247 episodes

One question posed to a high-profile newsmaker, followed up with lively debate. Anne McElvoy hosts The Economist's chat show. Published every Friday on Economist Radio.

The Economist Asks The Economist

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One question posed to a high-profile newsmaker, followed up with lively debate. Anne McElvoy hosts The Economist's chat show. Published every Friday on Economist Radio.

    The Economist Asks: What makes an extremist?

    The Economist Asks: What makes an extremist?

    Technology has transformed the way extremist groups recruit and mobilise their members. Julia Ebner, author of “Going Dark”, spent two years undercover inside radical organisations of all political hues. This week, in the wake of a far-right terrorist attack in the German town of Hanau, Anne McElvoy asks her what drives perpetrators to commit mass violence. They talk about how Julia won the trust of neo-Nazis and militant Islamists, how gamification is used to radicalise—and why she believes counter-terrorism experts need to understand their subjects better
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    • 29 min
    The Economist Asks: Thomas Piketty

    The Economist Asks: Thomas Piketty

    The idea that inequality is rising is being used to explain everything from tribalism to low voter turnout. But how much is known about the gap between the haves and the have-nots, is it growing and why does it matter? Economist Thomas Piketty, dubbed “the modern Marx” for his theories on how wealth concentrates, talks to Anne McElvoy and Henry Curr, The Economist’s economics editor, about his new book, “Capital and Ideology”. They debate how unfair societies can learn from their mistakes and whether inequality is ever in the public interest. Also, why Piketty would like to pay more tax on his bestsellers, and what life with three daughters has taught him about equality in the home


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    • 25 min
    The Economist Asks: Has Donald Trump reinvented the American presidency?

    The Economist Asks: Has Donald Trump reinvented the American presidency?

    After being acquitted in the Senate, Donald Trump will be the first president to run for reelection having been impeached. Anne McElvoy asks Benjamin Wittes and Susan Hennessey, the authors of “Unmaking the presidency”, about whether the verdict strengthens Mr Trump’s electoral hand. Will the way Mr Trump is reshaping the presidency outlast him and could he be changing the office for the better?


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    • 28 min
    The Economist Asks: Trapped in Iran

    The Economist Asks: Trapped in Iran

    In July 2019 Nicolas Pelham, The Economist's Middle East correspondent, received a rare journalist’s visa to visit Iran. But on the day he was due to fly home he was detained by intelligence officials from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, one of the country’s most powerful institutions. He was questioned repeatedly and forced to stay in the country for seven more weeks. Although unable to leave, he was later allowed to roam the city without a minder and found a paradoxical liberation in captivity. He gained a rare insight into life in Tehran, recording the sounds of the city as he explored. In this podcast, he tells Anne McElvoy his extraordinary story.


    Nicolas Pelham’s account, “Trapped in Iran”, is on the cover of 1843 magazine. 
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    • 40 min
    The Economist Asks: Does the world need Davos?

    The Economist Asks: Does the world need Davos?

    At the World Economic Forum, which celebrates its 50th anniversary, The Economist’s editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes, Anne McElvoy and Patrick Foulis debate the future of the annual alpine gathering. How did a young academic’s pet project come to be seen as the ultimate A-list bash for global CEOs, political leaders and celebrities alike? Anne McElvoy speaks to the CEO of Youtube, Susan Wojcicki, actress and activist Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Natalia Vodianova, a supermodel and philanthropist, about what they achieve at Davos and the mission behind the glamour. Is it a forum for effective decision-making—or just a week in the snow for the global elite? And finally, snowboots or stilettos?


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    • 32 min
    The Economist asks: How to be a dictator

    The Economist asks: How to be a dictator

    The 20th century has become known as the “age of dictatorship”, for the horrors perpetrated by Hitler, Stalin, Mao and other despots from Chile to Cambodia. Anne McElvoy asks Frank Dikötter, a historian and professor at the university of Hong Kong, how these men rose to power and why some survived while others were brought down. They debate the limits of authoritarian power today, including China’s ability to act in Hong Kong. And what makes a true dictator—or is there something a bit dictatorial in everyone?


    Please subscribe to The Economist for full access to print, digital and audio editions:
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    • 29 min

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