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Analysis

Analysis

Programme examining the ideas and forces which shape public policy in Britain and abroad, presented by distinguished writers, journalists and academics.

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Chasing Unicorns

We live in a world of unicorns. From hailing taxis to ordering pizza to renting a holiday home, the world has come to rely on huge tech startups known in Silicon Valley as unicorns. But in a post-pandemic world, can these mythical beasts survive? In tech lingo, a unicorn is a rare start-up company valued at $1 billion dollars or more in private markets. Five years ago there were fewer than 50. Today there are over 400, including Airbnb, Uber and Deliveroo. Often created by eccentric founders and funded by evangelical venture capital backers with deep pockets, these companies have come to define our digital age while creating unimaginable riches for their investors. But with many enduring eye-watering losses even before the pandemic, and with big question marks hanging over their long term viability, is the magic dust finally coming off? Elaine Moore is a tech columnist at the Financial Times based in San Francisco - home of the tech unicorn. She's on a mission to find out what the future holds for the industry and what it could mean for us next time we take a taxi or order in a Friday night curry. Presenter: Elaine Moore Producer: Craig Templeton Smith Editor: Jasper Corbett
2020-11-16
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Who Runs that Place?

Increasingly, Western governments see China as a problem to deal with because, as it has grown more powerful, it has re-committed to being a Leninist state. But under President Xi Jinping, how far does it still conform to the Leninist model and how far does it reflect much more traditional forms of Chinese statecraft? Is a country with a massive bureaucracy run by its nominal leaders or by other actors? And why do senior government figures - who in Russia and Western countries carry clout and influence - seem in China to have little to say about the policies Beijing is following? As the rest of the world continues to grapple with the consequences of Covid-19, these questions have never been more pertinent or more urgent. In this timely edition of "Analysis", Isabel Hilton, the eminent student of Chinese politics, considers who makes the decisions in Beijing and how they are reached. Speaking to China-watchers both internationally and in the UK, she explodes some myths about Chinese politics - including that it is a seamless polity with a single unchanging party line - and explores how power struggles take place and what happens to the losers of them. With the 14th Five Year Programme finally due to be unveiled next year, she assesses how far state planning still drives decision-making. And she considers how and when Xi Jinping's successor is likely to emerge - and what lessons that figure may draw from Xi's leadership since 2012. Presenter Isabel Hilton Producer Simon Coates Editor Jasper Corbett
2020-11-09
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This Fractured Isle

On February 1st this year nearly every news bulletin began with the words 'the UK has officially left the European Union'. Boris Johnson could have been forgiven for congratulating himself for fulfilling his constitutional promise to 'get Brexit done'. But there was another story in the news that day too - health officials were trying to find anyone who?d had close contact with two Chinese tourists being treated in Newcastle for coronavirus. No one at the time could have predicted then that a virus which began thousands of miles away in China would shake the foundations of Britain?s system of government; ten months on all the nations of the United Kingdom are living under different social regimes, internal borders divide the country as never before, and even parts of England have been in open revolt against Westminster. In this programme Edward Stourton will explore how Covid19 is rewriting the rules Britain?s leaders live by and ask where it could take the UK. Producer: Ben Carter Editor: Jasper Corbett
2020-11-02
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The Future of Welfare

The furlough scheme, introduced in response to Covid-19, has raised a question: should Britain?s social insurance be a bit more German? Germany has what?s known as an earnings-related contributory system ? individuals pay quite a lot in, and if they lose their job, they receive quite a lot out - around 60% of their previous salary, for at least a year. Critics of the German system say it?s costly and puts too little emphasis on redistribution. But advocates claim it commands far wider support than the British system. So does the pandemic and the calls it has provoked for a fresh look at the shape and scope of our welfare state provide an opportunity? Should Britain move towards a system that is more like Germany?s? Presenter Ben Chu Producer David Edmonds Editor Jasper Corbett
2020-10-26
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The Rise and Fall of the Bond Market Traders

In the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher famously said that 'You can?t buck the markets' and Governments back then feared that, if they borrowed too much, they'd pay a terrible price in the markets in terms of higher borrowing costs. But now governments around the world are borrowing record amounts but paying record-low rates. In this programme Philip Coggan examines how the markets were tamed. Philip talks to Don Kohn, former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, economist and author Eric Lonergan, Andrew Balls, Chief Investment Officer at Pimco and economist and author Stephanie Kelton. Producer: Ben Carter Editor: Jasper Corbett
2020-10-19
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Trouble on the backbenches? Tory Leaders and their MPs

Despite winning a large majority at the last election, Prime Minister Johnson?s relationship with his party is an uneasy one. Just a few months after achieving its long term aim of leaving the EU, the Conservative Party seems ill at ease with itself and the sound of tribal Tory strife can be seen and heard. Is this just the way it?s always been: a cultural and historical norm for Tory leaders and their backbenchers? Or is there something else going on? In this edition of Analysis, Professor Rosie Campbell assesses Boris Johnson?s relationship with his own party and asks why Conservative backbenchers can be such a thorn in the flesh of their leaders. Will this Prime Minister go the same way, or can he buck the trend? Presenter: Rosie Campbell Producer: Jim Frank Editor: Jasper Corbett
2020-10-12
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Planning for the Worst

