By BBC Radio 4

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


The low pay puzzle

From April, 2.7 million workers will get one of the biggest pay rises in UK history as the National Living Wage rises to £11.44 an hour. But will they feel better off?It's 25 years since the National Minimum Wage was introduced. During that time it's credited with putting billions of extra pounds in the pockets of low-paid workers. But, despite that, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, two thirds of households living in poverty have at least one adult in work. And, according to the Institute for Fiscal studies, far from cutting the annual benefits bill, the cost of benefits paid to working families has ballooned since 1999 to about 50 billion pounds a year. So what's behind this low pay puzzle? And what can employers, governments and workers do to ensure that work pays? Pauline Mason investigates.Presenter: Pauline Mason Producer: Ravi Naik Editor: Clare Fordham.Contributors: Kate Bell, TUC Assistant General Secretary and former low pay commissioner Damian Grimshaw, Professor of Employment Studies, Kings College London and London & South Forum Co-Lead at the Productivity Institute Patricia Findlay, Distinguished Professor of Work and Employment Relations, University of Strathclyde, and Director of the Scottish Centre for Employment Research Matthew Fell, Low Pay Commissioner and Director of Competitiveness at BusinessLDN Nye Cominetti, Principal Economist, the Resolution Foundation James Cockett, Labour Market Economist, CIPD Margaret Esapa, Managing Director and owner, Cherry Care Services, Oxfordshire Conor Taylor, Director, Foresso
25/03/2429m 1s

How real is the existential threat from AI?

The existential threat caused by Artificial Intelligence is a popular theme in science fiction. But more recently it’s started to be taken seriously by governments around the world and the companies developing the technology. Where did this idea come from, and why is so much money being spent on it, rather than on the regulation of AI and the real threat it poses to jobs and to copyright?Presenter: Jack Stilgoe Producer: Philip Reevell Editor: Clare Fordham
18/03/2429m 6s

What would Isambard Kingdom Brunel have done?

It's 2024, and the Manchester extension of HS2 has been cancelled. The leg to Leeds was cancelled in 2021. The remaining line to Birmingham is now less than half the initial planned route, and will cost over double the initial budget. This is not exclusive to HS2; Sprialling costs and missed deadlines have become commonplace in big engineering projects, the UK is now one of the most expensive places in the world to build infrastructure, but Britain has a proud history of engineering, and one name in particular looms large - Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Ruthless, bloody minded and notoriously driven - what could he do about the current state of UK infrastructure?Presenter: Neil Maggs Producer: Johnny I'Anson Editor: Clare Fordham
11/03/2428m 59s

Power Drive

It's widely believed that the Conservaives won the Uxbridge by-election because of motorists who were annoyed by the London mayor's ultra low emission zone. With a general election looming, both main english parties want to harness "driver power". But how did the vote of car and van owners become so important? Does the independence driving brings lead to a libertarian attitude? Or is that combative attitude caused by drivers feeling that they have been used as cash-cows by successive governments, which have gladly taken their road tax and fuel duty. But that power balance is also set to change, with the eventual electrification of all UK vehicles. Could road pricing replace fuel duty - and how will motorists respond?Presenter: Chris Bowlby Producer: Jim Frank Editor: Clare Fordham
04/03/2428m 37s

How to cure the small town blues

Middlesbrough, in the north-east, is one of the most deprived towns in England. Once a steel and shipbuilding powerhouse, its fortunes changed when those industries closed down. Today, the town that Gladstone described as “an infant Hercules” faces a precarious future. David Baker, who grew up in Middlesbrough in the 1970s, returns to his hometown to ask what can be done to revive its fortunes and what Middlesbrough can teach us about regenerating small, postindustrial towns elsewhere in the UK.Presenter: David Baker Producer: Dan Hardoon Editor: Clare FordhamContributors: Natasha Vall, Professor of Urban and Cultural History, Teesside University Rob Nichols, Editor, Middlesbrough FC fanzine Fly Me To The Moon Sally Rodgers, DJ, producer, and vocalist Steve Dugan, Head of Enterprise, Teesside University Oliver Lloyd, co-founder and COO, Dink Chris Cooke, Mayor of Middlesbrough Gary Hamilton, managing director, Community Leisure Management Lord Michael Heseltine, former Secretary of State for the Environment With thanks to the students of Teesside University and Reverend Kath Dean of the Genesis Project.
26/02/2428m 33s

How to Dismantle a Democracy

Democracies do not die in military coups. They are dismantled slowly, by libel laws, through tax audits, and procedure. Democracies are dismantled by bureaucrats and judges, not by soldiers and heavy-handed policing. It has always been thus, from ancient Rome to present-day Tunisia. The program outlines the tricks of the trade that imperceptibly kill democracies – and how examples in Mexico, Turkey, India and Poland illustrate that the autocratic playbook is nearly always the same. With Anne Applebaum, historian and staff writer at The Atlantic, Amy Slipowitz, research manager at Freedom House, Greta Rios, co-executive director, People Power, David Runciman, professor of politics at the University of Cambridge, Professor Larry Diamond, Stanford University, Jennifer Gandhi, professor of political science and global affairs, Yale University, Renata Uitz, professor of law and government at Royal Holloway, The University of London.Presenter: Matt Qvortrup Producer: Bob Howard Editor: Clare Fordham
19/02/2428m 53s

What is 'British culture'?

'What is "British Culture?” I was born in the UK and have lived here for 40 years, and yet, as a British Asian person, I am constantly told “we are not integrating”. Not integrating into what culture exactly?' Bushra Shaikh runs a charity, is a business-owner and is also a writer and commentator. When she posted this question on social media, two million people viewed it, she received thousands of replies, but no clear definition of British Culture. Some respondents mentioned the food, while others defined it by quoting literature or history. But those answers were often just lists; of meals. books, names and dates. Is "culture" a synonym for race? How can British people of colour integrate, and what does that mean? Americans put their hands on their hearts, gaze at the stars and stripes and identify with freedom, while the French look to liberty, equality, and fraternity, but is there a British equivalent? Bushra speaks to Historians, cultural commentators, as well as both the UK's newest citizens, and people who can trace their British family roots back hundreds of years, to try to find out what British culture means to them. Presenter: Bushra Shaikh Producers: Ravi Naik and Sean Johnson Editor: Clare Fordham.Contributors: Robert Colls, emeritus professor of history at De Montfort University Lionel Shriver, novelist and journalist Pen Vogler, food historian and writer Dr Bernard Trafford, retired headteacher and former member of the citizenship advisory group Anton Dani, Conservative councillor and former mayor of Boston Robert Owen, Vice Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside Professor Alice Foucart, Principal Investigator, Psycholinguistics, Universidad Nebrija, Madrid Dr Tessa Dunlop, historian and broadcaster Keith Richardson, Author
12/02/2428m 38s

Has the family had its day?

British politicians love to invoke the family, from John Major's "Back to Basics" campaign, to New Labour's "hardworking families" - and now a prominent strain of the Conservative right says parents sticking together for the sake of the children is "the only possible basis for a safe and successful society". By turning family values into a political football, are they in denial about the way society has developed this century? For decades, single-person households have been the fastest-growing demographic and younger generations are re-defining romantic commitments and their purpose.Is the erosion of traditional structure around marriage and family a destructive thing for society, or does it offer the kind of freedom and individual choice denied to previous generations? Presenter: Zoe Strimpel Producer: David Reid Editor: Clare FordhamContributors: Danny Kruger, Conservative Member of Parliament for Devizes and Co-Chair of the New Conservatives: Committing to a Better Politics. Dr. Ruth Beecher, Historian of Modern Britain and the United States, Birkbeck, University of London Prof. Deborah Cohen, Richard W. Leopold Professor of History at Northwestern University. Prof. Sasha Roseneil, Vice Chancellor of the University of Sussex. Prof. Sylvie Fogelj-Bijaoui, sociologist specialising in gender, human rights, the family and the kibbutz. Daisy Lees, resident of Old Hall Chris Lees, resident of Old Hall Rob Connigale, resident of Old Hall
05/02/2428m 51s

What's the future of nudge?

The term nudge has become a byword for the application of behavioural science in public policy, changing how governments the world over create policies designed to encourage, or nudge, people to make choices that better benefit themselves and society as a whole. Over the last fifteen years much has been learned about what works, as well as what doesn’t, when it comes to this way of supporting us in making decisions about our health, our money and how we lead our lives. Magda Osman is Principal Research Associate at the Cambridge Judge Business School, The University of Cambridge, and Visiting Professor at Leeds University Business School. Through her work she has examined the problems, and the opportunities, with this way of creating policy. She talks to those working in the field of behavioural change and examines what has been discovered over the last fifteen years, what concerns remain around this way of doing things and what the future is for the behavioural change methods known as nudge.Presenter: Professor Magda Osman Producer: Steven Hobson Editor: Clare Fordham Contributors: Dr Michael Hallsworth, Managing Director, Behavioural Insights Team Americas Colin Strong, Head of Behavioural Science, Ipsos and Professor of Consumer and Behavioural Psychology, Nottingham University Business School Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman, Ogilvy Laura Dodsworth, author and journalist Professor Neil Levy, Senior Research Fellow, Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford Katy Milkman, James G. Dinan Professor, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
20/11/2328m 46s

Can reading really improve your life?

Most educational research now suggests that reading for pleasure is strongly linked to a child’s future outcome, educational success, and even wellbeing. But the latest studies also show that reading for pleasure is at its lowest level for twenty years. Why has this happened in a country that's produced more successful children's books than any other? From Paddington, to Harry Potter, the Chronicles of Narnia to Alice in Wonderland, and of course, the Gruffalo, the list is vast. Is a lack of access to school and local libraries the problem, too few books at home or the rise of phones, tablets and game consoles? What can schools, government, the media and parents do to help foster a love of reading that could help children throughout their lives? Author and former Children's Laureate Julia Donaldson investigates.Presenter: Julia Donaldson Producer: Ravi Naik Editor: Clare FordhamContributors: Frank Cottrell-Boyce, author and screenwriter Joseph Coelho, 2022-24 Children’s Laureate, author and poet Teresa Cremin, Professor of Education (Literacy), the Open University Joanna Prior CEO Pan Macmillan Publishing, and Chair of Trustees at the National Literacy Trust Laura Patel, head of literacy, Sandhill View Academy school, Sunderland Leia Sands, librarian and committee member, the Great School Libraries campaign Ben Lawrence, arts and culture editor, The Daily Telegraph Sonia Thompson, headteacher, St Matthews C of E primary school, Birmingham
13/11/2330m 1s

Can the UK afford a mental health crisis?

