19th

January 2nd, 2020

29:48

Sarah Churchwell tells the tortured history of the campaign to secure votes for women and how it was tied up with another campaign to suppress votes for black Americans. From the 15th amendment in 1870 to the 19th …

Monopoly and Muckraking

December 29th, 2019

30:00

Gary Gerstle talks about the journalist who brought down a business empire, when Ida Tarbell went after the power of John D Rockefeller and the …

Pornography and the Post Office

December 26th, 2019

30:18

Gary Gerstle tells the story of Anthony Comstock, the man who tried to stamp out pornography in the final decades of the nineteenth century, using the US Postal Service as his weapon. Where he succeeded and how he …

Impeaching the President

December 22nd, 2019

33:42

In the first of our American Histories series, Sarah Churchwell explains the lessons to be learned for Trump and his opponents from what happened in 1868, when President Andrew Johnson was impeached by Congress and …

American Histories Trailer

December 20th, 2019

3:06

Letting you know about an exciting new series: Over the holidays David is joined by historians Sarah Churchwell and Gary Gerstle for six special …

Michael Lewis on Donald Trump

December 18th, 2019

37:54

David and Helen talk to bestselling author Michael Lewis about the effect that Trump's presidency is having on the workings of the US government and …

Johnson Gets His Mandate

December 14th, 2019

1:13:26

We gather the morning after the Tory triumph the night before to discuss how they did it and what it means. From Swinson's hubris to Corbyn's comeuppance, from Scottish independence to constitutional challenges, from …

Some Brexit Scenarios

December 11th, 2019

43:30

For our last pre-election episode we talk with Anand Menon, director of the UK in a Changing Europe, about what might happen to Brexit once the vote is done. What choices does Johnson face if he wins? What paths are …

What if Remain Had Won...?

December 5th, 2019

48:02

This week Helen and David explore some counterfactuals: What if Remain had won in 2016? What if Corbyn hadn't got on the leadership ballot in 2015? What if Scotland had voted for independence in 2014? We consider …

Tech Election - Part 2

November 28th, 2019

51:30

We talk about the impact of different online platforms on the general election campaign, from Twitter and Facebook to WhatsApp and TikTok. Is micro-targeting getting more sophisticated? Is viral messaging getting more …

Tech Election - Part 1

November 24th, 2019

54:08

In a special live edition recorded at the Bristol Festival of Economics we discuss the impact of the technology revolution on democratic …

Party like it's 1974

November 21st, 2019

48:53

We talk about the current election by talking about two previous ones: the February and October general elections of 1974. A lot of 2019 politics …

One Election or Many?

November 14th, 2019

47:50

We have a first look at what's happening in the election campaign by asking whether it's really one election or many. Do national vote shares mean much any more, given all the regional variations? How is the Remain …

Esther Duflo

November 7th, 2019

47:04

David and Helen talk to Nobel Prize-winning economist (the youngest ever!) Esther Duflo about how to do economics better. From investing in left-behind places to helping people adapt to change, we discuss good and bad …

Rory Stewart

October 30th, 2019

1:19:16

On the night the UK parliament voted for a general election, David and Helen talk to former Conservative leadership candidate Rory Stewart about the state of our democracy. Is the constitution broken? Can the Union …

Not Over Yet

October 23rd, 2019

46:01

After two significant votes in the House of Commons pointing in two different directions - one towards a Brexit agreement and the other towards a general election - we discuss where we might be heading. Does Johnson …

Inside the Bubble with Ayesha Hazarika: Live!

October 17th, 2019

1:02:36

In a special live edition as part of the Cambridge Festival of Ideas, David talks with journalist, comedian and former special adviser Ayesha …

Impeach This!

October 10th, 2019

46:15

We catch up with Gary Gerstle and Helen Thompson about the state of the Trump presidency, from impeachment and cover-ups to Syria and Ukraine. We ask …

December Elections: Live Special!

October 7th, 2019

42:39

A special edition recorded in front of an audience at the Podcast Live festival in London on Saturday: David, Helen and Chris Brooke discuss what we …

Cameron's Referendum

October 3rd, 2019

49:02

David and Helen take a step back to unpick the tortuous history of how we got to the Brexit referendum in the first place. Does the justification Cameron offers in his new memoirs stack up? What was he trying to …

Ian McEwan

September 29th, 2019

28:02

David talks to novelist Ian McEwan about his new Brexit parable, The Cockroach, and a lot else besides: counterfactual history, Labour party conferences, eighteenth-century satire, humanising judges and turning the …

Boiling Point

September 26th, 2019

26:16

David and Helen try to lower the temperature by looking at the strategic choices behind the vitriolic clashes in the Commons this week: from the date …

Supreme Court II & Italy!

September 25th, 2019

45:21

A packed episode: we catch up with Catherine Barnard on the Supreme Court's unanimous decision against prorogation and we discuss what's going on in …

Re-Engineering Humanity

September 22nd, 2019

35:38

David talks to Brett Frischmann about how so-called 'smart' machines may be producing more machine-like humans. From GPS to Fitbit to Alexa to the …

Supreme Court

September 19th, 2019

45:02

In the middle of the epic prorogation battle at the Supreme Court, we ask what's at stake: for the government, for Brexit, for the constitution and for democracy. Is this a case of legal precedent, common law practice …

He's Still There (Just)

September 12th, 2019

45:51

David and Helen try to make sense of where we've got to, though things are moving fast (*episode recorded before the Scottish court judgment*). Can parliament force Johnson's hand in the Brexit negotiations if he is …

Adam Tooze on the Global Slowdown

September 8th, 2019

48:45

Helen Thompson and Adam Tooze take us beyond Brexit to look at the global situation and the bigger threats we face. Italy, Germany, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Russia, Trump vs. the Fed, the US vs. China, Hong Kong, …

Is It Legal?

September 4th, 2019

47:10

With British politics in disarray, we try to sort out what's a stake - legally, constitutionally and electorally. Can Johnson refuse to do what …

Talking Politics Guide to ... Marriage

September 1st, 2019

31:12

We talk to political philosopher Clare Chambers about marriage as a political institution. How does it reflect the power of the state?  How does it …

538 Cross Over Special : Is Britain In The Middle Of A Constitutional Crisis?

August 30th, 2019

45:52

Special cross over episode with the FiveThirtyEight politics podcast from America, hosted by Galen Druke.