How ready are we for the next pandemic, cyber attack, volcanic eruption, or solar storm? Our world, ever more interconnected and dependent on technology, is vulnerable to a head-spinning array of disasters. Emergency preparedness is supposed to help protect us and the UK has been pioneering in its approach. But does it actually work? In this edition of Analysis, Simon Maybin interrogates official predictions past and present, hearing from the advisers and the advised. Are we any good at anticipating catastrophic events? Should we have been better prepared for the one we?ve been living through? And - now that coronavirus has shown us the worst really can happen - what else should we be worrying about? Presenter/producer: Simon Maybin Editor: Jasper Corbett
2020-10-05
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Is the Internet Broken?

The internet is a cornerstone of our society. It is vital to our economy, to our global communications, and to many of our personal and professional lives. But have the processes that govern how the internet works kept pace with its rapid evolution? James Ball, author of 'The System - Who Owns the Internet, and How It Owns Us', examines whether the infrastructure of the internet is up to scratch. If it's not, then what does that mean for us? Producer: Ant Adeane Editor: Jasper Corbett
2020-09-28
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Behavioural Science and the Pandemic

There were two narratives that emerged in the week before we locked down on 23rd March that could go some way to explaining why the UK was relatively slow to lockdown. One was the idea of ?herd immunity? - that the virus was always going to spread throughout the population to some extent, and that should be allowed to happen to build up immunity. That theory may have been based on a misunderstanding of how this particular virus behaved. The second narrative was based on the idea of ?behavioural fatigue?. This centred around the notion that the public will only tolerate a lockdown for so long so it was crucial to wait for the right moment to initiate it. Go too soon, and you might find that people would not comply later on. It turns out that this theory was also wrong. And based on a fundamental misunderstanding of human behaviour. Despite photos of packed parks, crammed beaches and VE day conga lines, on the whole the British public complied beyond most people?s expectations. So what informed the government?s decision making?In this programme we ask, what is ?behavioural fatigue?, where did it come from, how much influence did it have on the UK?s late lockdown, and where does Nudge theory fit into the narrative? Presenter: Sonia Sodha Producer: Gemma Newby Editor: Jasper Corbett
2020-07-20
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Humans vs the Planet

As Covid-19 forced humans into lockdown, memes emerged showing the earth was healing thanks to our absence. These were false claims ? but their popularity revealed how seductive the dangerous idea that ?we are the virus? can be. At its most extreme, this way of thinking leads to eco-fascism, the belief the harm humans do to Earth can be reduced by cutting the number of non-white people. But the mainstream green movement is also challenged by a less hateful form of this mentality known as ?doomism? ? a creeping sense that humans will inevitably cause ecological disaster, that it?s too late to act and that technological solutions only offer more environmental degradation through mining and habitat loss. What vision can environmentalists offer as an antidote to these depressing ideas? And how can green politics encourage radical thinking without opening the door to hateful ideologies? Producer/Presenter: Lucy Proctor Editor: Jasper Corbett
2020-07-13
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Thinking for the Long Term

"The origin of civil government," wrote the Scottish philosopher David Hume in 1739, is that "men are not able radically to cure, either in themselves or others, that narrowness of soul, which makes them prefer the present to the remote." Today, Hume's view that governments can help societies abandon rampant short-termism and adopt a more long term approach, feels little more than wishful thinking. The "now" commands more and more of our attention - quick fixes are the order of the day. But could that be about to change? Margaret Heffernan asks whether the current pandemic might be the moment we are forced to rediscover our ability to think long term. Could our ability to emerge well from the current health crisis be dependent, in fact, on our ability to improve our long-term thinking? Among those taking part: Paul Polman (Co-founder of Imagine and former CEO of Unilever), General Sir Nick Carter (Chief of the Defence Staff), Justine Greening (former Conservative minister and founder of the Social Mobility Pledge), Lord Gus O'Donnell (former head of the Civil Service), Chris Llewellyn Smith (former Director General of CERN), and Sophie Howe (Future Generations Commissioner for Wales). Producer: Adele Armstrong Editor: Jasper Corbett
2020-07-06
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The Post-Pandemic State

Government intervention on an unprecedented scale has propped up the British economy - and society at large - during the pandemic. But what should be the state's role from now on? Can Conservatives successfully embrace an enduring central role for government in the economy given their small-state, Thatcherite heritage championing the role of the individual, lower spending and lower taxes? And can Labour, instinctively keener on a more active state, discipline its impulses towards more generous government so that they don't end up thwarting its ambitions for greater equality and fairness? Four eminent political thinkers join Edward Stourton to debate the lessons of political pivot points in Britain's postwar history and how these should guide us in deciding what the borders of the state should be in the post-pandemic world - and who's going to pay. Those taking part: Andrew Harrop of the Fabian Society, who draws inspiration from Labour's 1945 landslide victory to advocate a highly active and determined state to promote opportunity, fairness and equality; former Conservative minister David Willetts of the Resolution Foundation, who sees the lessons of the Conservative revolution in 1979 as relevant as ever about the limits of the state but also argues core Conservative beliefs are consistent with bigger government; former Blairite thinker, Geoff Mulgan, who, drawing on the lessons of 1997, resists notions of a catch-all politics in the face of the multi-faceted demands on today's state; and Dean Godson of Policy Exchange, influential with the Conservative modernisers of the Cameron era, who insists a Thatcherite view of the state shouldn't rigidly define how the centre-right responds to our new circumstances. Producer Simon Coates Editor Jasper Corbett
2020-06-29
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Radical Self-Care