A record 2.6 million people are off work due to long-term sickness, with mental health conditions the biggest single contributor. The problem is particularly acute among younger people, who are disproportionately likely to cite poor mental health as their reason for not working. Other surveys suggest that poor mental health and burnout are among the top reasons for young people to quit their job. But should young people develop more resilience and “soldier on”, as older generations may have done, or is being more open about mental health a good thing? And how well are employers adapting to the expectations of younger workers when it comes to mental health and wellbeing? Contributors: Tim Gibbs, Head of Public Service Analysis Team, Office for National Statistics Emma Codd, Global Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, Deloitte Gabrielle Judge, Influencer and CEO, Anti Work Girlboss Joel Gujral, CEO and Founder, MYNDUP Dr Lucy Foulkes, Research Fellow in the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford Mel Stride, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Alison McGovern, Shadow Minister for Work and Pensions With thanks to City, University of LondonPresenter: James Kirkup Producer: Dan Hardoon Editor: Clare Fordham
06/11/2328m 17s

France: a constitutional crisis in the making

The USA, the UK and France, which have led the democratic world, are all suffering problems with their constitutions. But the problem is most acute in France, where President Macron has lost his parliamentary majority, and forced his pension reforms through by decree. But worse is to come; Macron can only serve as President until 2027 and will leave a vacuum at the heart of French politics when he steps down. And unlike Charles de Gaulle, he doesn’t seem likely to leave an enduring movement or an obvious successor. He hoovered up centrist support when he swept to power, and his main rivals now are either far-left or far-right. They both are populists, anti-NATO and pro-Putin. Edward Stourton explores if France is heading towards a constitutional crisis and asks what political turmoil in our nearest neighbour might mean.Presenter: Edward Stourton Producer: Jonathan IAnson Editor: Clare Fordham
30/10/2329m 3s

What on earth is the national interest?

Should we be sceptical when politicians claim to act in "the national interest"? The phrase is frequently trotted out to elevate policy and actions as unimpeachably serving us all. But what does it actually mean? So far the Oxford English Dictionary has steered clear of pinning down this "slippery" term. Mark Damazer digs up its historical roots and talks to politicians, prime-ministerial speechwriters and policymakers to define a term that can obscure as much as it elucidates. Is its use just cynical high grounding or does it speak of a sincere effort to disentangle policy from personal or party interests? Is the national interest best served by a strong civic landscape where differing visions of “the national interest” are free to battle it out?Presenter: Mark Damazer Producer: David Reid Editor: Clare Fordham Contributors: Michael Gove, Minister for Levelling up, Housing and Communities Angela Rayner, shadow deputy prime minister and shadow levelling up secretary Phil Collins, former prime-ministerial speechwriter Munira Mirza, former Director of the No10 Policy Unit Dame Linda Colley, Professor of History at Princeton Fiona McPherson, Senior Editor at the Oxford English Dictionary, specialising in new words
23/10/2328m 14s

What makes a good school?

How should we evaluate schools? Is it about delivering a wide range of subjects, or extra activities and pastoral care that make a “good” school? Who gets to decide what is a good school and what does that mean to different people? Many people are influenced by the four Ofsted grades and Ofsted reports so what does research tell us about how consistent those judgements are? Would you choose a school with a good local reputation but a lower inspection grade. The programme talks to Sonia Exley, an associate professor at the London School of Economics, Professor Christian Bokhove at the University of Southampton, Natalie Perera, chief executive of the Education Policy Institute, Andreas Schleicher, Director of Education and Skills at the OECD, George Leckie, Professor of Social Statistics at the University of Bristol,Dr Ellen Gleaves, a postdoctoral researcher. Presenter: Branwen Jeffreys Producer: Bob Howard Editor: Clare Fordham
16/10/2329m 22s

How can we grow the UK economy?

The cost of living crisis followed a decade in which people’s wages and incomes barely grew. The idea that each generation does at least as well as the one before, has for the moment ended. We’ll only start getting better off again if we can get the economy growing – as it used to in the decades preceding the financial crisis. So, what levers can governments pull to get growth back into the system? Why don't governments do the things that nearly every expert thinks might work? Should we be looking to governments at all? Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies explores the challenges facing the UK economy and asks: how can any government get the UK economy growing? Presenter: Paul Johnson Producer: Farhana Haider Editor: Claire Fordham Contributors: Diane Coyle, Bennett Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge. Jagjit Chadha, Director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research Stephen Evans, Chief Executive of the Learning and Work Institute Richard Davies, Director of the Economics Observatory Louise Hellem, Chief economist at the CBI. Nicholas Macpherson, former Permanent Secretary at the Treasury. Rowan Crozier, CEO C. Brandauer & Co Ltd Sam Bowan, Editor of Works in Progress
09/10/2328m 58s

The Democratic Brain

Our brain is a wonderful machine, but it can also short-circuit. What happens to us when emotions and politics intersect, when the democratic, listening brain is cut off, or when we succumb to ‘hate speech’? Research using the latest brain scanners shows that the older part of the brain called the amygdala is ‘triggered’ by emotional responses out of proportion to the impacting stimulus. So, perhaps are we after wolves in human clothing? Not necessarily; we have also developed the frontal cortex which the scans show is stimulated by rational argument. What can scanning the brain reveal about our political affiliations? Can the field of neuro-politics improve political discourse or leave us open to manipulation? Presenter: Matt Qvortrup Producer: Bob Howard Editor: Clare FordhamContributors: Barbara Sahakian, Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Cambridge Dr Darren Schreiber, Senior Lecturer at Exeter University Skyler Cranmer, Associate Professor at Ohio State University Dahlia Scheindlin, political consultant and public opinion researcher Dr Liya Yu, Columbia University
02/10/2328m 16s

How far should reparative justice go?

Amid mounting claims for reparations for slavery and colonialism, historian Zoe Strimpel asks how far reparative justice should go. Should we limit reparations to the living survivors of state atrocities, such as the Holocaust, or should we re-write the rulebook to include the ancestors of victims who suffered historical injustices centuries ago? Alongside testimony from a Holocaust survivor and interviews with lawyers, historians and reparations advocates, Zoe hears about the long shadow cast by slavery - lumbering Caribbean states and societies with a legacy that they are still struggling with today. Are demands for slavery reparations just another front in the culture war designed to leverage white guilt? Will they inevitably validate countless other claims to rectify historical grievances? Or are they a necessary step for diverse societies to draw in the extremes of a polarised debate so we can write a common history that we can all live with?Presenter: Zoe Strimpel Producer: David Reid Editor: Clare FordhamContributors Mala Tribich, Holocaust survivor. Michael Newman, Chief Executive, Association of Jewish Refugees. Albrecht Ritschtl, Professor of Economic History, London School of Economics Dr. Opal Palmer Adisa, former director, University of West Indies. Kenneth Feinberg, Master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Tomiwa Owolade, journalist and author of "This is not America". Alex Renton, journalist, author and co-founder of Heirs of Slavery. Dr Hardeep Dhillon, historian, University of Pennsylvania. James Koranyi, Associate Professor of modern European History at the University of Durham.
01/08/2329m 4s

Is there a new elite?

People have always fought back against “The elite”, and until recently they were easily recognisable: rich, privileged and often born into money. Old Etonians, billionaires, oil barons, media tycoons ruled the roost, but there are claims things are changing, and the rise of a new elite is challenging the status quo. Author Matthew Goodwin calls them a group of “radical woke middle-class liberals completely out of step with the public”. University graduates working in creative industries, media and universities, who have an heavy influence over the national conversation about things like immigration, trans rights and sex education, but critics say they don’t represent “ordinary folk”, and as a result communities are feeling unrepresented and left behind. So who is in charge, or is there an unlikely, and unknowing, coalition between the two – the new elite dominating social discourse and cultural discussion, whilst the traditional elite pull the strings of politics and economics? This is the next chapter of the culture wars – but while the pair of them battle it out for supremacy, much of the country struggles on day-to-day watching from the side lines.Presenter: Neil Maggs Producer: Jonathan IAnson Editor: Clare FordhamContributors Matt Goodwin, Professor of Politics, University of Kent and author "Values, Voice and Virtue". George Monbiot, Author, journalist and environmental campaigner Dr Lisa McKenzie, research fellow, University of Durham, writer and anarchist Bob & Lee, builders Dr Rakib Ehsan, Social policy analyst and author "Beyond Grievance" Baroness Tina Stowell of Beeston Paul Embery, Firefighter, trade unionist and writer Tom, boxing club owner Aaron Bastani, Broadcaster and founder of Novara Media
17/07/2328m 40s

Why are so many workers on strike?

Will 2023 be known as the summer of discontent? This year, nearly every corner of the country has been affected by some kind of industrial action, and more is coming. Teachers, doctors, nurses, railway workers, airport security, civil servants are among the many professions which have called strikes to protest against, amongst other things, future pay packets during a cost of living crisis. But do labour union tactics really deliver for their members, or does the strong bargaining position of the government come out on top in the end? In this edition of Analysis, Faisal Islam hears from three top union leaders, along with industrial relations experts, about the challenges of calling and maintaining strike actions and the tolls it can take on members and the public. Where lies the balance of power between a workforce banding together to demand a better deal and the public which has to work around disappearing services?You can learn more about this topic by watching the BBC 2 documentary Strike: Inside the Unions available on BBC iPlayer. Contributors: Sharon Graham - General Secretary: Unite Union Mick Lynch - General Secretary: Rail, Maritime and Transport Union Pat Cullen - General Secretary: Royal College of Nursing Jerry Cope - Former Pay Review Body Chair Mark Stuart - Montague Burton Professor of Employment Relations, University of Leeds Lord Richard Balfe - Member, House of LordsPresenter: Faisal Islam Producer: Sandra Kanthal Editor: Clare Fordham Programme Coordinator: Maria Ogundele
10/07/2328m 17s

Does work have to be miserable?

How can employers in all sectors of the UK economy get the best out of their workers, retain experienced staff, improve productivity and increase profits at the same time? The principles of "Job Design" seem to promise all of these benefits. It's a process of work innovation which focuses on people, their skills, their knowledge and how they interact with each other and technology, in every workplace, in every sector of the economy.Proponents claim it gives workers a voice in their workplace, allows them to balance their work and home lives, stops burnout and could get more of the economically inactive back in employment. But what evidence is there that it works - and how difficult would it be to implement changes in the workplace?Presenter: Pauline Mason Producer: Ravi Naik Editor: Clare FordhamContributors: Patricia Findlay, Professor of Work and Employment Relations, University of Strathclyde and Director of the Scottish Centre for Employment Research. Kate Bennett, Labour ward coordinator at Liverpool Women's Hospital. Damian Grimshaw, Professor of Employment Studies, King's College London, and former head of research at the International Labour Organisation. Dame Diane Coyle, Bennett Professor, University of Cambridge and a director of the Productivity Institute. Rachel London, Deputy Chief People Officer at Liverpool Women's Hospital. Jenna Brimble. Midwife in the continuity of care team at Liverpool Women's Hospital. Heejung Chung, Professor of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Kent. Emma Stewart, Flexible working consultant and co-founder, Timewise. Dr Charlotte Gascoine independent researcher and consultant on flexible and part-time working Paul Dennett, Mayor of the City of Salford Jim Liptrot, Managing director, Howorth Air Tech. Stacey Bridge, Financial accounting assistant, Howorth Air Tech.
03/07/2328m 25s

Do single people get a raw deal?

Single people make up a large proportion of the population in Britain. People are marrying later and less, getting divorced more often, and living longer. Although not all people who live alone are single, the growth of one-person households now outstrips the rise in the UK population - and is projected to continue.And yet life in Britain often seems ill-suited to their needs. Being single is expensive and modern dating can be brutal. The idea that being in a couple provides greater happiness and fulfillment still has a tight grip on our collective psyche. So is it right to say that singles get discriminated against? And are there ways we might re-imagine life in Britain so that singles get a fairer deal? Producer: Ant Adeane Editor: Clare Fordham Sound Engineer: Kelly Young Production Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Sabine Schereck Contributors: Amy Key - Poet and Author of Arrangements in Blue: Notes of Love and Making a Life Sarah Harper - Professor of Gerontology at the University of Oxford Emma John - Journalist and Author of Self Contained: Scenes from a Single Life Ben Arogundade - Author of My Terrifying, Shocking, Humiliating, Amazing Adventure in Online Dating Elyakim Kislev - Professor of Public Policy and Government at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and author of numerous books about single life Sasha Roseneil - Sociologist and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex
26/06/2328m 55s

What’s changing about childbirth?