On Wednesday, British Prime Minister Boris …

Where Power Stops

August 29th, 2019

35:54

David gives another in his series of talks about democracy. This one draws on the theme of his new book Where Power Stops: The Making and Unmaking of Presidents and Prime Ministers. From Lyndon Johnson to Boris Johnson, …

Talking Politics Guide to ... European Union before the EU

August 25th, 2019

28:29

We talk to historian Chris Brooke about ideas of a united Europe that long pre-dated the advent of the European Union. Since the eighteenth century …

Talking Politics Guide to ... The UK Constitution

August 22nd, 2019

28:23

We talk to lawyer and constitutional expert Alison Young about the current pressures on the UK constitution, from Brexit to devolution to political …

Jill Lepore on the American Nation

August 18th, 2019

39:25

We talk to historian Jill Lepore about the idea of nationalism in America, from the birth of the Republic through to Trump. What defines the nation? Why does the illiberal version keep getting the upper hand?  Are there …

Talking Politics Guide to ... Being a Civil Servant

August 15th, 2019

30:49

We talk to public policy expert Dennis Grube about the changing character of the civil service, from Victorian mandarins and Yes, Minister to the …

Talking Politics Guide to ... The Euro

August 11th, 2019

29:27

We talk to political economist Helen Thompson about the birth of the Euro and its tortuous recent history. Whose idea was it in the first place and …

Talking Politics Guide to ... Summer Reading

August 8th, 2019

22:48

We ask regular TP contributors and guests to tell us about the books they've most enjoyed recently and the ones they are looking forward to reading …

Talking Politics Guide to ... The Chinese Communist Party

August 4th, 2019

28:33

We talk to historian of China Hans van de Ven about the origins of the CCP and its extraordinary rise to power. How has it managed to adapt to the changes of the last forty years and what lessons will be drawn as it …

Talking Politics Guide to ... The Gilded Age

August 1st, 2019

30:58

We talk to historian Sarah Churchwell about the Gilded Age in late nineteenth century America and the comparisons with today. Rampant inequality, …

Autumn of Chaos

July 24th, 2019

46:11

Boris Johnson is off to see the Queen to become her 14th (!) Prime Minister, but where might he be taking the country this autumn?  We try to work through the various Brexit scenarios, from a renegotiated Withdrawal …

Waiting for Boris

July 18th, 2019

46:55

Barring an act of God, Boris Johnson is going to be the next leader of the Conservative Party. We're exploring what that means in two parts. Today, Helen and David talk about the domestic implications.  Can Johnson …

Hong Kong

July 11th, 2019

41:40

What is happening in Hong Kong? We talk to a professor of Chinese history and a Hong Kong journalist about the recent wave of protests there and try to discover what is really at stake on all sides.  Who are the …

Libra

July 4th, 2019

51:16

What does it mean when Facebook says it wants its own currency?  We explore the power, the potential and the pitfalls of Libra. How does Facebook plan to make money out of making money? Can anyone stop it? And does this …

Outlasting Trump

June 27th, 2019

45:54

We talk with Gary Gerstle about the big issues roiling US politics with likely aftereffects that will long outlast Trump's presidency. First up: the …

The Party Splits! (In 1846!)

June 20th, 2019

52:17

The current crisis for the Conservatives is often described as the worst since the party split over the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846. So we talk to historian Boyd Hilton about what really happened back then and what …

Who is Boris Johnson?

June 13th, 2019

47:39

We try to work out what the current favourite to be next Tory leader actually stands for. Can his time as Mayor of London tell us what kind of PM he might be? Will his journalistic past come back to haunt him? Does he …

Constitutional Breakdown

June 6th, 2019

44:26

We ask whether the UK constitution is cracking up - and if so, where's the breakpoint going to come? Is Brexit at the heart of the current crisis or …

Jared Diamond

May 30th, 2019

37:13

We talk to the author of Guns, Germs and Steel about his new book on nations in crisis. Jared Diamond argues that personal crises are a good way of thinking about national ones. He tells us about one of his own personal …

Split Down the Middle

May 28th, 2019

26:20

David and Helen catch up with the European election results and the Tory leadership race - there's lots to talk about. How can the Tories compete …

The Next PM

May 23rd, 2019

46:19

As Theresa May's premiership gets very close to the end, we talk about who and what might be coming next. Can her successor re-establish the authority she has lost? Can anyone govern in this parliament or do we need a …

Death of the Republic

May 16th, 2019

45:10

We talk to historian Tom Holland about the fall of the Roman Republic and the parallels with today. Why does Roman history still exert such a strong …

Adam Tooze on US vs China

May 12th, 2019

29:11

An extra episode with Adam Tooze to catch up on the latest in the US/China trade wars. What's really at stake and what does Trump want?  Is this about economics or security? What does it say about the future of …

President Bernie?

May 9th, 2019

52:27

We talk about socialism in America: where it comes from, what it means, why it's so associated with Bernie Sanders and whether it can actually reach the White House. What's the difference between democratic socialism …

A Mockery of Democracy?

May 2nd, 2019

47:46

Are the UK's looming European elections making a mockery of democracy, or is this how democracy is meant to work? Would cancelling them at the last …

David King on Climate Repair

April 30th, 2019

48:54

An extra episode in our climate season: we talk to Sir David King, former Chief Scientific Advisor to the British government, about what's now known about the scale of the threat and the urgency of the need …

Paul Mason on the Human Future

April 25th, 2019

57:42

We talk to Paul Mason about his new book Clear Bright Future - a radical defence of the human being in the age of digital transformation and a call …

The Copernican Principle

April 18th, 2019

37:42

David gives the third in his series of talks about the future of democracy. This one uses an idea from cosmology to work out where we might be in the …

Brexit Lessons

April 10th, 2019

43:28

We try to draw some wider lessons from the nightmare that the Brexit process has now become. What have we learned about the relationship between parliament and the executive? Is there any way that the Article 50 process …

Trump After Mueller

April 7th, 2019

40:59

We catch up with Gary Gerstle in the US to assess where the Trump presidency stands after the Mueller report appeared to give him a pass.  Are there …

May Rolls the Dice

April 4th, 2019

47:42

David and Helen talk through the latest twist in the Brexit tale: Theresa May's offer to work with Labour to get some version of Brexit over the …

Moment of Truth?