Wellness is easy to lampoon. A vast, trillion-dollar industry, at its worst it offers bogus cures, prescribing over-priced paraphernalia and dubious advice for ailments that might be treated elsewhere. But there is a forgotten political and philosophical history of self-care, taking in the Black Panthers and feminist activism, that is all too often erased from our understanding of wellness. Shahidha Bari looks at the radical roots of self-care and what it tells us about how we are looking after ourselves during the current crisis. Producer: Ant Adeane Editor: Jasper Corbett
2020-06-22
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Modern Parenting

More time and money is being spent on children than ever before. And it's a global trend. Professor Tina Miller, who has studied how parenting styles have changed over several decades, considers what this investment in our sons and daughters tells us about the modern world. She considers whether the gold standard of educational achievement goes hand in hand with rising inequality and individualism. What might the unintended consequences be and how difficult is it for parents to opt out? Contribuors: Professor Rebecca Ryan, Professor Matthias Doepke, Frederick De Moll and Jan Macvarish. Producer: Rosamund Jones Editor: Jasper Corbett
2020-06-15
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The Smack of Firm Leadership

What does the way in which rival political systems around the world have managed the Covid-19 pandemic tell us about the global political future? Writer and broadcaster, John Kampfner, considers what has made a "good leader" during the months of the outbreak and how that is likely to affect the vitality and long-term future of individual regimes. Are today's authoritarians - often savvier and subtler than their twentieth century counterparts - becoming more confident and optimistic? Is this a good time for the world's populist leaders from the Americas to Europe to East Asia? And has democracy, already tainted by its response to the global financial crisis and enduring questions over its popular legitimacy, continued with its woes or might there be a glimmer of light after the years of darkness? Among those taking part: Francis Fukuyama (author of "The End of History and the Last Man"); Anne Applebaum (soon to publish "The Twilight of Democracy"); Singaporean former top diplomat and President of the UN Security Council, Kishore Mahbubani; writer and broadcaster, Misha Glenny; eminent international affairs analyst, Constanze Stelzenmüller; Bulgarian political thinker, Ivan Krastev (joint author of "The Light that Failed") and Lionel Barber, former editor of the "Financial Times". Producer Simon Coates Editor: Jasper Corbett
2020-06-08
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The Return of Reality?

Before Covid-19 hit, the latest research showed we were more polarised than ever. We broadly agree on the issues - it's the emotions where things get tricky. If someone is part of the other tribe then we want little to do with them. And the more polarised we are, the more prone we are to what philosophers call 'knowledge resistance' - rejecting information that doesn't fit our worldview. If we're in a situation where identity trumps truth, is there anything that can pull us back to reality? Peter Pomerantsev, author of This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality, looks at whether Covid-19 could bring us back towards a sense of shared reality - or whether it might push us further apart. Presenter: Peter Pomerantsev Producer: Ant Adeane Editor: Jasper Corbett
2020-06-01
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Identity Wars: lessons from the Dreyfus Affair and Brexit Britain

The episode "tore society apart, divided families, and split the country into two enemy camps, which then attacked each other ??   A description by some future historian looking back at Britain after Brexit? No - it is how the late French President Jacques Chirac described the so-called ?Dreyfus Affair?, which shook France from top to bottom a century ago.   Alfred Dreyfus was a Jewish army officer who was convicted on false charges of passing military secrets to the Germans. He spent several years in prison on Devil's Island, and was only released and exonerated after a long campaign led by eminent figures such Emile Zola.   Although the circumstances of the Dreyfus affair are very different to those surrounding Brexit, there are certain parallels ? for example, the way that people came to identify themselves as either Dreyfusards or anti-Dreyfusards.   The Dreyfus affair and its aftermath convulsed France for decades, with French society split down the middle about whether Dreyfus was guilty or innocent.   How important are societal divides like these?  Should they be allowed to run their natural course - or should steps be taken to encourage ?healing?, as Boris Johnson recently urged?   In this edition of Analysis, Professor Anand Menon, Director of the UK in a Changing Europe, looks back at the Dreyfus affair, and asks what lessons we can learn - and whether they can help us better understand what is happening in Britain as the country faces up to the reality of Brexit, and the coronavirus crisis.   Contributors: Alastair Campbell, former Downing Street press secretary to Tony Blair Ruth Harris, Professor of Modern European History, University of Oxford Margaret MacMillan, emeritus Professor of International History, University of Oxford Philippe Oriol, historian and author of ?The False Friend of Captain Dreyfus? Paula Surridge, Senior Lecturer in the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies at Bristol University Nick Timothy, former joint chief of staff at 10 Downing Street Anthony Wells, Head of Research, YouGov Translation of extract from ?J?Accuse?!? by Emile Zola, by Shelley Temchin and Jean-Max Guieu, Georgetown University. Presenter: Professor Anand Menon Producer: Neil Koenig Editor: Jasper Corbett
2020-05-25
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Command and Control?

