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 that shape our world: from history to economics, from philosophy to fiction. What does the future hold?
Can democracy survive? How crazy will it get? This is the political conversation that matters.
Talking Politics is brought to you in partnership with the London Review of Books, Europe's leading magazine of books and ideas.
New Podcast: These Times
UnHerd political editor Tom McTague and Cambridge professor Helen Thompson team up to investigate the history of today’s politics — and what it means for our future. Each week they will explore the great forces, ideas and events that led us to where we are, whether in Britain, the United States, Europe or beyond. It’s a politics podcast for those who want a deeper, historical understanding of the news, to understand what has really shaped our world and why.
We hope you enjoy!
Don’t forget to please rate, like and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts — and, of course, to get in touch with all your questions and comments so we can respond in future episodes.
Email us at email@example.com or tweet us at @thesetimespod
New Podcast: Where Are You Going?
Talking Politics producer Catherine Carr returns to her role as mic-wielder in 'Where Are You Going?' a unique storytelling podcast, delivered in bite-size episodes.
Called 'utterly compelling and unique' by the Financial Times, 'engrossing' by The Times and 'riveting' by The Spectator.
In each episode, Catherine interrupts people as they go about their everyday lives and asks simply; "Where are you going?"
The conversations that follow are always unpredictable: sometimes funny, sometimes heart-breaking, silly, romantic or downright 'stop-you-in-your-tracks' surprising.
Be transported to places around the world and into the lives of others. What story is coming next? You just never know....
'Where Are You Going?' is produced by the team at Loftus Media. New episodes are published twice a week, every Tuesday and Friday.
New Podcast: Past Present Future
Past Present Future is a new weekly podcast with David Runciman, host of Talking Politics, exploring the history of ideas from politics to philosophy, culture to technology. David talks to historians, novelists, scientists and many others about where the most interesting ideas come from, what they mean, and why they matter.
Ideas from the past, questions about the present, shaping the future.
Brought to you in partnership with the London Review of Books.
New episodes every Thursday. Just subscribe to Past Present Future wherever you get your podcasts.
David, Helen and Catherine get together for our final episode, to reflect on podcasting through six extraordinary years of politics, and what it means to be ending at the beginning of a war. We talk about the current crisis, how it connects to the crises of the past, and where it might fit in to the crises of the future. This episode is dedicated to Finbarr Livesey and Aaron Rapport.
So you don’t miss us too much…
You can follow Catherine’s work on Relatively and The Exchange on R4. She tweets @CatherineECarrRead David in the pages of the LRBOr check out his most recent book, Confronting Leviathan Helen’s new book, Disorder is now out! And she writes a column for the New Statesman and tweets @HelenHet20Our website - keep an eye out for archive curation - underway soon!
In grateful memory of our colleagues Aaron Rapport and Finbarr Livesey
For our penultimate episode, David talks to Helen about her new book Disorder: Hard Times in the Twenty-First Century. It’s a conversation about many of the themes Helen has explored on Talking Politics over the years, from the energy transition to the perils of QE, from the travails of the Eurozone to the crisis of democracy, from China to America, from the past to the present to the future. In this book, she brings all these themes together to help make sense of the world we’re in.
Suez is often seen as a crisis of British imperial hubris. But it’s also about energy.
The US wanted Western European countries to import oil from the Middle East.But the US at the time was not a military power in the region.So the US essentially became a guarantor of Western European energy security, but implementation was dependent on British imperial power in the region.When Eisenhower pulled the plug on Suez, Europe panicked.
The aftermath was hugely consequential.
France turned to Algeria, but that went badly.Europe also embraced nuclear power to pursue energy self-sufficiency.And finally, this precipitated a turn to Soviet oil and gas and the construction of pipelines between Soviet territories and Western Europe.
The shale boom was a double-edged sword: it also destabilized the alliance with Saudi Arabia and increased competition between the US and Russia.
Meanwhile, Chinese demand has been increasing. The US today imports much less oil from the Persian Gulf, but the US Navy still provides energy security in the region, even though most of that oil goes to China and Japan.
QE created a wholly new situation in the Eurozone.
Everyone in the Eurozone game essentially understands that if QE is going to continue, there will be constraints around what can happen in Italian domestic politics.The current prime minister of Italy is the former president of the ECB.
One of the risks of democracy is democratic excess. But democracies can also experience aristocratic excess.
In US elections, people need a lot of money to compete. This means that there is not really an outlet for genuine democratic demands.
Mentioned in this Episode:
Helen’s book, DisorderJames Macdonald, A Free Nation Deep in Debt
More on Nord Stream 2 Helen, on how the rich captured modern democraciesHelen on Ukraine for the New StatesmanWhy the Ukraine crisis is a modern crisis
And as ever, recommended reading curated by our friends at the LRB can be found here: lrb.co.uk/talking
The Meaning of Macron
David talks to Shahin Vallee and Chris Bickerton about the upcoming French presidential elections. Can anything or anyone stop Macron? Why has French politics moved so far to the right? And what do left and right still mean in the absence of economic disagreement? Plus we discuss what the Macron years - the five that have gone and the five probably still to come - have taught us about the changing character of European politics.
End of talking politics
Absolutely brilliant, so sad it’s finished but if someone told me I was fated to spend the next few years listening to a repeat episode a day that would be fine! Interesting, massively informative and thought provoking, a little enriched of life. Massive thanks to all involved!
Precision entertainment . . .
Without doubt the best political podcast. As a politics teacher who travels under the misconception of thinking I know something about the subject, I find that every episodes deepens my understanding and leaves me scratching my head about questions I’d never previously thought to think. The highlight of every week. The whole family download & enjoy.
Excellent detailed analysis. No egos, no quips just straight detailed discussion. The stand out Political podcast in this regard.