March 28th, 2019

49:57

As parliament finally gets the chance to indicate its Brexit preferences - if it has any - we discuss the real choices now facing MPs and …

Uninhabitable Earth

March 24th, 2019

37:18

David talks to David Wallace-Wells about his bestselling - and terrifying - new book on the coming hellscape of climate change. When will it arrive? When will we face up to it? And what can we do about it now? '


We don't …

Italy vs France vs Brexit

March 21st, 2019

42:36

We take the wider European view this week, catching up with the latest developments in Italy and France. A year on from the Italian elections, who is up and who is down in the coalition between the League and Five …

Can This Go On?

March 18th, 2019

30:40

At the start of another momentous week, David catches up with Helen to explore some of the long term implications of the Brexit crisis. Is lasting damage being done to constitutional government in the UK? Can the …

Impasse

March 13th, 2019

49:57

We try to cut through the Brexit fog and see what's really out there, from new deals to no deal. Plus we ask some bigger questions: What is the true …

The Party Splits

March 7th, 2019

40:43

We discuss the challenge posed by the Independent Group and by Tom Watson inside Labour to conventional two party-politics in Britain.  

Can the …

Endgame?

February 28th, 2019

30:08

We weigh up where we've reached with Brexit, now that the big choices can't be avoided for much longer. Is a second referendum any more likely than it was a week ago? What terms will the EU demand for an extension of …

Best Political Novels

February 28th, 2019

44:13

A break from Brexit this week: we talk to the novelist Richard T. Kelly, author of Crusaders and The Knives, about what makes great political …

Green New Deal?

February 21st, 2019

49:51

This week we talk about another side of capitalism: the innovation economy. Can capitalism deal with climate change? How much depends on the role of …

The Nightmare of Surveillance Capitalism

February 14th, 2019

50:09

We talk to Shoshana Zuboff about The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, her game-changing account of what's gone wrong with the world of big tech and how to fix it. What is surveillance power and why is it destroying the …

The Wall

February 7th, 2019

41:58

This week David talks to John Lanchester about his new novel depicting Britain after a climate catastrophe and encircled by a vast wall that must be defended at all costs. Where does this nightmarish vision come …

Back to Brussels

February 3rd, 2019

26:51

An extra episode as David and Helen try to work out where we've got to with Brexit after this week's votes in the Commons. Can Tory unity hold? Can …

The Problem with Political Leaders

January 31st, 2019

40:57

This week marks the 100th anniversary of one of the most influential lectures ever given on politics: Max Weber's 'Politics as a Vocation', first …

Trump and the Shutdown

January 24th, 2019

51:12

With the US government still shut, we compare this standoff to shutdowns of the past and try to work out what happens next. What is Trump's game? Can …

Adam Tooze on Europe

January 20th, 2019

40:47

A special extra episode for this week with Adam Tooze, author of Crashed and one of our most popular previous guests. He takes us through the wider …

What Now?

January 16th, 2019

49:45

After the crushing defeat for Theresa May's deal in the Commons, we try to work out where we go from here. How and when can Article 50 be …

Talking Politics Guide to ... Existential Risk

January 10th, 2019

29:45

David talks to Martin Rees about how we should evaluate the greatest threats facing the human species in the twenty-first century. Does the biggest …

Talking Politics Guide to ... Bretton Woods

January 6th, 2019

33:40

David talks to Helen Thompson about the economic order that was created in the aftermath of the Second World War.  What was agreed at Bretton Woods, how did it work, why did it eventually fail, and can any of it be …

Talking Politics Guide to ... Deliberative Democracy

January 3rd, 2019

22:42

David talks to Matthew Taylor about whether more deliberation could remedy some of the defects in contemporary democracy. What can deliberative …

Talking Politics Guide to ... Human Rights in the Digital Age

December 30th, 2018

25:28

David talks to Ella McPherson about whether digital communication is making it easier or harder to hold human rights abusers to account. What has …

Talking Politics Guide to ... Facebook

December 27th, 2018

28:48

How did Facebook get to be so powerful and what, if anything, can we do to take some of that power back? David talks to John Naughton about the rise …

Talking Politics Guide to ... Economic Well-being

December 23rd, 2018

25:30

David talks to Diane Coyle about how we measure whether the state of the economy is actually doing us any good. Why is it so hard to capture …

Talking Politics Guide to ... the US Constitution

December 20th, 2018

28:36

David talks to Gary Gerstle about the history of the United States Constitution and its current role in American political life. Is it still fit for …

The Fate of Theresa May

December 13th, 2018

54:56

This week David and Helen try to make sense of everything that's going on: not just the Brexit drama, but its links to Macron's fate in France and Merkel's fate in Germany. How will history see this moment? Does Theresa …

Democracy For Young People

December 6th, 2018

41:27

As a follow-up to last year's How Democracy Ends lecture, David talks about how divisions between young and old are threatening representative …

Martha Nussbaum

November 29th, 2018

38:07

A break from Brexit! This week we talk to one of the world's leading moral philosophers Martha Nussbaum about the really big stuff: anger and disgust, trust and hope, childhood and experience. Can contemporary democracy …

Brexit Time

November 22nd, 2018

45:24

As Theresa May gets closer to putting her Brexit deal before parliament, we discuss the chances of success. Was this really the best deal available? What will MPs be weighing up when they get their chance to vote on …

Italy vs. Europe

November 15th, 2018

43:21

We try to make sense of the big story in European politics this week: not Brexit (not yet!) but the high stakes standoff between the Italian …

What's happening in Brazil?

November 11th, 2018

42:10

We try to make sense of the recent election of far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro as president of Brazil, with the help of three experts in …

Midterms special!

November 7th, 2018

52:31

In a special episode recorded the morning after the midterms, we try to make sense of the results as they come in. How much trouble can a Democratic …

America First?

November 1st, 2018

53:44

We talk to the historian Sarah Churchwell about the origins of some of the ideas churning up politics in the age of Trump: 'America First', 'Make …

How Bad Could it Get?