When Sajid Javid resigned as Chancellor of the Exchequer in February rather than accept Boris Johnson's reported demand that he dismiss his own team of special advisers and accept a new one drawn up in 10 Downing Street, many saw the episode as a crude attempt by the Prime Minister to wrest control of economic policy from the Treasury. But would such a reform necessarily be a bad thing? Edward Stourton considers the case for economic policy being driven from the very top of government. If decision-making, in arguably the most important government department, took place on the prime minister's terms rather than having to be negotiated with a powerful colleague leading a vast bureaucracy, would that make for quicker and more streamlined decision-making that gave clearer direction to the government overall? And has in any case the time come to clip the wings of the Treasury which too often determines policy on narrowly financial grounds rather than properly allowing for the potential benefits of government spending - and which has recently signed off such alarmingly over-budget projects as HS2 and London's Crossrail? In seeking answers to those questions, Edward speaks to the former Chancellors, Alistair Darling and Norman Lamont; to former Chief of Staff to Tony Blair in Downing Street, Jonathan Powell; to former Treasury minister, David Gauke; and and to ex-officials, including former top Treasury civil servant, Nic Macpherson. Producer Simon Coates
2020-03-28
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The Roots of 'Woke' Culture

Barack Obama condemned it. Black American activists championed it. Meghan Markle brought it to the Royal Family. ?Wokeness? has become a shorthand for one side of the culture wars, popularising concepts like ?white privilege? and ?trigger warnings? - and the idea that ?language is violence?. Journalist Helen Lewis is on a mission to uncover the roots of this social phenomenon. On her way she meets three authors who in 2017 hoaxed a series of academic journals with fake papers on dog rape, fat bodybuilding and feminist astrology. They claimed to have exposed the jargon-loving, post-modern absurdity of politically correct university departments - whose theories drive ?woke? online political movements. But is there really a link between the contemporary language of social justice warriors and the continental philosophy of the 1960s and 70s? And are critics of wokeness just reactionaries, left uneasy by a changing world? Producer Craig Templeton Smith Editor Jasper Corbett
2020-03-23
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Unequal England

Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies explores what the world of work can tells us about inequality and why some towns and cities feel left behind. He finds England is one of the most regionally unequal economies in the developed world. He looks at the differences in wages and opportunities across the county and seeks to understand why this has created areas where people struggle to find well paid work. This edition of the programme includes interviews with: Professor Steve Machin - The Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics Helen Barnard - Joseph Rowntree Foundation Tom Forth - Open Data Institute Leeds Henry Overman - Director, The What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth James Bloodworth - Author "Hired - Six months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain" Richard Hagan - MD, Crystal Doors Tony Lloyd MP for Rochdale Jade & Billy - workers Producer - Smita Patel Editor - Jasper Corbett
2020-03-09
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China's Captured "Princess"

If you want to understand the global reach of a rising China, visit Vancouver. Canada has been sucked in to an intractable dispute between the US and China after the arrest on an American warrant of Meng Wanzhou, an executive with the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei. Beijing?s furious response caught Canada off guard. Two Canadians have been detained in China ? seemingly in response, precipitating an acute foreign policy crisis. Canadian journalist Neal Razzell examines what could be the first of many tests both for Canada and other nations, forced to choose between old allies like America and the new Asian economic giant.
2020-03-02
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It's Not Easy Being Green

If the future of politics must include tackling climate change, it holds that the future should be bright for the Greens. In parts of Europe, their influence is growing. In Germany the Green Party is enjoying unprecedented support. But in the UK there?s only ever been one Green MP and the party won just 2.7 per cent of the vote in last year's election. In this edition of Analysis, Rosie Campbell, Professor of Politics and Director of the Global Institute for Women?s Leadership at Kings College London, goes in search of the Green vote. Who are they? If the Parliamentary path is blocked due to the voting system, how do they make an impact? And can they persuade more people not only to vote Green but also to become ?Greener?? Producer: Jim Frank Editor: Jasper Corbett
2020-02-24
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Do voters need therapy?

In a poll last year, two thirds of people suggested that Britain?s exit from the EU was negatively affecting the nation?s mental health. But is that really about customs unions and widget regulations, or is it a more a product of how we think about politics? James Tilley, a professor of politics at Oxford, finds out how our distorted ways of thinking create emotional reactions to politics and how those emotions affect what we do politically.
2020-02-17
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The Early Years Miracle?

