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Corbyn! Trump! Brexit! Politics has never been more unpredictable, more alarming or more interesting. TALKING POLITICS is the podcast that will try to make sense of it all. Each Thursday, in Cambridge, David Runciman will talk to the most interesting people around: novelists, comedians, historians, philosophers - and even a few politicians - and ask them what they think is going on... Democracy is feeling the strain everywhere. What might happen next? How bad could it get? As the crazy stuff happens, TALKING POLITICS will be on it. It’s the political conversation everyone is having: please join us.

TALKING POLITICS David Runciman and Catherine Carr

    • Новости

Corbyn! Trump! Brexit! Politics has never been more unpredictable, more alarming or more interesting. TALKING POLITICS is the podcast that will try to make sense of it all. Each Thursday, in Cambridge, David Runciman will talk to the most interesting people around: novelists, comedians, historians, philosophers - and even a few politicians - and ask them what they think is going on... Democracy is feeling the strain everywhere. What might happen next? How bad could it get? As the crazy stuff happens, TALKING POLITICS will be on it. It’s the political conversation everyone is having: please join us.

    Sinn Fein and Sardines

    Sinn Fein and Sardines

    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 shake up the system. What does the Irish vote tell us about the collapse of two party politics? Does Sinn Féin's success suggest that the party has changed or that the electorate has changed? And in Italy, who or what now stands between Salvini and power? Plus we discuss whether the age of 'grand coalition' politics is now over. With Niamh Gallagher, Lucia Rubinelli and Chris Bickerton.


    Talking Points: 


    In 1997 Sinn Féin got only 2% of the vote, in the recent Irish general election they got almost 25%. What explains this shift?
    - In the 90s, the party was still connected to the IRA and the politics of Northern Ireland. 
    - Sinn Féin voters today skew young (under 45). Their major concerns are issues such as the cost of living, rent, and healthcare. 
    - The party ran and won on a leftist platform.
    - The leadership has also changed. Gerry Adams stepped down in 2018. The new leader, Mary Lou McDonald is less connected to the past.
    - The electoral system also makes a difference. Sinn Féin ‘won’ with 25% of the vote; Labour lost with 40%.
    - Brexit did not feature heavily in this election, even though Leo Varadkar had a ‘good’ Brexit by most accounts.  


    Meanwhile, in Italy, movements and parties are again in turmoil. Is Five Star done?
    - A movement has less institutional heft than a traditional political party. This is both their strength and their weakness. 
    - What about the Sardines? They started as a flash mob in Bologna and call themselves a ‘phenomenon,’ rather than a movement or a party. Their objective is to counter images in the media put forward by Salvini.
    - Meanwhile, Salvini is still inching closer to power on his own. 


    Are we seeing the end of grand coalition politics?
    - Coalitions today tend to destroy one of the partners (for example, the Lib Dems).
    - Sinn Féin certainly doesn’t want to be a junior partner, but it might want to prove that it can be a party of government. 


    Mentioned in this Episode:
    - The David McWilliams Podcast
    - Niamh’s book, Ireland and the Great War


    Further Learning: 
    - A profile of the Irish political parties
    - More on the Sardines
    - David’s lecture, Democracy for Young People


    And as ever, recommended reading curated by our friends at the LRB can be found here: lrb.co.uk/talking For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 49 мин.
    Oh Iowa!

    Oh Iowa!

    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 happen at a brokered convention? And how much damage has been done to the Democratic party brand? Plus we review Trump's State of the Union address. Great theatre - but was it great politics? With Helen Thompson and Gary Gerstle.


    There were no winners in Iowa. 
    - We still don’t know who actually won.
    - Pete didn’t do well enough to break out. Bernie did well, but not as well as many people thought he would. Warren had a mediocre showing. It was really bad for Biden. 
    - It was also a bad night for the Democratic Party itself. 


    Who benefits from Biden’s collapse?
    - Can Mayor Pete hold the center? He would need to win New Hampshire and he probably won’t.
    - Bloomberg is going all in with an unusual strategy: gambling on a brokered convention and focusing on TV spending and mayoral endorsements. 
    - His organizational strategy may be clear, but what is his substantive strategy?


    It looks like Sanders will win the fight for the left.
    - But can he translate this momentum into votes.
    - David thinks that the problem is that there still aren’t enough young people.
    - All the craziness has distracted from the fact that turnout in Iowa was much lower than expected.


    The Democrats want to frame the election as order versus chaos, but that’s hard to do when the first thing you do is produce chaos.
    - Meanwhile, Trump delivered a fairly conventional State of the Union, the economic numbers are good, and his poll numbers are up.
    - Can Trump stay in order mode for long?


    Mentioned in this Episode:
    - Democracy for Realists by Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels


    Further Learning: 
    - The Iowa results
    - David’s lecture on Democracy for Young People
    - More on the (absolutely wild) 1924 Democratic Convention 


    And as ever, recommended reading curated by our friends at the LRB can be found here: lrb.co.uk/talking For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 43 мин.
    Are We Losing Faith in Democracy?

    Are We Losing Faith in Democracy?

    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 or is something else going on? And why does democratic satisfaction divide Europe north/south and east/west? Plus we talk about what might happen to satisfaction with democracy in the UK post-Brexit. With Helen Thompson.


    Talking Points: 


    Dissatisfaction with democracy is up by about ten percentage points worldwide.
    - Northern Europe is more satisfied with democracy than Southern Europe.
    - Perhaps more surprising, Eastern Europe is more satisfied with democracy than Western Europe.


    There has been a meltdown of satisfaction in Southern Europe since the start of the Eurozone crisis. But in Germany, satisfaction levels went up after the crisis.
    - The internal story is more complicated: the German system was responsive to the interests of German banks, but not German savers. Backlash led to the rise of the AfD.
    - The Eurozone constrains the ability of some governments to be responsive to popular demands.