October 25th, 2018

43:01

As crunch time approaches, we talk through some worst-case Brexit scenarios: for the government, for the economy, for Remainers, for Europe. Have the negotiations been a humiliation for Britain? Is the Tory Party facing …

Gandhi's Politics

October 21st, 2018

29:44

David talks about the enduring influence of Gandhi with Ramachandra Guha, author of an epic new biography Gandhi 1914-194: The Years That Changed the …

Francis Fukuyama

October 18th, 2018

46:21

David talks to the author of The End of History about his new book, Identity. Can 'identity politics' really make sense of everything from populism …

Democracy Hacked

October 11th, 2018

43:45

We try to uncover the truth about fake news with Alan Rusbridger, former editor of the Guardian, and Martin Moore, director of the Centre for the Study of Media, Communication and Power. Why have elections around the …

Brexit Choices

October 4th, 2018

48:59

Back to Brexit: as decision-day approaches we try to work out what might happen next. Did Labour patch up its differences? Can anyone really start …

Moneyland

September 27th, 2018

45:27

We talk to Oliver Bullough about his acclaimed new book Moneyland: Why Thieves and Crooks Now Rule the World and How to Take it Back. Where is …

Dan Snow

September 20th, 2018

42:43

We talk to the host of Dan Snow's History Hit, the no. 1 history podcast, about some of our favourite subjects. Does history help us understand the …

Taming Trump

September 13th, 2018

36:45

We talk with Bronwen Maddox, Director of the Institute for Government and former Washington bureau chief of the Times, about the latest revelations from inside Trumpworld. With claims that the resistance has spread to …

Labour's Fault Lines

September 6th, 2018

44:58

Summer's over: politics is back! This week we return to the mystery inside the enigma that is Brexit to ask where Labour now stands.  What is the big …

Crashed

August 30th, 2018

1:05:56

Crashed - Helen and David talk to historian Adam Tooze about his epic new book Crashed: How A Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World. Why did the crash of 2008 take so many people by surprise? How did it spread …

Talking Politics Guide to ... Turkey

August 23rd, 2018

21:36

David talks to Ayse Zarakol about how Erdogan accumulated so much power and what lessons his story provides for democracy in other places

 

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Talking Politics Guide to ... Nuclear Weapons

August 19th, 2018

30:38

David talks to Aaron Rapport about the most destructive weapons of all and how they continue to shape international politics.

 

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Talking Politics Guide to ... Machine Learning

August 16th, 2018

23:53

David talks to Jennifer Cobbe about whether machines can think for themselves and what this means for politics. 

 

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Talking Politics Guide to ... Distributive Justice

August 12th, 2018

27:03

David talks to Chris Brooke about the history of ideas of justice and the long-standing political battles over who gets what.

 

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The Politics of Food

August 9th, 2018

33:28

In a special live edition recorded at the Wilderness Festival, David talks to BBC Food Programme presenter Sheila Dillon and best-selling food writer …

Talking Politics Guide to ... Technocracy

August 5th, 2018

25:19

David talks to Chris Bickerton about what technocracy means and whether we should be afraid of it.

 

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Talking Politics Guide to ... American Foreign Policy

August 2nd, 2018

26:54

David talks to Andrew Preston about how America sees its place in the world and what has changed recently.

 

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Talking Politics Guide to ... Summer Reading

July 29th, 2018

19:59

Regular Talking Politics contributors tell us about the books they’ve most enjoyed reading, and what they are looking forward to reading next.

 

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Talking Politics Guide to . . . the 1970s

July 26th, 2018

23:53

David talks to Helen Thompson about the decade that helps explain a lot about the political world we live in today.

 

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Summer Plans

July 22nd, 2018

2:58

Over the summer, Talking Politics will be publishing a special series of slightly shorter episodes: guides to the subjects we frequently reference, …

Trump Blows Through

July 19th, 2018

52:25

After another extraordinary week, we try to make sense of what Trump has been up to on his European travels. From Chequers to Brussels to Helsinki, what was he doing and why was he doing it? Is he really Putin's …

The Next Referendum?

July 12th, 2018

52:42

With more Brexit chaos on us, we cut through some of the noise to talk about a new report on the future of referendums. How can we run them better in future? When is it appropriate to have a second referendum? What else …

World Cup Politics

July 5th, 2018

44:53

As the World Cup approaches its climax we talk politics and football, on the morning after England's dramatic penalty shootout win over …

Populism, Migration and Merkel

June 27th, 2018

57:06

In a special live edition recorded at the Guardian's King's Place Politics Festival on Sunday 24th June - David, Helen and Chris Bickerton discuss …

Andrew O'Hagan on Grenfell

June 21st, 2018

54:07

David talks to Andrew O'Hagan about his epic essay in the LRB on the causes, consequences and fall-out of the terrible Grenfell Tower fire that happened a year ago. We discuss what the Grenfell community was like before …

Trump Abroad

June 14th, 2018

47:23

From the G7 to the Singapore summit, it's Trump's world: we just live in it. This week we try to get some perspective on these spectacular events. Is …

Oh Italy!

June 7th, 2018

46:24

A new Italian government spells a heap of trouble for Europe. We ask how we got to this point and what it means the future of the Euro. What really …

Socialism in this Country?

May 31st, 2018

42:35

After John McDonnell said he was still committed to the socialist transformation of Britain, we ask what that might mean. Does socialism really require the overthrow of capitalism? What's the difference between …

Iran, Israel, Korea, the World

May 24th, 2018

42:58

This week we try to make sense of what's happening to the international order, from the end of the Iran deal to the on-again-off-again US-North Korean summit to opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. Can Europe carve …

The Politics of Mental Health

May 17th, 2018

39:22

This week we discuss how and why mental health has become a growing political issue. What are the differences in the way the political parties …

Strike

May 10th, 2018

41:13

After the largest strike in the sector for a generation, we talk to Stephen Toope, Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University, about the politics of …

How Democracy Ends - The Book

May 6th, 2018

29:06

An extra episode this week to talk about David's new book How Democracy Ends, out next week. With a clip from the lecture we put out at the start of the year and a chat with Helen and Chris Bickerton. The book is …

What's wrong with GDP?

May 3rd, 2018

45:12

We talk with economist Diane Coyle about what's wrong with our main measure of economic performance and how it impacts on politics. She tells us what …

James Williams

April 26th, 2018

37:19

We catch up with James Williams, winner of the Nine Dots Prize, ahead of the publication of his prize-winning book Stand Out of Our Light: Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy. What is the relentless …

Tim Shipman

April 19th, 2018

32:32

We talk to Sunday Times political editor Tim Shipman, author of the definitive insider accounts of three years of turmoil in British politics: All …

The End of the Party?