The past decade has seen important shifts in when women become mothers, with 31 years now being the average age for this to occur. This has implications for fertility, pregnancy and birth experiences. Maternal age is related to ‘medical risk’ and almost one in three births now involve a Caesarean section. But how well are maternity services in the UK keeping up with these changes? Professor of Sociology, Tina Miller examines each stage of becoming a mother – from conception to antenatal preparation, labour and birth, and the postnatal period – to find out how maternity care and other services should respond to these changes. Presenter: Tina Miller Producer: Dan Hardoon Editor: Clare Fordham Production Coordinator: Maria OgundeleZeynep Gurtin, Lecturer in Women's Health at the Institute for Women's Health, UCL Marcia Inhorn, Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs, Yale University Noreen Hart, antenatal educator Pat O'Brien, consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology, UCL Katherine Hales, midwife Eliane Glaser, author of "Motherhood: Feminism's Unfinished Business"
19/06/2329m 6s

What are companies for?

Ruth Sunderland, the group business editor of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, asks industry leaders and thinkers about the purpose of companies. Should they be organisations designed to generate profits for the benefit of shareholders, or do they have a bigger role to play in society? What part do they play in environmental policy? Ruth investigates ESG investments, which claim to promote environmental, social and corporate governance best practice, and have become a trillion pound industry. Why has ESG become a flashpoint in the US political culture wars and could the same happen in the UK?Presenter: Ruth Sunderland Producer: Farhana Haider Editor: Clare Fordham Sound Engineer: Nicky Edwards Production Coordinator: Maria OgundeleContributors: Mark Goyder Founder, Tomorrows Company Euan Munro, Chief Executive, Newton Investment Management Merryn Somerset Webb, Senior Columnist at Bloomberg. Philip Gill, small Investor Giulia Chierchia, Executive Vice President for Strategy, Sustainability, and Ventures at BP Louise Oliver, Co-Founder, Piercefield Oliver Chartered Financial Planners Rachel, Small investor Dr Nina Seega, Director for the Centre for Sustainable Finance at the Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership Tariq Fancy, Former Chief Investment officer for Sustainability Investing at BlackRock Witold Henisz, Vice Dean and faculty director of the ESG initiative at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
12/06/2327m 30s

Do Boycotts Work?

Boycotts are big at the moment. On a global scale, many countries are boycotting Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. There are campaigns to boycott products produced in Turkey, Israel or China. Sporting boycotts are used by countries across the world to express their displeasure with their international rivals. And there are plenty of boycotts going on against companies, over working practices, supply chains and political stances. But international boycotts can be easily circumvented, and we can choose alternative products if we don't like a particular manufacturer. So is this low risk activism, or is it an effective way for ordinary people to hold businesses and nations to account? Do boycotts ever lead to permanent change?Above all, do they work? Journalist and writer David Baker investigates. Presenter: David Baker Producer: Ravi Naik Editor: Clare Fordham Sound Engineer: Nicky Edwards Production Coordinator: Maria OgundeleContributors: Caroline Heldman Associate Professor of politics at Occidental College, Los Angeles Stephen Chan Professor of World Politics at SOAS, University of London Mark Borkowski PR and Crisis Management agent Rob Harrison Director of Ethical Consumer Xinrong Zhu Assistant Professor in Marketing at Imperial College London Business School Richard Wilson Director and co-founder, Stop Funding Hate Professor Ellis Cashmore sociologist and cultural critic Ben Jamal Director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign Pinar Yildrim Associate Professor of Marketing at the Wharton (Business) School at the University of Pennsylvania
05/06/2328m 4s

We know how to stop knife crime, so why don’t we do it?

In the last five years in the UK, more than 100 children have died from knife wounds. But violence isn't inevitable and evidence shows that we need more mentoring, therapy, family support and police in the areas where violence is high. So why don't we do what works? Jon Yates from the Youth Endowment Fund looks at the schemes that have successfully reduced knife crime. He investigates why the lessons they've taught us haven’t been scaled up. And why we’re spending money on other things like knife awareness campaigns without any evidence they work. Presenter: Jon Yates Producer: Rob Walker Editor: Clare Fordham Sound Engineer: Richard Hannaford Production Coordinator: Maria Ogundele Contributors: Karyn McCluskey, Chief Executive, Community Justice Scotland Karen Timoney, Director, KDT Wellness Graeme Armstrong, author of The Young Team Laura Knight, Toolkit and Evidence Engagement Lead, Youth Endowment Fund Gavin Stephens, Chair, National Police Chiefs’ Council Lawrence Sherman, Chief Scientific Officer, Metropolitan Police Jhemar Jonas, youth worker and musician Ciaran Thapar, youth worker and author of Cut Short Thomas Abt, Founding Director, Center for the Study and Practise of Violence Reduction at the University of Maryland; author of Bleeding Out Sajid Javid, Conservative MP for Bromsgrove, former Home Secretary Luke Billingham, youth worker and researcher Jahnine Davis, Director, Listen Up
29/05/2327m 50s

Lessons from the vaccine task force

In May 2020 a group of experts came together, at speed, to form the UK’s Vaccine Task Force. Born in the teeth of a crisis, its efforts were responsible for allowing Britain to be among the first countries in the world to roll out vaccines against Covid-19. But as memories of the pandemic fade, the urgency it brought to its work has subsided as well. In this edition of Analysis, Sandra Kanthal asks what lessons have been learned from the success of the Vaccine Task Force and if we should be prepared to allocate the time, energy and expense required to be permanently prepared for the next global health emergency.Presenter: Sandra Kanthal Producer: Sandra Kanthal Editor: Clare Fordham
03/04/2329m 4s

Can the Met police change?

How difficult is it for a police force to change? A review of the Metropolitan police by Baroness Louise Casey says racism, misogyny, and homophobia are at the heart of the force. The Met's commissioner Sir Mark Rowley admits 'we have let Londoners down'. Everyone agrees change must happen – but where to start?Margaret Heffernan meets experts on police reform and former senior officers to explore the organisational challenge that faces any force which wants to transform itself and re-establish public trust. She hears from those involved in establishing the Police Service of Northern Ireland, following the Good Friday Agreement. What were the political and organisational challenges that faced the PSNI in terms of recruitment from two different communities? What lessons might that process offer to the transformation that is needed across other forces? And how would organisational psychologists suggest tackling and turning round long established cultures?Presenter: Margaret Heffernan Producer: Philip Reevell Editor: Clare Fordham
27/03/2329m 5s

Is Britain exceptional?

Is Britain Exceptional? Historian, author and Sunday Telegraph columnist Zoe Strimpel believes so, and sifts through the layers of Britain’s culture, politics and religious history to find the roots for the nation’s scientific, intellectual and cultural dynamism and the germ for today’s culture wars. With the help of leading historians, political activists and scientists, Zoe examines whether Britain's obsession with the glories of 'our finest hour': WWII determined a version of history that eclipsed inconvenient truths that contradict our national myths and identity. She asks whether Britain's 'long island story' has really been as unruptured and stable as commonly believed, revealing a much more compelling Britishness forged out of military conflict abroad and religious and political turmoil at home.Does the secret to Britain's historical dynamism in scientific discovery, philosophy and culture reside in dissent from religious and political orthodoxy, rather than unstinting allegiance? Has the hidden history of religious noncomformity - a rebellion within a rebellion - been the hothouse encouraging creative genius to flourish? Zoe meets the modern-day heirs to noncomformity to examine how Britain's unwillingness to put culture at the heart of our holdall national identity has led to tolerance and cultural diversity on the one hand, but also an acceptance of inequality. This might be the cause of our lost sense of who we are and what Britain is now for; perhaps we need to learn from and incorporate our unexamined history to shake off self-loathing, embrace eccentricity and regain the creative dynamism we now lack. Presenter: Zoe Strimpel Producer: David Reid Editor: Clare Fordham
20/03/2328m 49s

King Charles' Challenge

The Queen’s funeral appeared a resounding reassertion of our enduring commitment to monarchy, but was it a tribute to her rather than the institution? As the coronation approaches, polls suggest support is at its lowest ever, and the King faces difficult questions on several fronts. As supreme Governor of the Church of England, congregation numbers are falling and divisions are deepening over its stance on gay marriage. The union is under threat – what would the monarchy mean if Scotland votes for independence and Northern Ireland joins the Republic? Commonwealth countries from the Caribbean to the Pacific are asking whether it still makes sense to keep a king in London as their head of state. The coronation will be a grand reminder of our history, but hanging over everything is a dark chapter in that history; the monarchy’s role in the slave trade. If the King is to represent all his subjects, does he need to say sorry? And what about reparations? Edward Stourton will unravel the challenges and ask how the King meets them.Presenter: Edward Stourton Producer: Jonathan IAnson Editor: Clare Fordham
13/03/2328m 26s

Does it matter who our MPs are?

Classic theories of representative democracy argue that it’s the representation of ideas not our personal characteristics - such as age, gender, race or class - that should matter. But current debates about the diversity of our politicians suggest many of us are interested in who our MPs are and that they represent us.We have more women and more ethnic minority MPs than ever before, we have had three women Prime Ministers and our first Prime Minister with an Asian heritage and yet attention has been drawn to the fact that the majority of the current cabinet, unlike the British population, attended private schools. Some have never worked outside of politics. Does this matter? Is personal background and history the most critical factor leading to good political representation? Do the backgrounds of our politicians influence voters’ choices at the ballot box? And how do political parties react?Presenter: Rosie Campbell Producer: Vicki Broadbent Editor: Clare Fordham
06/03/2328m 42s

The death of globalisation?

