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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 his regular panel along with 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 each thing happens, TALKING POLITICS will be on it. It’s the political conversation everyone is having: please join us.


Live Special - Trump and History  

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 campaign ever? What's gone wrong with American politics? With leading historians Gary Gerstle and David Reynolds, recorded before a live audience as part of the Cambridge Festival of Ideas.

Conspiracy Theories and the Second Debate  

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 the paranoid style in American politics.

Dilemmas of Brexit  

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? Plus what we learned from the VP debate, and we talk about politics in Colombia - are there wider lessons from the extraordinary vote on ending the civil war there?

The First Debate  

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 and we ask what is going on inside Donald's head. Plus, Jeremy Corbyn has been re-elected leader of the Labour Party, but is it still the same party?

Yuval Noah Harari  

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 do how you are going to vote, what's left for democracy? The author of Sapiens and Homo Deus on consciousness, intelligence and Donald Trump.


Corbyn! Trump! Brexit! Politics has never been more unpredictable, more alarming or more interesting. From next week (22ND September 2016), a brand new podcast called TALKING POLITICS will be launched to try to make sense of it all. Each week, 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.

The Chilcot Report with Glen Rangwala  

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 on the politics of the region. They discuss what are the real lessons to learn from Chilcot and why the problems extend beyond a few individuals. They also examine Tony Blair's claims about what Iraq would be like if Saddam were still there. Plus, was Jeremy Corbyn the right person to apologise?

S02-EP15 It's Brexit! One week on.  

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 politics in Northern Ireland. We also take a step back to ask how serious things now are: just how bad could it get?

The UK decides: it's Brexit!  

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 did the betting markets get it so wrong? More next week.

S02-EP14 Indiana decides: it's Trump!  

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 Cleveland make it through July? Plus we talk the UK elections this week and the ongoing saga of Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party. How can they get rid of him?

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

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 Paul Cartledge about what the ancient Greeks meant by democracy and what it should still mean to us. Plus we ask the panel for their views about the current state of democracy in the age of Trump and Brexit: how bad is it? In this bumper final episode we also get their predictions for the US presidential election and the EU referendum.

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

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 the facts about the EU to the wider public before the referendum vote. We also talk about what role experts can play in an age where the voters are mistrustful of elites: is it better to pretend to be something else? Plus the latest news from the US, as the Trump bandwagon stumbles out of Wisconsin and Bernie is still trying to reel Hillary in.

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

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.

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

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 us why he's never seen anything like it, and how things could get crazier still. We also catch up with the fall-out from the UK Budget. Is the Tory party in real trouble for the first time since the last election? And is Jeremy Corbyn any closer to knowing how to take advantage?

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

How violent is US politics going to get? The panel talks historical parallels with 1968 and what might happen at a contested convention in Cleveland. Our special guest is Sean Trende from realclearpolitics, who explains why Americans have become such a mystery to each other and whether this marks a fundamental shift in the two party system. Plus it's the week of the Budget and we rake over the politics of austerity. How does George Osborne keep getting away with it?

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

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 Peterborough? We talk the EU referendum with Jeremy Cliffe, who writes the hugely influential Bagehot column on British politics for the Economist, and he tells us what divides the Eurosceptics from the rest: it's not what you think. Plus the panel catch up on the news from the US as we track developments in the endlessly fascinating and occasionally terrifying race to the White House.

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

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 special guest is Xenia Wickett from the Chatham House think tank. She explains what Trumpism tells us about how America sees its place in the world and what this election might mean for the future of American foreign policy. Plus we revisit Ireland to explore the messy election result there and see what the future might hold for Irish democracy.

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

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 to try to wrap our heads around Donald Trump's recent successes: is he now unstoppable? Our focus is on Ireland, where voters go to the polls for a general election later this week. Our special guest is the leading Irish economist and broadcaster David McWilliams, who takes us through the continuing blame game for the financial crash. We also talk Brexit, looking at its possible implications for Ireland as well as the UK.

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

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 Gerstle, author of a new history of American government Liberty and Coercion, to take us through the long background to the deep tensions currently on display. He tells us where anti-government feeling in America comes from and why he still has hope.

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

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 EU. Our guest is Dame Athene Donald, scientist and campaigner, who tells us what politicians get wrong about science and why it's still not a level playing field for women. And for anyone who's still confused, we have a quick primer on how the US primary system actually works.

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