April 12th, 2018

45:37

The Conservative Party now has barely 70,000 members, most of them aged over 60. Meanwhile Labour has over half a million, many of them young. What …

James Meek on the NHS

April 5th, 2018

46:03

David talks to journalist and novelist James Meek about his epic new study of the NHS in crisis. They discuss the ideas behind a generation of NHS reforms, the meaning of efficiency and the challenge of caring for an …

Facebook vs the World

March 29th, 2018

44:34

With the help of John Naughton and Jennifer Cobbe we unpick the Cambridge Analytica story and get to the heart of the matter: what is Facebook doing to us and can anything make it stop? We talk about the business of …

Bridget Kendall on Russia

March 22nd, 2018

54:36

As the world wonders what Vladimir Putin is up to, we ask Bridget Kendall, former BBC correspondent in Moscow. We talk about what really happened in Salisbury, what the master-plan is and whether Putin is succeeding in …

George Monbiot

March 15th, 2018

32:13

We talk to George about some of the biggest questions of all: how to make politics better, how to effect meaningful change, how to save the …

​ Italy, Germany and the Future of Europe

March 7th, 2018

39:42

Germany finally has a government, while Italy has none. We try to make sense of the latest twists in European politics, including the

extraordinary …

Ed Miliband & Geoff Lloyd

March 1st, 2018

39:13

David talks to the hosts of the Reasons to be Cheerful podcast about why they are so darned perky about politics. We discuss whether the political …

Who is Jeremy Corbyn?

February 22nd, 2018

45:37

We talk about one of the central questions of British politics: what does Jeremy Corbyn really want? In the week he's been forced to answer questions …

Educated

February 15th, 2018

41:56

David talks to Tara Westover about her incredible new book Educated, which tells the story of how a girl brought up by survivalists in Idaho and who …

The Fundamentals

February 8th, 2018

45:49

With stock markets swooning and financial volatility back, we talk about the deeper trends underpinning our politics and our future. Why have British …

A Second Referendum?

February 1st, 2018

37:22

This week David and Helen chew over the big issues of British politics. How vulnerable is Theresa May? What is Philip Hammond playing at? What would …

Nadia Urbinati on Italy

January 25th, 2018

37:39

With Italians elections coming up, we talking to the leading philosopher of democracy Nadia Urbinati about what's going on. How is Berlusconi still …

Peter Carey

January 18th, 2018

31:54

David talks to two-time Booker-prize winning novelist Peter Carey (Oscar and Lucinda, True History of the Kelly Gang) about his latest book A Long Way From Home, which tells a story of race and dispossession in …

Reformation Then and Now

January 11th, 2018

42:08

Before we get stuck into 2018, we go back to the sixteenth century to explore another technology revolution that overthrew the established …

Books and Things

January 4th, 2018

11:48

To ring in the New Year, before we get back to the serious business of talking politics, we talk about some of our favourite recent reading. History …

Nobody Knows Anything

December 28th, 2017

55:43

David recently gave the Political Quarterly annual lecture, on the subject 'Nobody Knows Anything: Why Is Politics So Surprising?' We hear his …

That was 2017

December 21st, 2017

29:08

With Christmas round the corner, we pick some personal highlights and low lights from another roller-coaster year of politics. What are our most …

Deal or No Deal

December 14th, 2017

41:22

This week we try to work out who's up and who's down in the great game of European politics. Has May won anything significant in the Brexit deal? Is …

How Democracy Ends

December 7th, 2017

53:57

Worst-case scenarios for democracy - especially since Trump's victory - hark back to how democracy has failed in the past. So do we really risk a return to the 1930s? This week David argues no - if democracy is going to …

Jess Phillips

November 30th, 2017

31:38

This week we talk to Labour MP Jess Phillips about sexism, Twitter and the future of democracy. Has anything changed in Westminster …

David Miliband

November 23rd, 2017

42:39

This week we talk to former Foreign Secretary David Miliband about his new book Rescue: Refugees and the Political Crisis of our Time. He explains …

Jan-Werner Müller on Populism

November 16th, 2017

44:02

This week, as one of our LRB author specials, we talk to regular LRB contributor Jan-Werner Müller about populism, Trump and the state of …

Trump and Tax Havens

November 9th, 2017

48:27

In the week Trump tours Asia and with the Paradise Papers shining a light on tax avoidance, we talk about what's really going on: from the Mueller investigation to the latest developments in Saudi Arabia, and from …

Brexit and the Universities

November 2nd, 2017

48:49

After some Tory politicians have started asking for details of what lecturers are saying about Brexit, we're joined this week by regular panellist …

John Gray

October 26th, 2017

39:32

David talks to writer and philosopher John Gray about pretty much everything, from the Corbyn cult to the craziness of cryogenics. John tells us how …

What If?

October 19th, 2017

43:18

In honour of Hillary Clinton's visit to the UK, we talk about some of the might-have-beens of recent politics. Where would we be now if Theresa May …

Catalonia

October 12th, 2017

44:07

As the face-off between Madrid and Barcelona continues, we explore how this happened and where it might end. Marc Weller, chair of the independent commission on Catalan independence, explains the legal background and …

Where is the Centre?

October 5th, 2017

41:55

Jeremy Corbyn claims that Labour now represents the political mainstream. Is that really true? Where does it leave the Tories? What can Theresa …

Live Special

September 28th, 2017

49:57

This week's episode is a recording of a live Talking Politics event as part of the Cambridge Alumni Festival, with questions from the audience. We …

The Mystery of Germany

September 21st, 2017

42:02

We talk with historian Chris Clark and Helen Thompson about whether German politics is as stable as it seems. With the federal election coming up in …

Pax Technica

September 14th, 2017

44:04

John Naughton talks to Philip Howard of the Oxford Internet Institute about whether the digital revolution has been good or bad for democracy. Will …

Trump and Religion

September 7th, 2017

42:37

We're joined this week by historian Andrew Preston to talk about how Trump fits into America's religious traditions - and how he doesn't. Why is his …

The Year Ahead

August 31st, 2017

42:14

As the summer winds down, David and Helen talk about what the coming political year might have in store. Is talk of a new UK political party just …

Summer Reading 3

August 24th, 2017

20:56

With a long weekend approaching, Helen Thompson, Glen Rangwala and Chris Brooke talk about what's been on their summer reading lists. It's a surprising smorgasbord featuring: blogs on the economy; the literature of the …

Macron and History

August 21st, 2017

28:45

Two of Britain's leading historians of France, Robert Tombs and John Keiger, discuss the wider significance of Macron's presidency. What does it mean for the French state? What does it mean for the future of Europe? And …

America, Russia, Venezuela, France

August 17th, 2017

44:27

We reconvene in the dog days of summer to talk about what's been on our minds.  Helen wants to know how the US Congress managed to agree a tough sanctions regime against Russia when it can't agree on anything else.  …

What a Year!