Professor Ian Goldin explores globalisation, and asks how far the world is fragmenting politically and economically, and what the consequences of that could be. Since around 1990, with the end of the Cold War, the opening of China, global agreements to reduce trade barriers and the development of the internet, there has been a dramatic acceleration of globalisation. But its shortcomings are under the spotlight. Governments are making policy choices that protect their industries, and there’s a knock on effect on other countries and consumers around the world. How can the challenges be addressed? With contributions from: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organisation. Minouche Shafik, President and vice-chancellor of the London School of Economics Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor of The Economist Rana Foroohar, Financial Times commentator and author. Kishore Mahbubani, former Ambassador to the UNCredits: CBS News, 24.09.19 – Donald Trump addressing the UN General Assembly in New York, pushing his ‘America First’ agenda. Conservative party, 02.10.19 – Boris Johnson at Conservative party conference ‘Let’s get Brexit done.’ The White House, 04.03.22 – Joe Biden announce his ‘Made in America’ commitments. World Economic Forum, 18.01.23 - German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, addresses the World Economic For in Davos, warning of the dangers of de-globalisation. BBC Newsnight,19.02.97 - Reporter Mike Robertson, reports on Xiao Ping’s economic legacy. BBC interview, 2005 - Tim Berners Lee describes the creation of the worldwide web. BBC Newsnight, 10.11.89 – reporter piece from the Berlin Wall. BBC Radio 5Live, 26.01.23 – Latest UK car manufacturing figures from 5Live presenter Rachel Burden and detail from BBC Business editor, Simon Jack. Courtesy, Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, 26.11.88 – Ronald Reagan’s radio address to the nation where he reminds the US to be thankful for economic prosperity generated by global trade. Courtesy, William J. Clinton Presidential Library, 28.01.2000 - President Clinton addresses the World Economic Forum about the connections between the global economy and US prosperity.
27/02/2327m 51s

From Brother to Other

It’s a year since Russia launched its war in Ukraine; a year that has brought failure, humiliation, defeat and heavy losses on the battlefield, and international isolation. The conflict has impacted the entire Russian population, with unprecedented sanctions and an unpopular and poorly executed nationwide mobilization. Ukraine was always considered Russia’s closest and most loved neighbour, and yet the Kremlin’s so-called ‘special military operation’ still apparently enjoys considerable support and acceptance among Russians. Journalists Tim Whewell and Nick Sturdee tell the story of how the war has been presented to the Russian people. They explore the myths, lies and truths that have won Vladimir Putin the support he needs to sustain a war effort on whose success his rule and place in history will depend. Talking to a Russian state TV talk-show host, Russia’s most famous war reporter, a singer and so-called ‘Z poet’, and volunteer Russian fighters in Ukraine, Analysis investigates how Russians' understanding of and support for the war are forged.
20/02/2329m 37s

Has economic crisis put net-zero plans on the backburner?

The UK has pledged to reach net-zero by 2050. But has a pandemic, the fallout from the war in Ukraine and now an economic crisis derailed our plans to decarbonise? Or have they provided an inflexion point, accelerating necessary change? With the energy crisis has come a renewed emphasis on security of supply. Does that bind us more firmly to fossil fuels - or spur the transition to cleaner fuels and new technology? And has a cost of living crisis been a catalyst for change in consumer and corporate behaviour - or made going green seem unaffordable and less of a priority? Dharshini David speaks to policymakers, business leaders and experts and asks whether the economy, or political will, is the main driver in reaching net zero.Presenter: Dharshini David Producer: Caroline Bayley Editor: Clare Fordham
13/02/2328m 37s

Blaenau Ffestiniog and the Foundational Economy

In the search for stability and growth, policy and debate often focuses on looking for multi-million pound inward investment, or industries with big ideas such as technology and manufacturing. But these businesses, which often rely on sophisticated technology to produce tradeable and exportable products, only make up a small proportion of the UK economy. Instead the “Foundational Economy” - things like food production and processing, retail, health, education, housing and welfare, contribute to a much larger proportion of spending. They account for around four in ten jobs and £1 spent in every three in Wales. Wales has been a global pioneer in supporting the “mundane” but crucial Foundational Economy, shaping policies around it. They’ve establish a dedicated ministerial board, and have a £4.5m fund, supporting a series of experimental projects testing the importance and potential of the Foundational Economy. But can it ever be big enough or bold enough to transform the state’s finances? Clare McNeil visits the former Slate mining capital of the world - Blaenau Ffestiniog - to investigate whether these projects can provide sufficient stability and growth, and if the rest of the UK should focus on the mundane to develop the economy.Presenter: Clare McNeil Producer: Jonathan IAnson Editor: Clare Fordham
06/02/2328m 19s

Can we ever really tackle rising public spending?

Last week, the government unveiled around £30bn worth of cuts to public services as it attempts to plug a fiscal hole. Governments have attempted to rein in spending in the past and struggled to do so.Philip Coggan takes a look at why public spending tends to rise in the long run and the continuing political battle to contain it. Guests: David Gauke, former Conservative MP and Treasury minister from 2010 to 2017 Carys Roberts, Executive Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research Jagjit Chadha, Director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research Jill Rutter, Senior Fellow of the Institute for GovernmentProducer: Ben Carter Production co-ordinator: Helena Warwick-Cross and Maria Ogundele Sound engineer: James Beard Editor: Clare Fordham
21/11/2228m 59s

Why do we assume women care?

In spite of progress on men's involvement in childcare the statistics show that women are still doing far more caring of young children. That is extended throughout life to the caring of ill and elderly relatives. And 82 per cent of people working in social care jobs are women. Professor of Sociology at Oxford Brookes University Tina Miller asks to what extent women are still trapped by society and its structures, such as who gets paid parental leave, into caring roles and whether we simply assume that women will care? But as she finds out, in much later life the roles can be reversed. She asks what needs to change in order for men to take on more caring responsibility earlier on.Producer Caroline Bayley Editor Clare Fordham Sound Engineer: Neva Missirian Production Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Helena Warwick-Cross
14/11/2228m 56s

Economic Growth - can we ever have enough?

As the twin storms of economic turmoil and worsening climate change grip the UK and many other countries around the world, Analysis examines the future of economic growth. Does it offer a route out of economic malaise, or have its benefits reached a ceiling for developed countries? And can further growth be environmentally justified, or do we urgently need to halt - or even reverse - growth to limit the effects of climate change? Can so-called “degrowth” ever be possible?Edward Stourton talks to economists and thinkers from around the world to appraise whether there’s still a central role for growth in the 21st century.Presenter: Edward Stourton Producer: Nathan Gower Editor: Clare Fordham Programme Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Helena Warwick-Cross Sound Engineer: Neva Missirian
07/11/2228m 36s

Is 'Political Blackness' gone for good?

Over the decades, a string of umbrella terms and acronyms have been used in the UK to describe people who aren’t white. “Politically Black”, Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME), ethnic minorities, or people of colour. Virtually all of them have been rejected by the people they describe, but is there still value in a collective term for Britain’s ethnic minorities? Mobeen Azhar hears stories of solidarity and schism between different groups in modern Britain to find out whether any sense of unity still exists and whether we need a new label.Contributors:Clive Lewis, MP for Norwich South Asad Rehman, Executive Director, War on Want Professor Jason Arday, Professor of Sociology of Education, University of Glasgow Ada Akpala, writer and podcaster Dr Rakib Ehsan, research analyst specialising in social integration and community relations Dr Lisa Palmer, Deputy Director of the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre, De Montfort University Sunder Katwala, Director, British FuturePresenter: Mobeen Azhar Producer: Dan Hardoon Editor: Clare Fordham Sound Engineer: Rod Farquhar Production Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Helena Warwick-Cross
31/10/2227m 41s

Can Effective Altruism really change the world?

If you want to do good in the world, should you be a doctor, or an aid worker? Or should you make a billion or two any way you can, and give it to good causes? Billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried argues this is the best use of his vast wealth. But philosophers argue charitable giving is often driven not by logic, but by a sense of personal attachment. David Edmonds traces the latest developments in the effective altruism movement, examining the questions they pose, and looking at the successes and limitations.
24/10/2228m 28s

How Xi Jinping did it

Just over a decade ago, President Xi Jinping was a virtual unknown. Few would say that now. In ten years, he’s reworked the Chinese Communist party, the military and the government so that he’s firmly in control. He’s also vanquished all of his obvious rivals. And now, he’s about to extend his time in office. Some say Xi might stay in the top job indefinitely. So how did Xi Jinping do it? Celia Hatton, the BBC’s Asia Pacific Editor, speaks to fellow China watchers to find out.Producer: Rob Walker Editor: Clare Fordham Researcher: Ben Cooper Studio Manager: James Beard Production Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Helena Warwick-CrossWith special thanks to Kerry Allen.(Photo: Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the art performance celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Founding of the Communist Party of China in 2021. Credit: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
17/10/2229m 32s

Is ethical surrogacy possible?

Does becoming a surrogate mother exploit or empower a woman? UK surrogacy law is under review, and there's a renewed debate around how it should be regulated. The war in Ukraine highlighted this, as the spotlight shone on the surrogate mothers, the babies they'd given birth to, and the overseas parents struggling to collect the newborns. In the UK the numbers of children born through surrogacy are still relatively small but they're expected to rise, not just because of medical infertility but also as more gay male couples and single men look to have their own biological children. For some surrogacy is extremely contentious, for others it's life changing. Sonia Sodha asks whether surrogacy is the ultimate commercialisation of a woman's body or whether it's the greatest gift a woman can give.Producer Caroline Bayley Editor Clare Fordham Sound Engineer: Rod Farquhar Production Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Helena Warwick-Cross
10/10/2228m 9s

What's the point of street protest?

Is a protest march worth your effort? About a million people attended the Stop the War street protest in 2003. About half a million had marched to protest against the fox hunting ban a year earlier. More recently, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to demonstrate against the decision to leave the EU. Nonetheless, the Iraq war happened, the hunting ban remains and Britain did leave the EU. James Tilley, a professor of politics at Oxford, finds out if street protests achieve anything, why people take part and what effect they have on politicians and voters. Produced by Bob Howard
03/10/2228m 11s

Addiction in the age of the metaverse

Are we past the point of no return when it comes to our obsession with online technology? Elaine Moore considers her own tech use and explores our future in the metaverse.According to a YouGov poll, the majority of Brits can’t get through dinner without checking their phone. Children and young adults can now be treated on the NHS for ‘gaming and internet addiction’. So, with the arrival of the metaverse, which promises to seamlessly blend our real and virtual worlds, are we facing a future which could potentially turbocharge this issue?Elaine asks if addiction to technology is real, and as it becomes more entwined in our everyday lives, what’s being done about it? Speaking to addiction specialists, tech experts, and others, she finds out how we can live more harmoniously with technology and develop healthier relationships with our screens.With contributions from: James Ball, author of 'The System: Who Owns the Internet, and How it Owns Us'.Anna Lembke, Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine and author of 'Dopamine Nation'. Dr Rebecca Lockwood from the National Center for Gaming Disorder.Catherine Price, science journalist and founder of of AI and Spatial Computing, David Reid.Producer: Craig Templeton Smith
25/07/2229m 10s

Is the UK the new sick man of Europe?

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the United Kingdom was sometimes characterised as the 'sickman of Europe' due to industrial strife and poor economic performance compared to other European countries. Today, inflation is once again rising and growth is forecast to slow considerably and economists predict that the UK could suffer a greater hit to living standards next year than any other major European country. BBC economics correspondent Dharshini David asks just how hard the times ahead will be and how might we find a cure to avoid the mantle of 'sick man of Europe' once more?Producer: Caroline Bayley Editor: Richard Fenton - Smith Sound Engineer: Rod Farquhar Production Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Helena Warwick-Cross
18/07/2228m 57s

What is childcare for?