The government spends billions on free early years education. The theory goes that this is good for children, their parents and society as a whole. But does the evidence stack up? Despite the policy's lofty intentions, Professor Alison Wolf discovers that the results aren?t at all what anyone expected. Contributors include: Steven Barnett - National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University Christine Farquharson - Institute for Fiscal Studies Liz Roberts - Nursery World Magazine Torsten Bell - Resolution Foundation Lynne Burnham - Mothers at Home Matter Neil Leitch - Early Years Alliance Presenter: Professor Alison Wolf Producer: Beth Sagar Fenton Editor: Jasper Corbett With thanks to N Family Club
2020-02-10
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The NHS, AI and Our Data

The NHS has a unique resource - data. David Edmonds asks whether a combination of data and Artificial Intelligence will transform the future of the NHS. The programme features among others Sir John Bell, who leads the government?s life-sciences industrial strategy and Matthew Gould chief executive of NHSx, the unit set up to lead the NHS's digital transformation. As the NHS tries to make use of its data, the programme raises the danger that data may be flogged off to the private sector at bargain basement prices. Producer Sheila Cook Editor Jasper Corbett
2020-02-03
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Get woke or go broke?

When you buy your trainers, do you want to make a political statement? Businesses want to attract consumers by advertising their commitment to liberal causes like diversity and tackling climate change. It is a phenomenon known as woke capitalism. But is it a welcome sign that multinationals are becoming socially responsible? Or is it just the latest trick by business to persuade us to part with our cash, and a smokescreen to disguise the reluctance of many companies to pay their fair share of taxes? The Economist's Philip Coggan asks whether it's a case of getting woke or going broke. Contributors: Dr Eliane Glaser - author of Get Real: How to See Through the Hype, Spin and Lies in Modern Life Dan Mobley - Corporate Relations Director, Diageo Saker Nusseibeh - Chief Executive at Hermes Investment Anand Giridharadas - author of Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World Kris Brown - president of Brady United, a gun violence prevention organisation Abas Mirzaei - Professor of Marketing at Macquarie Business School Doug Stewart - Chief Executive of Green Energy UK Producer: Ben Carter Editor: Jasper Corbett
2020-01-27
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NATO at 70

NATO?s military strength and unswerving trans-Atlantic solidarity enabled it to contain and ultimately defeat the Soviet Union. But with Vladimir Putin?s Russia resurgent, and eager to restore some of its past glory, people speak of a new ?Cold War?. But this one is very different from the first. It is being fought out on the internet; through propaganda; and by shadowy, deniable operations. It is not the kind of struggle that plays to the Alliance?s traditional strengths. Worse still, NATO ? currently marking its seventieth anniversary - is more divided than ever; its member states having very different priorities. President Trump has added additional strains, raising a question-mark over Washington?s fundamental commitment to its European partners. So can NATO hold together and adapt to the new challenges it faces or will it sink into a less relevant old age? Producer: Stuart Hughes Editor: Jasper Corbett
2019-11-18
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The uses and misuses of history in politics

Barely a day passes when an MP doesn?t reach for an historical analogy to help explain contemporary events. But to what extent do the Battle of Agincourt and World War II really help us better understand what?s happening now? Edward Stourton asks if there is a danger that some politicians might have misunderstood some of the best known moments in Britain?s history? Guests: Professor David Abulafia (Emeritus, University of Cambridge) Professor Anne Curry (Emeritus, University of Southampton) Professor Neil Gregor (University of Southampton) Professor Ruth Harris (University of Oxford) Professor Andrew Knapp (Emeritus, University of Reading) Professor Andrew Roberts (Visiting, King?s College London) Professor Robert Tombs (University of Cambridge) Producer: Ben Cooper Editor: Jasper Corbett
2019-11-11
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Can I Change Your Mind?

There?s a widespread belief that there?s no point talking to people you disagree with because they will never change their minds. Everyone is too polarized and attempts to discuss will merely result in greater polarization. But the history of the world is defined by changes of mind ?that?s how progress (or even regress) is made: shifts in political, cultural, scientific beliefs and paradigms. So how do we ever change our minds about something? What are the perspectives that foster constructive discussion and what conditions destroy it? Margaret Heffernan talks to international academics at the forefront of research into new forms of democratic discourse, to journalists involved in facilitating national conversations and to members of the public who seized the opportunity to talk to a stranger with opposing political views: Eileen Carroll, QC Hon, Principal Mediator and Co-founder, Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution Jon Connor-Lyons, participant, Britain Talks James S. Fishkin, Janet M. Peck Professor of International Communication and Director, Centre for Deliberative Democracy, Stanford University Danielle Lawson, Post Doctoral Research Scholar, North Carolina State University Ada Pratt, participant, Britain Talks Mariano Sigman. Associate Professor, Torcuato Di Tella University, Buenos Aires Cass R. Sunstein, Robert Walmsley University Professor, Harvard Law School Jochen Wegner, Editor, Zeit Online Ros Wynne-Jones, columnist, Daily Mirror Presenter: Margaret Heffernan Producer: Sheila Cook Editor: Jasper Corbett
2019-11-04
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State Aid: Brexit, Bailouts and Corporate Bonanzas