August 10th, 2017

8:24

A mash-up of some of the best bits from the last year.. as we look back on an unbelievable period of politics. With clips from TP guests: Mary Beard, …

The Nine Dots Winner

August 3rd, 2017

30:46

This week we talk to James Williams, winner of the inaugural Nine Dots Prize, which offered $100,000 for the best answer to the question: 'Are …

SUMMER READING 2

July 27th, 2017

18:30

Regular panellists John Naughton and Aaron Rapport share their summer reading recommendations this week, joined by the podcast's intern Colby Smith. …

Ha-Joon Chang

July 20th, 2017

37:59

With arguments about austerity and public spending back at the heart of British politics, we ask economist Ha-Joon Chang to help us make sense of it …

SUMMER READING 1

July 13th, 2017

27:32

With thoughts turning to the idea of some kind of break over the summer, members of the panel pause to share what they'll be reading over the next few weeks - for work and for fun. In this episode, David Runciman, Maha …

Zafar Ansari

July 6th, 2017

35:26

We gear up for summer with a conversation about cricket, politics and life.  Zafar Ansari studied at Cambridge, played cricket for England and now, …

Oil!

June 29th, 2017

42:57


While we've been obsessing about the UK election, the world has been turning - this week we broaden our horizons to discuss the latest developments in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran and Syria.  What do recent changes in …

Crisis, What Crisis?

June 22nd, 2017

44:38


The PM lurches from crisis to crisis, but her government looks more secure than it did a week ago.  What gives?  We try to make sense of where …

Turning Left

June 15th, 2017

43:20

Less than a week on from the election result almost no one saw coming, we take stock.  What does Labour's unexpected success mean for the prospect of …

Another Shock!

June 9th, 2017

35:06

We reconvene on little sleep to pick over the bones of another extraordinary election. Where did it go wrong for Mrs May? How did Labour win back UKIP supporters? How will anyone meet the expectations of all the …

Decision Day

June 7th, 2017

48:19

After a tumultuous campaign decision day is finally here: we explore what could happen next. We talk through the different scenarios suggested by …

The Corbyn Surge?

June 1st, 2017

40:57

With a week to go, and the polls tightening, we ask what Corbyn is doing right and what May is doing wrong. Is Corbyn riding a wave like the one …

Tim O'Reilly and the WTF Economy

May 27th, 2017

22:50

We speak to Silicon Valley publisher, entrepreneur and guru Tim O'Reilly about what technology means for the future of politics and society. A short …

The Who, The What, The How

May 25th, 2017

39:45

We recorded this week in the aftermath of the Manchester terror attack, with the election campaign temporarily suspended. We take a step back to review some of the broad themes of the campaign so far and talk about how …

Trump vs. Comey

May 18th, 2017

41:40

We take stock of the latest developments in Washington as the heat intensifies on Trump and the leaking war continues. What do the new revelations tell us about Trump's fitness to be president? What do they tell us …

The Meaning of UKIP

May 11th, 2017

40:15

After UKIP’s dreadful performance in the local elections we ask about the historic legacy of Nigel Farage’s party. How big was its role in taking …

Michael Gove

May 7th, 2017

17:49

We catch up with Michael Gove, one of the leaders of the Brexit campaign, to ask how he feels about the future of Europe now. What difference will a Macron presidency make? Will Theresa May have more of a mandate than …

Thomas Piketty

May 6th, 2017

29:53

We're joined by internationally best-selling economist Thomas Piketty, author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, to talk about the French …

The Tory Machine

May 4th, 2017

38:34

What makes the Conservatives so good at winning elections - the most successful party in modern political history? Is it money? Leadership? Luck? …

Scotland and the Union

April 27th, 2017

38:59

This week we focus on what the general election in Scotland might mean for the rest of the UK. Does a Tory revival in Scotland spell the end of …

Pankaj Mishra

April 22nd, 2017

18:17

In a Talking Politics EXTRA, we speak to Indian novelist and historian Pankaj Mishra about his new book The Age of Anger. He explains the deep …

Elections!

April 20th, 2017

46:42

Here we go again! The day after Mrs May makes her announcement, we talk about what a UK election means, whatever happened to the fixed-term parliament act and what the real choices will be on June 8. Plus we're joined …

John Lanchester

April 13th, 2017

36:11

David and Helen talk to novelist and LRB essayist John Lanchester about banks, money and power. Why have so few bankers gone to jail since the …

Power in the Digital Age

April 6th, 2017

35:31

This week we're bringing you some of the ideas and voices from an event held in Cambridge to discuss power in the world of Facebook and Google. Where does Mark Zuckerberg end and Facebook begin? How are autocratic …

Richard Dearlove

March 30th, 2017

46:47

In the week following the worst terrorist attack in Britain for more than a decade, we talk to the former Head of MI6 (the British Secret …

Chris Clark/Germany and India

March 23rd, 2017

43:52

**Recorded + edited before the events of 22/3/17 in London**

We're joined by best-selling historian Chris Clark - author of The Sleepwalkers - to talk …

Patience Wheatcroft/Brexit

March 16th, 2017

49:42

In the week Brexit clears its first big parliamentary hurdle, we talk to prominent Remainer and Tory rebel Patience Wheatcroft about the view from the Lords and what it's like to be on the receiving end of the wrath of …

Election Season

March 9th, 2017

40:21

We catch up with elections taking place here, there and everywhere: last week's vote for the Northern Ireland assembly, next week's general election in the Netherlands, the continuing drama of the French presidential …

Dani Rodrik

March 2nd, 2017

38:18

We're joined by one of the world's leading economists Dani Rodrik to talk about globalisation, Trump and Brexit. Who are the real winners and losers from the integration of the global economy? What chance has Trump …

Mary Beard

February 22nd, 2017

47:23

Ahead of her LRB lecture at the British Museum, we talk to Mary Beard about women in power. Why are powerful women so often called phonies? What …

Rory Bremner/France

February 16th, 2017

44:03

Is Trump beyond parody? We talk to Rory Bremner about what it's like trying to do political comedy when politics seems to have lost its moorings. …

Is Democracy Failing?

February 9th, 2017

38:54

This week we take a step back to ask whether what's happening in the US is a symptom of a wider problem: the failure of democracy. We talk Turkey …

Mrs May Goes to Washington

February 2nd, 2017

38:41

After another tumultuous week, we talk about Britain's place in the world under a Trump presidency. How much leverage does Theresa May have in …

Jill Lepore

January 26th, 2017

51:22

We speak with New Yorker writer and historian Jill Lepore about Trump, the Tea Party and the constitution. She tells us how they go together, and how they don't. This conversation was recorded on the day of Trump's …

Inaugurals

January 19th, 2017

42:24

As we gear up for Trump taking the oath of office, we talk about our favourite inaugural addresses from the past. That includes the classics - …

What Next for Labour?