Is formal childcare for pre-school children there to provide an early years education? Or to allow parents to go out to work? Politicians would say both, but many argue the UK’s system is failing to do either. Charlotte McDonald explores what improvements could be made and ask – do we want a big overhaul of our current system?
11/07/2229m 0s

Beyond the cost of living crisis

The Bank of England says inflation might reach 11 per cent this year. There are warnings that some people will have to choose between heating and eating. But what does it mean for the whole economy when prices just keep rising? In the 1970s inflation in the UK led to prices and wages spiralling as workers fought for wages that would keep up with prices. Those years were dominated by waves of strikes and social unrest as inflation became embedded in the economic system. The current situation is being exacerbated by Covid 19, the war in Ukraine and Brexit so is there anything that government can do to stop it? How bad could it get? And are the days of low inflation gone forever?Reporter Philip Coggan talks to: Manoj Pradhan consultant at Talking Macroeconomics Andy Haldane, Chief Executive of the RSA and former Chief Economist at the Bank of England Jagjit Chadha: Director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium Ruth Gregory, Economist at Capital Economics Kenneth Rogoff, Professor of Economics at Harvard UniversityProducer: Claire Bowes Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production co-ordinators: Helena Warwick-Cross and Maria Ogundele Sound engineer: Neil Churchill
04/07/2228m 26s

Cashing in on the green rush

Some countries have legalised cannabis, often with the hope of kick-starting a lucrative new source of tax revenue - but just how profitable has it been?Aside from a few fact-finding trips, the prospect of legalising cannabis is not on the political agenda here in the UK - but could it be missing out?Advocates say it's a bad call to let criminals continue to profit when legal businesses and the government could reap the financial rewards instead. Opponents counter that no amount of money is worth the associated public health risks.But in the past decade countries including Canada, Malta, Uruguay and parts of the United States have decided to embrace the so-called green rush.But how is it working out for them economically and what lessons could other places considering legalisation learn?Reporter Datshiane Navanayagam talks to:Christopher Snowden, Head of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic AffairsAdam Spiker, executive director of a cannabis trade association in CaliforniaAmanda Chicago Lewis, a US based investigative reporter covering cannabisLaura Schultz, executive director of research at Rockefeller Institute of Government in New YorkRishi Malkani, Cannabis Leader at Deloitte Charlotte Bowyer, Head of Advisory at Hanway AssociatesProducer: Ben Carter Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production co-ordinators: Helena Warwick-Cross and Maria Ogundele Sound engineer: James Beard
27/06/2228m 18s

Germany and Russia: It's Complicated

In late February, three days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz made a landmark speech in the German parliament, the Bundestag. The invasion, he declared, represented a 'Zeitenwende' - a turning point. The speech has been much discussed since - was Mr Scholz referring simply to the fact of the invasion, or to the way Germany needed to respond to it? The speech contained a number of policy statements, the boldest of which was the commitment to set up a 100 billion Euro fund to re-equip Germany's outdated armed forces. The question now is whether Germany will live up to Mr Scholz' promises, or will the cultural, political and economic bonds that have tied Germany and Russia together get in the way? Presenter: Caroline Bayley Producer: Tim Mansel
20/06/2229m 8s

The Advertising Trap

Digital advertising fuels the digital economy, but is it all based on smoke and mirrors? Ed Butler investigates what some claim is a massive collective deception - a trillion dollar marketing pitch that simply does not deliver value to any of those paying for it. He asks, do online ads actually work, or could it be that some of the biggest names in global tech are founded on a false prospectus?
13/06/2227m 29s

Can Nationalism be a Force for Good?

Arguments over the value of nationalism seem to have been raging for centuries, even though the nation state as we know it has only become widespread in the last two hundred years.In this programme, David Edmonds tracks the emergence of the nation state and the debate surrounding it. From post-colonial Ghana to contemporary Britain, we hear what nationalism has meant to different people in different contexts, as well as the social and philosophical principles that underlie it.Contributors:Professor Michael Billig, Emeritus Professor of Social Sciences at Loughborough University,Professor Richard Bourke, professor of the history of political thought, University of Cambridge. Elizabeth Ohene, former Minister of State in Ghana. Dr Sandra Obradovic, Lecturer in Psychology, The Open University.Professor Tariq Modood, director of the Bristol University Research Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship.Dr Sarah Fine, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Cambridge Producer: Nathan Gower Studio Manager: James Beard Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Co-ordinators: Maria Ogundele and Helena Warwick-Cross
06/06/2227m 37s

From Russia with love

As Russia’s brutal war with Ukraine enters its fourth month, Edward Stourton asks who Russia's allies and friends are and looks at the nation's influence overseas. While President Putin has made no secret of his belief that Ukraine should be part of a “greater Russia”, what is less apparent is how far Russia’s influence is spreading in other parts of the world. These include sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. With the West having left a vacuum in parts of Africa, President Putin has been able to offer military help in unstable countries such as Mali and the Central African Republic. This follows Russia's intervention in Syria's civil war on the side of Bashar Al-Assad's government, with implications for the wider geopolitics of the region. And in Latin America, Russia is accused of using soft power tactics through its media channels to polarise society and spread anti-US and anti-Western propaganda. Edward Stourton asks to what extent this shows that Russia is trying to rebuild the old Soviet-US spheres of influence of the Cold War.Producer: Caroline Bayley Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Sound Engineer: James Beard Production Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Helena Warwick
30/05/2228m 2s

The Court of Putin

In the wake of the greatest crisis to hit Europe since the Second World War, former Moscow correspondent Tim Whewell examines the president, people and processes that led to that momentous decision, and others like it. Radical advisers, tame oligarchs, intelligence agencies scared to tell Putin the truth and the domestic repercussions of NATO’s political moves - Tim brings together the variety of causes that have led to deep dysfunction and the concentration of power in a single man who risks becoming synonymous with the state itself.Interviewees include investigative journalists Catherine Belton and Andrei Soldatov, and former NATO Secretary General George Robertson.Producer: Nathan Gower Sound: Nigel Appleton Production Coordinators: Siobhan Reed and Sophie Hill Editor: Hugh Levinson
21/03/2227m 35s

Can the UK ever be a low tax economy again?

As tax rises hit pay packets next month is this an end to traditional Conservative low tax policy? The UK government has so far defied calls from across the political spectrum to shelve the planned 1.25 per cent increase in National Insurance, despite millions of households grappling with a rising cost of living at a time of great economic uncertainty as war rages in Ukraine. A greater proportion of the nation’s income will go to the taxman than at any point since the 1950s. Yet Brexit was billed by some as the UK’s chance to go it alone and create its own economic model, a “Singapore on Thames” – a low tax, light touch economy to attract outside investment. Instead, corporation tax is to increase from 19 percent to 25 per cent by 2023, while a new £12 billion annual levy to fund the NHS and social care comes in from April, initially in the form of higher national insurance payments. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has broken his election manifesto pledge not to raise such taxes to meet, he argues, the cost of supporting the economy through the pandemic. His chancellor hopes this will permit future tax cuts. But with policy priorities such as levelling up and a transition to net zero, and the realities of an ageing population, BBC Economics Correspondent Dharshini David asks whether we're seeing a fundamental shift in traditional Conservative low tax philosophy and whether that's a temporary choice - or an unavoidable permanent reorientation? Guests: Sir John Redwood MP Sir Charlie Bean, professor of economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science Lord Nick Macpherson, former permanent secretary to the Treasury Dame DeAnne Julius, distinguished fellow, Chatham House Dr Jill Rutter, senior fellow, The Institute of Government Producer: Caroline Bayley Production Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Jacqui Johnson Sound: Graham Puddifoot Editor: Hugh Levinson
14/03/2228m 9s

Ending Violence

Is a world without violence possible? Violence blights the lives of countless individuals each year. The Crime Survey of England and Wales suggests there were 1.2 million incidents of violent crime in the year ending March 2020. Sonia Sodha focuses on one category of violence – gender-based violence – and assesses the global progress in tackling this issue. Statistics show that most perpetrators – and victims – of violent crime are men. As a result, many violence prevention initiatives have traditionally focused on reducing men’s propensity for violence. But how effective is this gender-based approach? And does it provide any clues for the best way to reduce violence in society as a whole? Presenter: Sonia Sodha Producer: Dan Hardoon Production Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Jacqui Johnson Sound: James Beard Editor: Hugh Levinson
07/03/2228m 25s

The case for public service reform

Chris Naylor asks if there's a better way to deliver public services. Many of these were designed nearly a century ago to address the challenges of that time; from cradle to grave, offering help and support during times of need - just enough to get you back on your feet. But as we approach the quarter-way mark in the 21st century, our context today is radically different to that of 100 years ago. Dig a little deeper and some of the other assumptions that underpinned Beveridge’s vision of a welfare state no longer hold either: full employment; economic and fiscal growth; the presumption of unpaid domestic care (then done by women) and of affordable housing. Little wonder that services designed to respond to momentary problems in a person or household life can’t cope with the tsunami of demand that comes when those problems last for decades. And if our public services can’t cope with collective demand, the worry is this is contributing to a collapse in the trust we place in our public institutions and therefore in our politics too. As the years go by, as trust declines, so the problems get harder and harder to resolve. So what are we going to do about this? Is there a better way to deliver public services? Chris Naylor, the former Chief Executive of Barking and Dagenham Council assesses the need for public service reform, meeting innovators and talking to those who design and use public services. Is it time for a radical rethink? Producer: Jim Frank Production Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Jacqui Johnson Editor: Hugh Levinson
28/02/2228m 18s

Planning, Housing and Politics

How can the planning system adapt so we can build new homes without alienating voters? Barrister and author Hashi Mohamed investigates, focussing on the system in England. The government has pledged to build 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s to ease the country’s housing crisis and increase home ownership. But wide-ranging planning reforms to make it easier to achieve were shelved following the Conservatives’ shock defeat in the Chesham and Amersham by-election last year. So is it possible to create a politically acceptable planning system in this country? Deadlock between local communities and big developers is commonplace, with planning policies taking years to realise through a local government system that lacks vital resources and expertise. And what has to change for enough new homes to be built? Hashi Mohamed asks how the planning system, and the way we live and build, needs to adapt. Producer: Caroline Bayley Production Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Jacqui Johnson Sound: Graham Puddifoot Editor: Hugh Levinson
21/02/2228m 18s

Tackling Inequality

Probing the results of a major study into our unequal society. Faisal Islam, BBC Economics Editor, talks to two leading experts on inequality, who have together been working for several years on a research project for the Institute for Fiscal Studies. He asks Paul Johnson, IFS Director, and Nobel laureate Sir Angus Deaton what the findings reveal about the UK now, and how these issues can be addressed. Producer: Xavier Zapata Production Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Jacqui Johnson
14/02/2228m 45s

Why worry about future generations?

What do we owe future generations? Everyone who is alive, has rights. And governments have obligations to their citizens. But what about people who are not yet born? Should their interests be taken into account - even though they don’t yet exist? David Edmonds draws upon the thinking of the late philosopher Derek Parfit to address this vexing question, which has consequences for real-world policy now in areas such as climate change. Presenter: David Edmonds Producer: Nathan Gower Editor: Hugh Levinson
07/02/2228m 26s

Can we create a universal Covid vaccine?