When the steelworks at Redcar went bust in 2015 the government said it couldn?t bail out the company that ran the plant because of the EU?s state aid rules, which regulate how much money the government can give to businesses and industry. 1700 jobs were lost in the North East of England, which has the highest unemployment rate in the UK. Voices on the left and right say the state aid rules are holding Britain back from supporting its industry. Are they right? Does Brexit give Britain the chance to take back control of how it manages its industrial policy? Or do the state aid rules protect taxpayers from governments handing out large subsidies to big corporations? In this edition of Analysis, James Ball, global editor of the Bureau for Investigative Journalism, explores the EU?s state aid rules, how they affect our livelihoods, and what might happen if the UK decides to stop playing by the rules after Brexit. Producer: Xavier Zapata Editor: Jasper Corbett Interviewees: Brian Dennis, former Labour Councillor Mariana Mazzucato , Professor of Innovation and Public Value at University College London, author of the Entrepreneurial State and Founding Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose Usha Haley, the W. Frank Barton Distinguished Chair in International Business at Wichita State University Nicole Robins, head of the state aid unit at Oxera Corri Hess , reporter for Wisconsin Public Radio Kenneth Thomas, Emeritus Professor of Political Science at The University of Missouri, St Louis George Peretz QC, Barrister at Monckton Chambers and co-chair of the UK State Aid Law Association Nicholas Crafts, Professor of Economic Historian at Sussex University
2019-10-28
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The New Censorship

Democracy flourishes where information is free flowing and abundant, so the logic goes. In the West the choice of information is limitless in a marketplace of ideas. While authoritarian regimes censor by constricting the flow of information. But even in the West a new pattern of control is emerging. And this free flow of information, rather than liberate us, is used to crowd out dissent and subvert the marketplace of ideas. Peter Pomerantsev examines how the assumptions that underpinned many of the struggles for rights and freedoms in the last century - between citizens armed with truth and information and regimes with their censors and secret police - have been turned upside down. Producer: Ant Adeane Editor: Jasper Corbett
2019-10-21
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A question of artefacts

How should museums deal with contentious legacies? Two years since the French President, Emmanuel Macron, called for the restitution of objects taken at the height of Europe?s empires, some French and Dutch museums have started the process to hand back some artefacts. However, most of the UK?s main institutions remain reluctant. Should we empty our museums to make amends for our colonial past? In this edition of Analysis, David Baker speaks to people on all sides of the argument to get to the bottom of a topic that is pitching the art world up against global politics. Producer: Matt Russell Editor: Jasper Corbett Picture Credit: Crown, gold and gilded copper with glass beads, pigment and fabric, made in Ethiopia, 1600-1850 (c) Victoria and Albert Museum
2019-10-14
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The Problem with Boys

The data is indisputable: in developed countries boys now lag behind girls in several significant areas of education. For years, women lagged behind men in educational attainment. More boys went to university, and twice as many men as women got degrees in 1960. Forty years later and, fifty seven percent of university students are women. By almost any measure of school related performance girls are doing better than boys. Everyone agrees there is a problem but there is little consensus over what is causing it. Are boys doing worse or girls doing better? Is the education system biased against boys? Are boys just wired differently when it comes to learning? The roots of the new gender gap are complex and nuanced, but if we can't agree on what's causing it, how can we solve it? In the meantime more and more boys will fall behind. In this Analysis on The Problem with Boys, BBC journalist and father of three boys, David Grossman, looks at the evidence and tries to find a way forward. Producer: Gemma Newby Editor: Jasper Corbett
2019-10-07
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Whiteness

For many white people their race is not part of their identity. Race, racial inequality and racism are things that people of colour are expected to talk about and organise around. Not anymore. Anti-racist activists and academics are now urging white people to recognise that they are just as racialised as minorities. The way to successfully tackle structural racism, they say, is to get white people to start taking responsibility for the racially unjust status quo. Bristol-based journalist Neil Maggs, who is white, takes a deep dive into the canon of books, Instagram challenges and workshops that seek to educate people like him on their white privilege and internalised white supremacy. He gets advice from anti-racism trainer Robin DiAngelo, learns about the growing field of whiteness studies in the UK, and visits the white working class estate of Hartcliffe to see how these ideas play out there. He also talks to Eric Kaufmann about the inevitable decline of white majorities by the end of the century and how to prevent white people falling for far-right conspiracy theories about being wiped out. Presenter: Neil Maggs Producer: Lucy Proctor
2019-09-30
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A shorter working week

Throughout the first half of the 20th century, the working week gradually got shorter and shorter. As technological advances powered economic growth, workers reaped the gains not just in the form of higher pay, but more leisure time. The economist John Maynard Keynes predicted we'd eventually all be working a 15-hour week. Even in the 1970s the expectation that 8 hour days would be reduced to 6 was widely held across the political spectrum. But this all ground to a halt in the 1980s. In this edition of Analysis Sonia Sodha explores the great leisure mystery: whatever happened to this dream of working less? And why is the idea of a 4-day working week gaining traction on the political left in Britain? What would a society that ditches the long-hours culture, and re-embraces the leisure dream look like, and is it really possible to achieve this without increasing inequality between the haves and have-nots of the labour market?
2019-07-22
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Going the way of the dodo? The decline of Britain's two main parties.