January 12th, 2017

40:27

After the attempt to relaunch project Corbyn, we talk about what the future holds for the Labour Party. Is it on life support? Does it know where …

Cyberpolitics

January 5th, 2017

37:12

Technology guru and Observer columnist John Naughton joins David and Aaron to talk about the knotty relationship between tech and politics. Does the …

What we're reading

December 29th, 2016

25:45

We say goodbye to 2016 with some individual thoughts from regular Talking Politics contributors: a chance to hear what we're reading and what we …

Talking Politics/New Statesman PART 1

December 22nd, 2016

37:08

We're joined by Helen Lewis and Stephen Bush from the New Statesman podcast, to chew over the ups and downs of 2016. How do they feel as journalists …

Trump's Cabinet

December 15th, 2016

40:19

We try to make sense of what Trump's Cabinet appointments tell us about a Trump Presidency. What will oil baron Rex Tillerson do as Secretary of State? What will fast food tycoon Andrew Pudzer do at Labor? Rick Perry …

Italy: What's Next?

December 8th, 2016

36:26

After the resounding No vote in the Italian referendum and the resignation of Matteo Renzi we talk about what comes next. Is this vote part of the …

Gary Younge

December 1st, 2016

51:23

Guardian journalist Gary Younge covered the presidential election from Muncie, Indiana: aka Middletown. We talk to him about the view of Trump and Clinton from Middle America, what he thinks might happen next, and what …

Brexit after Trump

November 23rd, 2016

35:32

We come back across the Atlantic to talk about how UK politics stands after Trump's victory. Will it make Brexit harder? Will Europe punish the UK …

Judith Butler

November 17th, 2016

54:00

One week on, the feminist philosopher Judith Butler talks to us about what Trump's victory means to her and what it says about rage and misogyny in America. We also discuss where American democracy goes from here: …

President Trump

November 10th, 2016

45:38

Still reeling, we gather round the table to talk about the election of President Trump, just a couple of hours after it actually happened. What does it mean for America, democracy and the world? We discuss what went …

Ahir Shah

November 5th, 2016

19:43

Award-winning comedian Ahir Shah talks Brexit, Trump and Corbyn and why his generation feels betrayed by the baby boomers. There's a bit of swearing - some light relief before the serious business of next week.  

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Six Days To Go

November 3rd, 2016

32:05

Less than a week out we give our final thoughts on this amazing campaign. We talk emails, we reflect on what it's like inside Clintonworld and we discuss Peter Thiel's speech doubling down on his support for Trump: an …

Sophie Hannah

October 27th, 2016

35:10

We take a break from Trumpworld for a week to talk about attitudes to politics in the UK with best-selling crime novelist and poet Sophie Hannah. …

Live Special - Trump and History

October 19th, 2016

54:23

On the night of the final debate, we take a step back to ask: Is Trump really unprecedented in the history of American democracy? Is this the worst …

Conspiracy Theories and the Second Debate

October 13th, 2016

42:33

After another tumultuous week, we look back on the fall-out from the second debate and the Trump tape. Plus: who is Sidney Blumenthal? We discuss …

Dilemmas of Brexit

October 6th, 2016

37:36

Theresa May says she will make a success of Brexit - but what does that mean? What might happen economically or politically to blow her off course? …

The First Debate

September 29th, 2016

27:29

24 hours on, we know Trump lost the debate, but what does that mean any more? We consider whether the old rules still apply to presidential politics …

Yuval Noah Harari

September 22nd, 2016

33:40

Yuval Noah Harari talks about what technology means for the future of the human race and the future of politics. If Facebook knows better than you …

TALKING POLITICS

September 15th, 2016

4:23

Corbyn! Trump! Brexit! Politics has never been more unpredictable, more alarming or more interesting. From next week (22ND September 2016), a brand …

The Chilcot Report with Glen Rangwala

July 8th, 2016

36:44

David Runciman talks to Glen Rangwala on the day after the publication of the Chilcot report, about what's in it and what's missing. Glen exposed the 'dodgy dossier' at the time of the Iraq war and is a leading expert …

S02-EP15 It's Brexit! One week on.

July 1st, 2016

45:23

On the morning Gove joins the race (and just before Boris drops out) we try to catch up with the news. The panel discusses the civil war in the Labour party, the Theresa May project, and what the referendum means for …

The UK decides: it's Brexit!

June 25th, 2016

38:44

The panel reassembles on the morning after the night before to start sifting through the implications of this momentous decision: What does it mean for Labour? For UKIP? For Scotland? For the rest of Europe? And why …

S02-EP14 Indiana decides: it's Trump!

May 5th, 2016

32:12

Now we know it's Trump, David Runciman and the panel reassembles to discuss what comes next. How ugly will the contest with Hillary get? Will …

S02-EP 13 Paul Cartledge on democracy ancient and modern: what can we learn from Greeks?

April 14th, 2016

1:17:04

Democracies ancient and modern: just how far have we come from the ancient Athenian idea of democracy and what can we do to get back to it? Are we still really democracies at all? We speak to classicist and historian …

S02-EP12 Anand Menon on how to sort fact from fiction in the EU referendum debate.

April 7th, 2016

54:26

How much more information do people need about Europe before they can make up their minds to remain or leave? And do the facts ever beat a good story? We talk to Anand Menon, who has been leading a project to bring …

S02 - EP11 - John Judis on 'the emerging Democratic majority' and the perils of predicting where America might be heading.

March 31st, 2016

56:43

This week the election panel wonder what - if anything - the BBC adaptation of Le Carre's novel 'The Night Manager' has to say about the UK's place in the world.  

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out …

S02-EP10 Jim Naughtie with his tales from the primary campaign trail

March 24th, 2016

55:11

Is this the wildest election in recent US history? We ask former Today programme presenter James Naughtie, who has covered every American presidential election for the BBC since 1988, how it's been for him. He tells …

S02-EP09 Leading US polling analyst Sean Trende on what Trumpism really means for American democracy.

March 17th, 2016

52:19

How violent is US politics going to get? The panel talks historical parallels with 1968 and what might happen at a contested convention in …

S02-EP08 Jeremy Cliffe of the Economist on Brexit, the future of the UK and the fate of David Cameron.