Can scientists develop a vaccine which can combat the coronavirus and all its variants? There have been three lethal outbreaks caused by coronaviruses this century: SARS in 2002, MERS in 2012 and now SarsCov2. Scientists predict we will eventually encounter SarsCov3. That’s why the race is on to develop a universal vaccine to combat the coronaviruses and variants we know about, and the ones we have yet to confront. But attempts to create a universal vaccine for viruses such as influenza and HIV have been going on for decades - without success. Before 2020, proposals to create a vaccine against coronaviruses were not thought important enough to pursue since many just cause the common cold. Now that we understand their real threat, can scientists succeed in creating a vaccine to fight this large family of viruses,?Produced and presented by Sandra Kanthal Editor: Emma Close Production Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Jacqui Johnson Sound: James Beard and Rod Farquhar
31/01/2227m 48s

Finding Things Out

Finding things out during the pandemic has been hit and miss: there’ve been miracles, and there’s been junk. What matters is not just what we think we know about how to intervene to improve human health, but how we think we know it. Methods can be inspired, flawed, or both. Michael Blastland tells the short and still-changing story of how science has been trying to get better at finding things out. Contributions from:Professor Sir Angus Deaton, Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs Emeritus at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and the Economics Department at Princeton University. Maria Popp. Department of Anaesthesiology, Intensive Care, Emergency and Pain Medicine, University Hospital Wuerzburg. Professor George Davey Smith, Director of the Medical Research Council Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol. Sheena McCormack, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at University College LondonProducer: Ben Carter Editor: Jasper Corbett Sound Engineer: Graham Puddifoot
15/11/2128m 7s

Baby Boom or Bust

Birth rates in many countries, including China, Japan, Italy and the UK have dropped below replacement level. Clare McNeil asks if we should be concerned about this, and the burden it will place on taxpayers and the young, or welcome it as a good thing for climate change, where some think that the fewer consumers and CO2 emitters the better. But with fertility rates of 1.58 in England and Wales, and only 1.29 in Scotland, society is aging, with the higher healthcare and pension costs to be borne by the taxpayers of working age. What role could or should the government play in increasing the birthrate? Presenter: Clare McNeil Producer: Arlene Gregorius Editor: Jasper Corbett Speakers: Angie Hobbs, Professor of the Public Understanding of Philosophy, the University of Sheffield Lord David Willetts, President of the Resolution Foundation George Monbiot, environmental campaigner and author Felix Pinkert, Assistant professor of Philosophy and Economics, University of Vienna Jacob Hacker, Professor of Political Science, Yale University Jade Sasser, Associate Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies, University of California, Riverside Ronald Lee, emeritus professor of Demography and Economics, University of California, Berkeley
08/11/2129m 8s

Revenge of the Workers

The shortage of HGV drivers has been hitting the headlines, but other sectors are affected by a lack of staff too, from care homes to restaurants. This despite wages going up, and the end of the furlough scheme. What's going on? Could it be that power is shifting away from employers to workers, for perhaps the first time since the 1970s? Since the 2008 financial crisis public opinion has increasingly been unfavourable towards globalisation, immigration and big corporations. This has been reflected in a shift away from an assumed pro-business stance among the mainstream political parties too. Philip Coggan speaks to a range of experts to find out what's been happening, whether workers really will gain more power, and what that might mean for the economy. Guests: Ben Clift, Professor of Political Economy at the University of Warwick Dame DeAnne Julius, Distinguished Fellow for Global Economy and Finance, Chatham House Kate Bell, Head of Rights, International, Social and Economics at the Trades Union Congress Rob Ford, Professor of Political Science at the University of Manchester Jonathan Portes, Professor of Economics and Policy at King’s College, London Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality Shereen Hussein, Professor of Health and Social Care Policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Gerwyn Davies, Public Policy Adviser and Senior Market Analyst at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and DevelopmentProducer: Arlene Gregorius Sound: Gareth Jones
01/11/2128m 11s

Parental Alienation

Splitting up where children are involved is tricky. Especially when it ends up in the family courts. It’s even more tricky when a child decides they don’t want a relationship with one of the parents. Over the last two decades a controversial psychological concept has emerged to describe a situation where children - for no apparent reason - decide they don’t want to see one parent. It’s called parental alienation.Women’s rights organisations argue parental alienation is used to gaslight abused women. Fathers’ rights organisations claim that some mothers make up allegations of abuse to prevent them from seeing their children. And children are caught in the middle. Sonia Sodha explores the polarizing concept of “parental alienation” and asks how a contested psychological theory has evolved into an increasingly common allegation in the UK family courts. Producer: Gemma Newby
25/10/2129m 4s

Look who's talking - the rise of ‘voice cloning’

When you listen to a radio programme, watch an animated film, or even receive a phone call, it’s unlikely you’ll question whether the words you’re hearing are coming from the mouth of a human being. But all that could be about to change thanks to the rise of ‘voice cloning’. Elaine Moore is a tech columnist at the Financial Times and she’s interested in the ramifications of this new technology. Thanks to artificial intelligence, cloning a human voice can be achieved with just a few minutes of recorded audio. As the technology becomes more sophisticated and its use more widespread, how will this affect our society, our politics and our personal interactions? And is it time we were able to control what happens to our own voice both now and when we die?With contributions from: Carlton Daniel, lawyer at Squire Patton Boggs. Tom Lee, co-founder of LOVO. David Leslie, Ethics Theme Lead at the Alan Turing Institute. Rupal Patel, founder & CEO of VocaliD. Tim McSmythurs, AI Researcher and creator of Speaking AI. James Vlahos, co-founder of HereAfter AI. Producer: Craig Templeton Smith Editor: Jasper Corbett
11/10/2128m 38s

Who Defends Europe?

This summer's hasty and poorly executed withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan caused shock and profound unease among Washington's allies, just as they hoped the unilateralism of the Trump era had been left behind. But anxiety about America's position on defence only intensified with the unveiling in September of AUKUS - a trilateral security pact involving Australia, the US and UK covering the Indo-Pacific region. The exclusion of France from that deal not only enraged Paris but also further alarmed European allies about American intentions. So what next? Can the Biden administration be trusted to uphold the security guarantee which underpins NATO? Or, as France's President Emmanuel Macron argues, do these and other actions by the United States show that the 70 year-old Alliance is effectively "brain dead" and that Europe has to set about achieving "strategic autonomy" without depending on Washington's whims?In a lively forum with key players and thinkers about European security from both sides of the Atlantic, Edward Stourton considers what should happen now on European defence and whether seemingly divergent views about it can be reconciled. Those taking part: Professor Malcolm Chalmers, Deputy Director of the Royal United Services Institute in London; Nathalie Loiseau, MEP, former French Minister of European Affairs and Chair of the European Parliament's Sub-committee on Security and Defence; Dr Constanze Stelzenmüller, expert on Germany and trans-Atlantic Relations in the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.; and Linas Linkevicius, former Foreign and Defence Minister of Lithuania.Producer: Simon Coates Editor: Jasper CorbettPhoto by Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
04/10/2128m 45s

Reimagining the Nation

What keeps a nation together? For political scientist Benedict Anderson, it was the idea of the 'imagined community'. Although people from different backgrounds in a country might not know one another, they could imagine themselves as part of the same larger story. Peter Pomerantsev looks at how we can survive as a society when the idea of the 'imagined community' is under strain. Is it too late to find any commonality? Or are there other ways of imagining the future of the nation?Producer Ant Adeane Editor Jasper Corbett
27/09/2128m 5s

Cancelling Colston

In June 2020 the statue of slaver trader Edward Colston was toppled and thrown into the harbour in Bristol – one of the most visible moments of the Black Lives Matter movement in the UK. The statue now lies on its side in a museum, a testament to the dramatic re-evaluation of Bristol’s painful history at the centre of the transatlantic slave trade. Over the last year schools and buildings bearing Colston's name have been renamed. Colston has been cancelled. But what about the system of wealth, power and race that he represented? Bristol journalist Neil Maggs speaks to the people in Bristol dealing with Colston’s legacy. Current members of the Society of Merchant Venturers, a powerful charitable organisation which promoted Colston’s reputation as a philanthropist, have suddenly been thrust into the spotlight. School leaders are rolling out unconscious bias training. Elsewhere community leaders and politicians are navigating the potential for a backlash against terms such as white privilege as the national conversation on race continues.Producer: Lucy Proctor Editor: Jasper Corbett
19/07/2127m 51s

Science in the Time of Cancel Culture

In an age of social media ’cancel culture’ might be defined as an orchestrated campaign which seeks to silence or end the careers of people whose thoughts or opinions deviate from a new set of political norms. So if this threat exists for anyone expressing an opinion online in 2021, what’s it like for scientists working in academia and publishing findings which might be deemed controversial?In this edition of Analysis, Michael Muthukrishna, Associate Professor of Economic Psychology at the London School of Economics, assesses the impact of modern social justice movements on scientific research and development. Speaking to a range of experts, some who have found themselves in the firing line of current public discourse, and others who question the severity of this phenomenon and its political motives, Michael asks: if fear of personal or professional harm is strengthening conformism or eviscerating robust intellectual debate, can open-mindedness on controversial issues really exist in the scientific community? Or is rigorous public assessment of scientific findings helping to achieve better, more equitable and socially just outcomes?With contributions from:Emily M Bender, Professor of Linguistics at the University of Washington Pedro Domingos, Professor of Computer Science at University of Washington Caroline Criado Perez, writer and campaigner Brandeis Marshall, data scientist, Professor of Computer Science at Spelman College Steven Pinker, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University David Reich, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School Producer Craig Templeton Smith Editor Jasper Corbett
12/07/2128m 20s

Stalemate: Israel and the Palestinians after Gaza

After another round of violence, a two state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict appears farther away than ever. Edward Stourton examines the future. Guests include: Ahmad Samih Khalidi - Senior Associate Member at St Antony's College, Oxford Anshel Pfeffer - Senior Correspondent, Haaretz Dore Gold - former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations & President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs Jake Walles - former US Consul General in Jerusalem Salem Barahmeh - Executive Director of the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy Sawsan Zaher - Deputy General Director, Adalah Shlomo Ben-Ami - former Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs & Vice President of the Toledo International Center for Peace. Producer Luke Radcliff Editor Jasper Corbett
05/07/2128m 9s

A Hundred Glorious Years?

The first, modest Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) took place in late July 1921. Of the twelve original members, only Mao Zedong and one of his closest aides survived to take part in the founding of the People's Republic in 1949. The others were killed by political opponents, lost factional struggles or took up other creeds. And the CCP's history has been punctuated by in-fighting, purges, jailings, defections and sudden deaths. The Party itself sees things differently. Only it was able to push China into the future, the CCP claims, after earlier abortive attempts to modernise the country - and to secure the global eminence that it now enjoys. Its narrative also insists on the CCP's seamless triumph over obstacles placed in its path by malevolent foreign powers and reactionary domestic forces. A hundred years on from the CCP's foundation, the eminent China-watcher Isabel Hilton assesses the importance of the Party's centenary and asks why control of its view of its history is so important. She shows which events and ideological shifts the CCP prefers not to highlight or to ignore altogether. She considers why so much of the Party's history swings between periods of repression and liberalisation. And she explores how Xi Jinping, its current leader, is using the centenary. What will preoccupy the CCP in the years ahead?Producer Simon Coates Editor Jasper Corbett
28/06/2128m 18s

A New Unionism?