    Satisfaction with democracy is not the same as belief in liberal democratic principles.
    - People living under populist leaders, for example, in Hungary, report rising satisfaction.
    - The majority is happy but minorities are being oppressed. 
    - Satisfaction also rose after the pink tide in Latin America, when popular lefist governments came to power.


    Is satisfaction a good proxy for democratic health?
    - It can tell us something about the legitimacy of the political system: sustained dissatisfaction appears to be a harbinger of democratic failure.


    The new report focuses on trends from the mid-1990s to the present day. But what if the 90s are the real outlier? Is this ‘decline’ actually a return to the norm?
    - The biggest concern in the 90s was that too much democracy leads to inflation. 
    - But the technocratic systems that emerged in this era are less responsive and create inequality.


    Mentioned in this Episode: 
    - Read the full report here
    - Roberto and Yascha Mounk’s piece on the report for The Atlantic


    Further Learning:
    - From the TP archive… Italy vs. Europe
    - David on How Democracy Ends
    - More on the Centre for the Future of Democracy and the new report


    And as ever, recommended reading curated by our friends at the LRB can be found here: lrb.co.uk/talking For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 44 мин.
    Trump vs Iran: Is it for Real?

    Trump vs Iran: Is it for Real?

    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 power. Is Trump a madman or is he a realist (or is he neither)? What sort of threat does Iran pose to American interests in the region and the wider world? And what has all this got to do with oil and climate change? Plus, in the week Trump's impeachment trial gets underway, we ask who or what can limit the power of the presidency.


    Talking Points: 


    The narrative on the killing of Soleimani has changed: was this a victory for the United States?
    - The shooting down of the Ukranian plane has put the Iranian leadership on the back foot and constrained their ability to weaponise the outrage against the United States.
    - But when the dust settles, it might not play to America’s advantage.
    - The Quds Force will carry on.


    There is a tension between the need to reassert American power in the region and the problem of Iraq.
    - The Americans may be more disliked in Iraq now than the Iranians.
    - The Americans are playing with a handicap; the Iraqi political class shields Iran, but not the U.S.
    - Iran will always be in the region; America won’t be there forever. 
    - If the U.S. does withdraw, the Chinese and the Russians will get more involved. 


    Trump wants to get out, but the collapse of the Iran Deal is pulling him back in.
    - This is not unfamiliar: Obama wanted to pivot to Asia and get out of the Middle East, but he couldn’t do it.
    - Americans have been obsessed with the Persian Gulf for decades.


    Executive power vs. American power: which one dominates?
    - Executive power enables this kind of American power. 
    - Bush, Clinton, and Obama have all increased executive power.
    - A key difference is that in the Trump administration there are fewer checks on the use of this power within the executive branch. 


    Mentioned in this Episode: 
    - Helen’s piece in The New Statesman. 
    - The William Barr profile in The New Yorker
    - The Atlantic on Obama
    - The Macron interview with The Economist
    - The Economist briefing on aircraft carriers
    - The 2017 National Security Strategy 


    And as ever, recommended reading curated by our friends at the LRB can be found here: lrb.co.uk/talking For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 45 мин.
    Predictions for 2030 with Azeem Azhar

    Predictions for 2030 with Azeem Azhar

    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 will shape politics and technology over the next decade, from climate change to artificial intelligence. Plus we discuss the Dominic Cummings agenda: will the UK government really be able to harness the dynamism of the tech start-up mindset within the hidebound structures of Whitehall? 


    This is the first of a two part special - you can find the other half of this conversation in a couple of days at https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/exponential-view-with-azeem-azhar/id1172218725 Azeem's newsletter is here: https://www.exponentialview.co/ and the blog by Dominic cummings here: https://dominiccummings.com/ For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 40 мин.
    What's the Future for Labour?

    What's the Future for Labour?

    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 Scotland? Plus, we ask how much damage would be done if the next leader turns out to be the only man in the field. With Helen Thompson, Chris Brooke and Chris Bickerton.


    Talking Points: 


    Electoral Reform seems to be a perennial issue for the Labour Party.
    - Starmer says he wants to win a majority—but it’s hard to see how. 
    - Would electoral reform get Labour any closer to winning? 
    - In 1987, Tony Blair pointed out that there is a real risk of collapse for centre-left parties under proportional representation systems.
    - We often think of alliance politics as being anti-Tory, but look at 2010: sometimes it works the other way.
    - First Past the Post keeps Labour in place as the only alternative government.


    Is England a broadly conservative country or an anti-conservative country whose electoral system doesn’t reflect society?
    - It’s hard to know—there does seem to be a core conservative voting bloc. 


    One reason that pessimism isn’t evenly distributed in the Labour party despite the defeat is that people think the biggest problem was fighting an election with an unpopular leader.
    - Corbyn and Brexit may have been sufficient conditions for a Labour defeat.
    - Would Labour fare better with a different leader?
    - The generational divide poses a challenge—how can Labour appeal to over 65’s without alienating young people.


    The leadership election appears to be Keir Starmer’s to lose.
    - Will the fact that he’s facing three women be a problem?
    - Rebecca Long-Bailey has a lot of prominent support, but she’s not a great media performer.


    Mentioned in this Episode:
    - Tony Blair for The New Statesman in 1987
    - Daniel Finkelstein’s column on Keir Starmer
    - The YouGov poll on the next Labour leader
    - The 2019 election, broken down by age


    Further Learning: 
    - David’s lecture on the generational divide in politics
    - Our YouTube video on Labour leadership


    And as ever, recommended reading curated by our friends at the LRB can be found here: lrb.co.uk/talking For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy

    • 47 мин.

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