March 10th, 2016

56:13

Is Donald Trump or Ted Cruz the real ideologue? What would Brexit mean for the future of the UK? And why is Cambridge so different from …

S02-EP07 Xenia Wickett on America's place in the world and what the world makes of this extraordinary election.

March 3rd, 2016

56:21

Did Super Tuesday settle the nominations? This week we explore where the races now stand and have another go at decoding the appeal of Donald Trump, with some help from our friends in the Brooklyn nail bar. Our …

S02-EP06 David McWilliams on Ireland, talking bail-outs and the blame game.

February 25th, 2016

56:49

This week we are talking about three elections and a referendum. We go back to Uganda to catch up on the election results there, and back to the US …

S02-EP05 - Gary Gerstle on police power and paranoia in US politics, plus we talk Uganda.

February 18th, 2016

56:09

This week we talk about two presidential elections - Uganda, where the long-standing incumbent faces a new kind of challenge, and the US, where the primary season keeps throwing up surprises. Our special guest is Gary …

S02-EP04 - Athene Donald on women in science, scientists in politics and why Britain needs to stay in Europe.

February 11th, 2016

44:38

This week we have instant reaction to the results from New Hampshire, plus we start to talk seriously about whether Britain might vote to leave the …

S02-EP03 - Bill Janeway on Silicon Valley, inequality and presidential politics in the age of Google.

February 4th, 2016

54:14

This week we look back on what happened in Iowa and ask whether the Sanders campaign can really be compared to Corbynmania, with a little help from …

S02-EP02 - Anne-Marie Slaughter talks about what is making Americans so fearful and the difference it would make to have a grandmother in the White House.

January 28th, 2016

50:08

This week we look at the US elections and speak to our panel and to voters in New York about what Hillary Clinton means to them. We also talk about whether it makes sense to start the search for the leader of the free …

S02-EP01 - Jackie Ashley discusses the state of the Labour party and whether we are seeing a new kind of politics.

January 21st, 2016

48:10

Jackie Ashley on Corbyn, Labour party splits and riding the wave of anti-politics.

The regular Election panel return to talk about Corbyn and Cameron, …

S01-EP17 The Election Podcast returns for a special edition, recorded in front of a live audience as part of the Cambridge Festival of Ideas 2015

October 27th, 2015

59:53

We ask special guest Charles Clarke - the former Labour Home Secretary - about political leadership, the Corbyn phenomenon, and what he thinks Labour …

S01-EP16 - FINALE: Remembering a remarkable election PLUS Lord Grabiner on the Human Rights Act, the future of Labour & the lessons of Tony Blair

May 27th, 2015

58:15

In the final episode of the series, the team debate what we will remember about this election. We’ve had television debates, a remarkable exit poll, …

S01-EP15 - Richard Danbury on television debates, old vs new media & the BBC

May 20th, 2015

50:11

In the penultimate episode of the series, we interview one of the deputy editors of the pioneering prime ministerial television debates in 2010 and a …

S01-EP14 - ELECTION RESULT SPECIAL: Former guests discuss the outcome PLUS Chris Huhne on the Lib Dem collapse, electoral reform & the future of progressive politics

May 13th, 2015

51:05

After one of the most unexpected election results in modern political history, we debate what won it for the Conservatives. Was it personality, fear, …

S01-EP13 - David Howarth on winning an election, Polling Day & the future of democracy

May 6th, 2015

52:22

With one day to go, we interview the former politician and academic David Howarth – who won a surprise victory to become the Liberal Democrat MP for …

S01-EP12 - Richard N. Haass on foreign policy, the US perspective & Northern Ireland

April 29th, 2015

48:18

UK politicians have defined this election as the most important for a generation, but is that how it’s seen outside the British bubble? Is this an …

S01-EP11 - Sherry Coutu on education, stimulating business & coalitions

April 22nd, 2015

43:03

In this election the economy has been centre stage - we know what the politicians think, but what about the business community? Are the fortunes of …

S01-EP10 - Barbara Sahakian on psychology, politics & well-being

April 15th, 2015

48:07

Are our brains hardwired to be left-wing or right-wing? How did mental health become a hot political issue? What advice can brain scientists give …

S01-EP09 - Simon Szreter on conspiracy theories, trust in politics & solutions

April 8th, 2015

44:28

It is said that trust in politics is at an all-time low. Our politicians are seen as out of touch and out to fill their own pockets. But when does …

S01-EP08 - Robert Tombs on Britishness, Britain's place in Europe & the NHS

April 1st, 2015

45:19

What makes our politics uniquely ‘British’? Why is there no English Independence Party? How did the NHS become a sacred cow? And will Britannia ever …

S01-EP07 - SPECIAL: Michael Howard & Stephan Shakespeare on Margaret Thatcher, the true power of polls, and the impact of UKIP in 2015

March 25th, 2015

48:42

Could Margaret Thatcher have won this election? How would the Iron Lady have handled UKIP? Who would win more seats in 2015 – her or David Cameron? …

S01-EP06 - Rae Langton on Charlie Hebdo, free speech vs hate speech & blasphemy

March 18th, 2015

45:53

What constitutes hate speech? Does the Press do more harm than good in our democracy? When should words become the government’s business? We put …

S01-EP05 - Clare Jackson on the United Kingdom, Scotland & the politics of memory

March 11th, 2015

40:37

Will the United Kingdom stay together? What have England’s politicians got wrong that Scotland’s have got right? Which had the greater impact on the …

S01-EP04 - John Naughton on Facebook in Politics, Edward Snowden, & Surveillance

March 4th, 2015

43:31

Could Facebook really decide the outcome of this election? Is the Internet a positive force for democracy? Why is global surveillance, as unveiled …

S01-EP03 - Martin Jacques on the global perspective, Britain’s decline, & China’s rise

February 25th, 2015

44:41

David asks Martin Jacques – journalist, academic, and author of the bestseller When China Rules the World – if this election matters in global terms. …

S01-EP02 - Martin Rees on surviving this century, scientists in politics, and 2015

February 18th, 2015

42:48

How can we reconcile short-term politics with the long-term global problems we face? Should scientists wield more political power? Is it fair to …

S01-EP01 - Maurice Glasman on democracy, creative destruction and Wolf Hall

February 13th, 2015

45:14

David interviews Lord (Maurice) Glasman - Labour peer, academic, and architect of ‘Blue Labour’ – for his predictions on the outcome of 2015, the …

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