Unionism in Northern Ireland is facing a highly uncertain future. Its divided party politics make the headlines. But beyond that, post-Brexit border rules and talk of a possible vote on Irish reunification is causing much anxiety. Even more profoundly, changes in the province’s population and attitudes among different generations are weakening traditional loyalties. Pessimists fear all this could be seriously destabilising. Others argue that a new kind of unionism, focused on the practical benefits of links to Britain, can revive the cause. Chris Bowlby listens in to a debate with major implications for the UK as a whole. Producer: Jim Frank Editor: Jasper Corbett
21/06/2128m 9s

Funny Money

What is the money in your pocket really worth? Come to think of it now we’re virtually cashless, do you even keep money in your pocket? Maybe you’re worried about the growth of government debt during the pandemic you now store your wealth in commodities such as gold or silver? Or maybe you’re a fan of another asset class: bitcoin. Are cryptocurrencies the future of money or a giant bubble waiting to burst? Why are governments and companies such as Facebook so interested in developing their own digital currencies? Fifty years on from the ‘Nixon Shock’, when President Richard Nixon changed global currencies forever by taking the US off the gold standard, the BBC’s Ben Chu is on a mission to find out what money means to us today. Where does its value come from in this increasingly online world? Are we witnessing a revolution in the transfer of value into the metaverse? And how should make sense of this funny money business?Guests include: Historian Niall FergusonEconomist and academic Stephanie Kelton Investor Daniel MaegaardInvestment strategist Raoul PalFinancial commentator Peter SchiffEconomist Pavlina TchernevaProducer Craig Templeton Smith Editor Jasper Corbett
16/06/2128m 19s

Marvellous Medicine

Most of us were blindsided by the novel virus SarsCov2, but infectious disease experts had been warning about the possibility of a global pandemic for some years. For them it was never a matter of if, but when. What did come as a surprise was the speed of scientific progress to fight Covid 19. The first effective vaccine, from Pfizer/BioNTech, was developed in under 300 days, followed in successive weeks by Moderna and Oxford/AstraZeneca. The results of the UK’s RECOVERY trial, which was organised in a matter of weeks, has saved an estimated million lives worldwide by identifying which treatments are effective in treating Covid 19. And regulators around the globe, like Britain’s MHRA, are using innovative programmes to get medical products to people faster. During the pandemic, the world witnessed how fast medicine can advance with an abundance of cash and collaboration. Is progress at this speed and cost sustainable? Sandra Kanthal asks if drug development is something which should still take decades, or have we learned how to permanently accelerate the process? Guests: Rod MacKenzie, Chief Development Officer, Pfizer Nuala Murphy, President Clinical Research Services, Icon Professor Sir Martin Landray, Co-Chief Investigator, RECOVERY Trial Nicholas Jackson, Head of Programmes and Technology, CEPI Christian Schneider, Interim Chief Scientific Officer, MHRA Hilda Bastian, Independent Scientist Producer and Presenter Sandra Kanthal Editor Jasper Corbett
14/06/2128m 21s

The Zoomshock Metropolis

Our towns and cities are facing an existential crisis. The rise of online shopping has left gaping holes in high streets. And if hybrid working takes off, some economists predict a dramatic 'zoom shock' as workers spend less time and money in city centres. What seems like a crisis could be an opportunity to reinvent our cities and 'Level Up' struggling towns. But are we ready to seize this moment? Helen Grady meets local leaders embracing this moment of change - from the Teesside town bulldozing a shopping centre to create a park to the US community paying remote tech workers to relocate. She hears how big cities like Manchester are enticing people back to the office. And she asks if we're about to see a move away from city-led growth to a model where jobs and prosperity are more evenly spread between towns and cities.Producer and presenter Helen Grady Editor Jasper Corbett
31/05/2127m 42s

What the Foucault?

Last December Liz Truss made a speech. The Minister for Women and Equalities spoke about her memories of being at school in Leeds. She was taught about sexism and racism, she said, but not enough time was spent on being taught how to read and write. "These ideas," said Truss, "have their roots in post-modernist philosophy - pioneered by Foucault - that put societal power structures and labels ahead of individuals and their endeavours."So do Foucault's ideas pose a real danger to social and cultural life in Britain? Or is he a "bogeyman" deployed by some politicians to divide and distract us from real issues?In this edition of Analysis, writer and academic Shahidha Bari tries to make sense of Foucault's influence in the UK - and asks whether his ideas really do have an effect on Britain today.Producer: Ant Adeane Editor: Jasper CorbettContributors:Agnes Poirier, journalist and author of Left Bank: Art, Passion, and the Rebirth of Paris, 1940-50Michael Drolet, Senior Research Fellow in the History of Political Thought, Worcester College, University of OxfordLisa Downing, Professor of French Discourses of Sexuality at the University of BirminghamRichard Whatmore, Professor of Modern History at the University of St Andrews and Co-Director of the Institute of Intellectual History Matthew Goodwin, Professor of Politics in the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of KentClare Chambers, Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of CambridgeCharlotte Riley, Lecturer in Twentieth-Century British History at the University of Southampton
24/05/2128m 7s

Global Britain: is there substance behind the slogan?

Having left the EU, the UK is now re-branding itself as "Global Britain", but what does that actually mean? A key plank of the new foreign policy is a pivot to the "Indo-Pacific". How is this seen in India? And how should Britain deal with China, described as a "challenge" in the government's recently published Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy? And where does all this leave relations with the EU and US? Should "Global Britain" try to reassert itself as a major power on the international stage, or would the UK's interests be better served by acting as a broker between larger, or like-minded, countries instead, to help bring about beneficial agreements? And what effect could the reduction in the overseas development aid budget from 0.7% to 0.5% of Gross National Income have on Britain's "soft power" abroad, with the deep real-terms cuts to humanitarian and other programmes that this will mean for countries such as Yemen or Malawi? Presenter: Chris Morris Producer: Arlene Gregorius Editor: Jasper Corbett
29/03/2129m 5s

Science in the Time of Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen the best of science and the worst of science. New vaccines have been produced in less than twelve months. But at the same time we’ve seen evidence exaggerated and undermined, falsified, and flawed. Scientists arguing in public over areas of policy that have reached into all of our lives in an unprecedented way. There has never been so much “science”. But the pandemic has seen science politicised and polarised in ways some of us could never imagine. In this episode of Analysis, Sonia Sodha explores what the pandemic has revealed about the practice of science, and our relationship with it.Producer: Gemma Newby Editor: Jasper Corbett
22/03/2127m 54s

The Fine Art of Decision Making

Margaret Heffernan explores the fine art of decision making in times of uncertainty. We make decisions all the time which affect our personal lives, but what about the decisions which affect the lives of many others? How do you decide, when the well being of a nation or the success of a company are at stake, but the path is unclear because the risks cannot be quantified? A desire for more data, the temptation to procrastinate, a reluctance to admit mistakes and the outsourcing of decisions to machines can all lead to bad decision making, so what processes and practices, leadership qualities and attitudes of mind can serve as the best guides? Senior politicians, public servants, business people and academics share their insights based on past failures as well as successes, and suggest ways of better decision making in an increasingly uncertain world.Contributors:Professor Gerd Gigerenzer, Director emeritus, Max Planck Institute for Human Development Martin Gilbert, former CEO, Aberdeen Asset Management Sir Oliver Letwin, former Conservative MP and Cabinet Minister Dame Louise Makin, former CEO, BTG plc Baroness Eliza Manningham- Buller, former Director General MI5, Chair of The Wellcome Trust Professor Cathy O'Neill, founder O'Neill Risk Consulting and Algorithmic Auditing Jonathan Powell, former Downing Street Chief of Staff to Tony Blair Producer: Sheila Cook Editor Jasper Corbett
15/03/2129m 4s

Levelling Up Wakefield

With its low-wage economy, Wakefield is the kind of place the government has promised to help level up. But what kind of help do people there most need? Anand Menon returns to his home city to find out. He meets someone who remembers the days when Wakefield was known for its vibrant nightlife. He hears about the council's plans to entice new people to the district through attractions like the Hepworth Art Gallery and the transformation of the Rutland Mills. He finds out what attracts - and hinders - private sector investment. And he discovers how communities built around mills and mines have lost their economic purpose and been left stranded by poor local transport links. Producer: Helen Grady Data research: Professor Christina Beatty from the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University Editor: Jasper Corbett
08/03/2129m 14s

Magic Weapons

There used to be a romantic notion of globalisation that all countries would simply have to get along as we were all so interconnected. Why fight when your interests are aligned? It’s an idea that has made direct military engagement less likely. But something very different has emerged in its place. We live in a new era of conflict, where states try to achieve their aims through aggressive measures that stay below the threshold of war. This is a strategy of statecraft with a long history, but which has a new inflection in our technologically charged, globalised world. Now a mix of cyber, corruption and disinformation is employed to mess with adversaries. China’s president, Xi Jinping, has referred to political influence activities as being one of the Chinese Communist Party's 'magic weapons'. In this edition of Analysis, Peter Pomerantsev looks at how political warfare works in a world where we’re all economically entangled - and what Britain could and should do to adapt.Producer: Ant Adeane Editor: Jasper Corbett
01/03/2130m 16s

Boiled Rabbits of the Left?

George Orwell chastised the "boiled rabbits of the Left" for disliking what he called "the spiritual need for patriotism". He was writing in 1940 during Hitler's Blitz of London and other British cities. But Orwell also poses a challenge to those on the Left today who find patriotism redolent of flag-waving chauvinism, uncomfortably at odds with their cherished internationalism and an unwelcome diversion from other priorities. Since he was elected leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer has spoken of his love of country, determined to make a break with the legacy of his predecessor. Polling suggested Jeremy Corbyn was perceived to be cool in his patriotic sympathies. That view among electors in northern England and the Midlands was indeed so strong it was one of the main reasons former Labour supporters gave for switching to the Conservatives at the 2019 general election. In this edition of "Analysis", Edward Stourton asks how Labour can turn the page on its seemingly conflicted stance on patriotism. What would a distinctive Labour patriotism consist of? Could it appeal to different people in different parts of Britain when the Union now seems more fragile than ever? Is the task even so fraught with difficulty that Labour should simply leave this subject to its opponents? In short, what is Labour's answer today to the awkward challenge posed by Orwell eighty years ago and which stubbornly refuses to go away?Those taking part: Deborah Mattinson of BritainThinks; former Labour leader, Lord Kinnock; singer and author, Billy Bragg; Shadow Scottish Secretary, Ian Murray MP; New Labour loyalist, Lord Adonis; Labour MP, Florence Eshalomi; and Jon Cruddas, Labour thinker and MP for Dagenham & Rainham.Producer Simon Coates Editor Jasper Corbett
22/02/2128m 38s

Flying Blind

What do we really know about the policy choices confronting us? Covid-19 has been a brutal lesson in the extent of our ignorance. We face hard decisions, and argue about them ferociously, when in truth we’re often in the dark about their full consequences. But Covid is not unusual in this respect - and we could learn from it. Other areas of life and policy are similarly obscured. Not that we like to admit it. How well, for example, do we know what the economy is up to? Quite possibly not nearly as well as you might think - even to the extent that it’s recently been suggested the first estimates of GDP can’t be sure of telling the difference between boom and bust - the problem really can be that extreme. Some recessions have turned out to be illusions. In this programme Michael Blastland examines our collective ignorance and how it affects policy and debate, asking if public argument needs a lot more humility. Producer Caroline Bayley Editor Jasper Corbett
15/02/2128m 43s

Rogue Cops

Is it possible to identify rogue cops before they commit offences? Can we change police culture to improve police interactions with the public? The brutal killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis shone a spotlight on how police treat suspects, particularly black suspects. In this Analysis, David Edmonds asks what the science of criminology has discovered about how such tragedies can be stopped. Producer Bethan Head. Editor Jasper Corbett
08/02/2129m 20s

Personality Politics

Are we predisposed by our personality to be drawn to certain political policies or certain ideologies? And if so, should we take account of this when our views differ from other people? James Tilley, a professor of politics at Oxford University, talks to leading academics in the field about how this might help explain the current political polarisation seen in countries like the UK and the US.Producer: Bob Howard Editor: Jasper Corbett
01/02/2127m 44s