Recent polling data and election results paint a picture of woe for Britain's two main political parties. Of course both Labour and the Conservatives have suffered periods of decline throughout their history. But arguably never before have both parties been so riven by internal divides and suffered such a loss of public confidence at the same time. Edward Stourton looks to historical precedents for guidance on today's political turmoil and asks if the two parties' decline is now terminal. With Tim Bale of Queen Mary University of London; Lord Lexden, official historian of the Conservative Party; Deborah Mattinson of Britain Thinks; Charlotte Lydia Riley of the University of Southampton; John Sergeant, former BBC Chief Political Correspondent; and Adrian Wooldrige, author of the "Bagehot" column at The Economist.
2019-07-15
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The Forgotten Half

More and more young people now go to university. But what's on offer for those who don't? Public and political attention is far more focused on the university route. Paul Johnson discovers why other kinds of further education and training have been neglected, leaving many young people facing much more difficult choices. Yet the needs of the economy and the choices of many shrewd young people suggest non-university education may be heading for revival. Producer: Chris Bowlby Editor: Jasper Corbett
2019-07-08
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Understanding the risks of terrorism

How do the authorities, business and the public perceive and respond to the risk of violent terrorism? With unprecedented access to the work of an active MI5 officer, home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani discovers the depth of the challenge facing the security services. Just how do MI5 operatives go about filtering hundreds of weekly tip-offs into a few key leads? In a world of online radicalisation and increasing hate crime, how can they prioritise those that pose a real and immediate threat to the public, and avoid wasting resources on red herrings and keyboard warriors? He also hears from: - Paul Martin, who led security preparations for the London 2012 Olympics - Nicola Benyahia, whose son was radicalised and killed fighting in Iraq - Dr Julia Pearce, expert on communication and terrorism at King's College London - Brigadier Ed Butler, Head of Risk Analysis at Pool Re - Rizwaan Sabir, expert on counter-terrorism and political Islam at Liverpool John Moores University Would we be safer if we knew more about the threats that face us, or should we be kept in the dark? Presented by Dominic Casciani Produced by Beth Sagar-Fenton
2019-07-01
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Can computer profiles cut crime?

David Edmonds examines how algorithms are used in our criminal justice system, from predicting future crime to helping decide who does and doesn?t go to prison. While police forces hope computer software will help them to assess risk and reduce crime, civil rights groups fear that it could entrench bias and discrimination. Analysis asks if these new computer tools will transform policing - and whether we need new laws to regulate them. Contributors Archive from Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network Jonathan Dowey, business intelligence manager, Avon and Somerset Police Hannah Couchman, Advocacy and Policy Officer, Liberty Professor Lawrence Sherman, Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge Bryanna Fox, Associate Professor of Criminology University of South Florida Dame Glenys Stacey, The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation Jamie Grace, Senior Lecturer in Law, Sheffield Hallam University Producer: Diane Richardson Editor: Jasper Corbett
2019-06-24
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Green technology and early adoption

Climate change has shot up the current political agenda in part due to the Extinction Rebellion protests. An urgent question now facing UK policymakers is whether they should accelerate the adoption of cutting-edge green energy technology to curb the country's carbon emissions. But are there dangers of being an early adopter of new technology? What happens if it doesn't work or if it's outpaced by newer technologies which are cheaper and more efficient? The BBC's Business Editor, Simon Jack, investigates.
2019-06-17
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The Real Gender Pay Gap

Women are paid less than men and do more unpaid work. The gender pay gap doubles after women become mothers. Female-dominated professions tend to be lower-paid than male-dominated ones. What's going on and can we fix it? Reporter: Mary Ann Sieghart Producer: Arlene Gregorius Editor: Jasper Corbett
2019-06-10
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Maintenance

Maintenance is an unfashionable word. But as Chris Bowlby discovers, keeping our infrastructure in good condition is one of the most crucial and creative challenges we face. Key assets such as concrete bridges built in the early post-war decades are crumbling, and may be what one expert calls 'ticking time bombs'. And all kinds of systems, even in the digital world, still need maintaining well. But all the focus for politicians and many engineers is on brand new infrastructure, not sustaining the vital assets we already have. So how can we learn to value maintenance in a radical new way? Producer: Chris Bowlby Editor: Jasper Corbett
2019-06-03
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Love Island, dating apps and the politics of desire

For centuries we have met our other halves through family, friends, work, or religious institutions. But they have all now been outstripped: meeting online is now the most common way to meet. Not long ago, finding love online was considered unconventional. Now the ping of dating apps is the soundtrack to many people's lives. But what does this change mean for how we choose whom to date? Shahidha Bari, author and academic at Queen Mary University of London, examines the changing landscape of modern love - its dating apps, its politics of sexual preference - and ultimately tries to answer the age-old question: what does Love Island tell us about love? Producer: Ant Adeane
2019-05-27
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Will China and America go to war?

Will the growing competition between China and the United States inevitably lead to military conflict? One leading American academic created huge attention when in 2017 he posed the idea of what he called a "Thucydides Trap". Drawing on the work of the ancient Greek historian, he warned that when a rising power (Sparta) threatens an existing power (Athens) they are destined to clash, unless both countries change their policies. He warned that the same pattern could play out with the US and China. Since then, President Trump has engaged in combative rhetoric over trade, while China has fast been modernising and upgrading its military. BBC Diplomatic Correspondent Jonathan Marcus considers whether Washington and Beijing can escape the trap - or whether the growing economic, strategic and technological rivalry between the two nations will inevitably end in conflict. Producer: Stuart Hughes
2019-03-25
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Are we heading for a mass extinction?

Will human actions result in the demise of huge numbers of other species - in a mass die-off, comparable to the end of the era of the dinosaurs? Neal Razzell assesses the evidence that species are dying off at a rapid rate, and looks at some of the surprising things we might do to slow or reverse this process. Producers: Beth Sagar-Fenton and Josephine Casserley
2019-03-18
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Will humans survive the century?

What is the chance of the human race surviving the 21st century? There are many dangers ? climate change for example, or nuclear war, or a pandemic, or planet Earth being hit by a giant asteroid. Around the world a number of research centres have sprung up to investigate and mitigate what?s called existential risk. How precarious is our civilisation and can we all play a part in preventing global catastrophe? Contributors Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute. Phil Torres, Future of Life Institute. Karin Kuhlemann, University College London. Simon Beard, Centre for Existential Risk. Lalitha Sundaram, Centre for Existential Risk. Seth Baum, Global Catastrophic Risk Institute. Film clip: Armageddon, Touchstone Pictures (1998), Directed by Michael Bay. Presented (cheerily) by David Edmonds. Producer: Diane Richardson
2019-03-11
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Deliberative Democracy

Is there a better way to heal political divides - through panels of ordinary citizens? Sonia Sodha asks if the idea of citizens' assemblies, which have been used around the world to come up with solutions to polarising issues. Proponents argue that they avoid the risks of knee-jerk legislation, winner-takes-all outcomes or the pull of populism. Many in the Republic of Ireland believe that deliberative democracy was crucial in reforming the law on abortion without causing major political upheavals. Could this method still come up with a better way forward for Brexit? Producer: Maire Devine
2019-03-04
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Irish Questions

Voters and politicians in Britain claim to be perplexed that economic and political relations between the UK and the Republic of Ireland seem to be decisive in determining the course of Brexit. They shouldn't be, argues Edward Stourton. A glance at the history of the countries' relations since the Acts of Union in 1800 helps to explain the situation. From at least the time of Catholic Emancipation in the 1820s, political, social, cultural and economic issues on the island of Ireland have influenced and shaped politics at Westminster. The point is that MPs and others at Westminster have seldom appreciated this and therefore underestimated the power of that history to affect the course of a contemporary issue like Brexit. Looking at a range of issues from Emancipation, the 1840s Irish potato famine, Catholic clerical education, the campaign for Home Rule leading ultimately to the War of Irish Independence in the twentieth century and the bloody establishment of the Irish Free State, as well as the Troubles and the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, Edward Stourton explores the way in which issues in Ireland have determined British politics. He considers especially what lessons these episodes may hold for today's Westminster politicians and how to imagine the Anglo-Irish future. Among those taking part: Lady Antonia Fraser, Professor The Lord Bew, Professor Sir David Cannadine, Professor Roy Foster, Professor Marianne Elliott, Fintan O'Toole and Declan Kiberd. Producer: Simon Coates
2019-02-25
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Fair Exchange?

Does a falling currency help or harm the economy? It's an urgent question for the UK, as the pound fell sharply in value against other major currencies after the referendum on Britain?s membership of the European Union in June 2016. Market commentators put this down to foreign investors becoming intensely gloomy about the prospects for the UK economy after Brexit. Others have welcomed the drop, saying it will benefit British exporters. But is it really such a simple, binary question? Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies investigates. Contributors: Richard Barkey, CEO, Imparta Roger Bootle, chairman, Capital Economics Meredith Crowley, reader in international economics at Cambridge university Jane Foley, head of foreign exchange strategy, Rabobank Rain Newton-Smith, chief economist, Conferdation of British Industry Mick Ventola, managing director, Ventola Projects Producer: Neil Koenig
2019-02-18
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Conspiracy Politics

Are we living in a ?golden age? of political conspiracy theories and what does belief in them tell us about voters and politicians? James Tilley, a professor of politics at the University of Oxford, talks to historians, psychologists and political scientists to ask why conspiracy theories are so common and who are the people spreading them. Why are so many of us drawn to the notion of shadowy forces controlling political events? And are conspiracy theories, in which things always happen for a reason and where good is always pitted against evil, simply an exaggerated version of our everyday political thinking? Producer: Bob Howard
2019-02-11
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En liten tjänst av I'm With Friends. Finns även på engelska.
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