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
16/11/2029m 42s

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
09/11/2028m 19s

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
02/11/2028m 11s

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
26/10/2028m 0s

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
19/10/2028m 50s

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
12/10/2028m 25s

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
05/10/2028m 22s

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
28/09/2028m 2s

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
20/07/2029m 8s

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
13/07/2028m 11s

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
06/07/2028m 8s

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
29/06/2028m 30s

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
22/06/2028m 5s

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
15/06/2028m 17s

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
08/06/2028m 19s

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
01/06/2027m 53s

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, YouGovTranslation 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
25/05/2028m 13s

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
28/03/2028m 57s

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
23/03/2028m 42s

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 - workersProducer - Smita Patel Editor - Jasper Corbett
09/03/2028m 51s

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.
02/03/2028m 19s

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
24/02/2028m 17s

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.
17/02/2029m 10s

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 AlliancePresenter: Professor Alison Wolf Producer: Beth Sagar Fenton Editor: Jasper CorbettWith thanks to N Family Club
10/02/2028m 20s

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
03/02/2028m 15s

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 UKProducer: Ben Carter Editor: Jasper Corbett
27/01/2028m 8s

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
18/11/1928m 37s

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
11/11/1928m 39s

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
04/11/1928m 37s

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 CorbettInterviewees: 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
28/10/1929m 2s

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
21/10/1928m 46s

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 CorbettPicture Credit: Crown, gold and gilded copper with glass beads, pigment and fabric, made in Ethiopia, 1600-1850 (c) Victoria and Albert Museum
14/10/1928m 37s

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
07/10/1928m 44s


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
30/09/1927m 57s

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?
22/07/1929m 1s

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.
15/07/1928m 22s

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
08/07/1928m 20s

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 UniversityWould 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
01/07/1928m 56s

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 UniversityProducer: Diane Richardson Editor: Jasper Corbett
24/06/1928m 5s

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.
17/06/1929m 4s

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
10/06/1928m 54s


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
03/06/1929m 0s

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
27/05/1928m 44s

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
25/03/1928m 56s

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
18/03/1928m 55s

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? ContributorsAnders 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
11/03/1928m 40s

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
04/03/1929m 11s

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
25/02/1928m 34s

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 ProjectsProducer: Neil Koenig
18/02/1929m 8s

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
11/02/1928m 45s

Do children of married parents do better?

Does being born to non-married parents affect a child's prospects? It is a question that is notoriously hard to answer. BBC Education Editor Branwen Jeffreys investigates research from Princeton's landmark Fragile Families study, which has gathered data from 5,000 births over the last 18 years. She speaks to principal investigator Professor Sara McLanahan to find out how much we know about the differing outcomes of children raised by married, cohabiting or single parents. Branwen asks how applicable the results of the study are to British society, where very soon, a minority of births will be to married parents. Professor Emla Fitzsimons has been following the lives of 19,000 children, born across the UK in 2000-01. She reveals what the project, know as The Millennium Cohort Study has found. Producer: Diane Richardson
04/02/1928m 25s

The War for Normal

We live in a world where everyone is trying to manipulate everyone else, where social media has opened up the floodgates for a mayhem of influence. And the one thing all the new propagandists have in common is the idea that to really get to someone you have to not just spin or nudge or persuade them, but transform the way they think about the world, the language and concepts they have to make sense of things.Peter Pomerantsev, author of an acclaimed book on the media in Putin's Russia, examines where this strategy began, how it is being exploited, the people caught in the middle, and the researchers trying to combat it. Because it is no longer just at the ‘fringes’ where this is happening – it is now a part of mainstream political life.Producer: Ant Adeane
28/01/1928m 47s

America's Friends

From a US president who is turning the world upside down – with a relish for dismantling global agreements – the message is clear: it’s America first. But where does that leave old European allies? Few expect the transatlantic relationship to go back to where it was before Trump. Europe, says Angela Merkel, now has to shape its own destiny. James Naughtie explores the uncertain future for America's friends. Producer: Kate Collins
14/01/1928m 17s

The Trumped Republicans

Republican insider Ron Christie discovers how Donald Trump's presidency is changing his party. Trump arrived in the White House offering a populist revolt in America, promising to drain what he calls "the swamp that is Washington D.C". So what does his own Republican Party - traditionally a bastion of the nation’s establishment - really make of him? Where is he taking them and what will he leave behind? Christie, a long-time Republican who has served in the West Wing under George W Bush, takes us on a journey behind the scenes to meet Trump’s inner circle - including figures like Mercedes Schlapp, White House director of strategic communications, and to influential conservative broadcaster Sean Hannity. He talks to the supporters and the sceptics alike who watch in amazement as one of the most controversial presidents of all time takes his country and his party by storm. Producer: Kirsty Mackenzie
08/01/1937m 6s

The Next Crash

What could cause a future financial crash? Ian Goldin, professor of globalisation and development at Oxford University, talks to some of the world's leading economists about whether we have learnt lessons from the 2008 financial crash and whether countries are now better prepared to meet the next crisis. Or are we condemned to another economic meltdown, perhaps even more severe, which would provide new fuel to the fires of populism? A decade ago, the world was taken by surprise. Will it be again? Featuring contributions from the IMF's Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, Lord Nick Stern, Professor Peter Piot, Pascal Lamy and Jeffrey Sachs. Producer: Ben Carter
19/11/1828m 17s

The Replication Crisis

Many key findings in psychological research are under question, as the results of some of its most well-known experiments – such as the marshmallow effect, ego depletion, stereotype threat and the Zimbardo Stanford Prison Experiment – have proved difficult or impossible to reproduce. This has affected numerous careers and led to bitter recriminations in the academic community. So can the insights of academic psychology be trusted and what are the implications for us all? Featuring contributions from John Bargh, Susan Fiske, John Ioannidis, Brian Nosek, Stephen Reicher, Diederik Stapel and Simine Vazire. Presenter David Edmonds Producer Ben Cooper
12/11/1828m 15s

How to kill a democracy

How many democracies around the world are gradually being dismantled. Democracies today are less and less likely to be overthrown in violent coups. Today’s methods of establishing one party rule are much more subtle and insidious. Political scientist Professor Matt Qvortrup explores how the modern authoritarian leader takes control of his or her country. High on their list will be subtly manipulating elections to win with a comfortable but credible majority: appointing their own supporters to the judiciary whilst watering down their powers: silencing critics in the press while garnering positive coverage from their media supporters: punishing opponents by denying them employment while rewarding lackeys with key positions. And using technology to help rig votes and spread propaganda. Matt traces these methods back to Roman times while looking at their contemporary relevance in countries as diverse as Kenya, Poland, Hungary, and Venezuela. Producer: Bob Howard
05/11/1828m 18s

Do Assassinations Work?

Poison, exploding cigars and shooting down planes: tales of espionage and statesmanship. Government-ordered assassinations may seem the stuff of spy novels and movie scripts, but they seem to have entered the realm of reality of late. Why do states choose to take this action and can we measure their success? Edward Stourton assesses how various governments -including Israel, Russia, America and the UK - have dabbled in assassination and asks whether it works as a tool of foreign policy. Producer: Phoebe Keane
02/11/1828m 29s

The Pupil Premium

How do you increase the attainment of disadvantaged children? Poorer children consistently perform worse at school by not reaching higher grades at age 16, compared to richer children. There is broad agreement, across party lines that they require more money to help them succeed and reduce inequality. Therefore, schools in England adopted the pupil premium policy in 2011 where extra funding was attached to each child in receipt of free school meals. Professor of Education at University College London, Dr Rebecca Allen assesses how well the policy has been working. Producer: Nina Robinson Editor: Hugh Levinson
22/10/1828m 38s

Northern Ireland - Where Next?

Could Northern Ireland soon face a huge decision - whether to leave the UK? Andrea Catherwood returns to where she grew up to discover why the biggest question of all is looming beyond Brexit. Demography may soon leave Catholics as the largest population group. And Brexit debate over new border controls in Ireland has challenged the uneasy compromise of the Good Friday Agreement. So how could a vote on creating a united Ireland come about? How would different traditions and generations decide what to do? And away from political debate, how do the people of Northern Ireland feel about the prospect of such a sensitive and fundamental choice? Producer: Chris Bowlby Editor: Hugh Levinson
15/10/1828m 20s

Operation Tory Black Vote

Can the Conservatives ever win over non-white support? Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities are as diverse in their values and beliefs as the rest of the population, yet there is a history of ethnic minority voters overwhelmingly supporting the Labour Party. Recent studies show that in 2017 three quarters continued to back Labour, while under a fifth voted for the Conservatives. Long-term this is a headache for the Tories, as the proportion of the population who identify as BAME is expected to double to between 20 and 30 percent over the next thirty years. Professor Rosie Campbell of King's College London looks at the potential political impact of ethnic minority voters and what the parties can do to do win the trust and votes of communities which may in future, decide who governs Britain. Producer: Adam Bowen
08/10/1828m 38s

Power Shift

How power moved from West to East after the 2008 financial crisis. Ian Goldin, professor of globalisation and development at Oxford University, explores how Asian nations, especially China, demonstrated resilience, and rebounded quickly from the crisis. This led to a profound loss of faith in the ability of the Western leaders to manage the global economy effectively. Interviewees: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former finance minister, Nigeria Nick Stern, former chief economist, The World Bank Jeffrey Sachs, professor Columbia University Kumi Naidoo, secretary general, Amnesty International Willem Buiter, former Chief Economist, Citibank Martin Wolf, the chief economics commentator, The Financial Times Kishore Mahbubani, professor, University of Singapore Justin Lin, professor, Beijing University Adam Tooze, author of 'Crashed' Christine Lagarde, managing director, International Monetary FundProducer: Beth Sagar-Fenton
01/10/1828m 43s

The Truth About Britain's Beggars

Former homeless drug-addict Mark Johnson explores our relationship with street beggars
31/08/1837m 21s

What's Fair?

As well as marking the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service, this year marks a similar milestone in adult social care. But whereas our notions of fairness in treating those who fall ill are simple and straightforward - free to those who require care at the point of delivery in the NHS - with social care it is different: means testing remains the device by which assistance with care is decided. When it comes to helping the aged and the infirm, then, we struggle with decidedly different ideas of fairness - and have done so since the advent of National Assistance - the forerunner of today's social care - in 1948. What should the individual contribute and how much should the state provide? What ideas of fairness properly apply in providing social care? And how can agreement on them be reached?Paul Johnson - the director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the respected economic research body - asks why politicians should find it so difficult to agree on simple ideas of equity and fairness in this area. From Labour's so-called "death tax" in 2010 to the Conservatives' alleged "dementia tax" last year, attempts to come up with ways to reform a system that is widely considered to have broken down, have collapsed in failure and left both main parties reluctant to get their fingers burnt again with proposals for change. So with the pressures on available services continuing to grow as the proportion of the population that is elderly rises and its needs become more specialised and as numbers of working age adults with social care needs increase, Paul Johnson considers what principles a fair social care system should enshrine and what likelihood there is that policies to give effect to them will be implemented. Editor Hugh Levinson.
23/07/1828m 36s

Trump and Trade

In 2016, during the American presidential election campaign, Edward Stourton travelled to the rustbelt of the United States to report on the new political power of Protectionism. Now, as Donald Trump seems poised for a trade war on two fronts - with China and Europe - he asks how far the American president will go to put "America First".Producer Smita Patel Editor Hugh Levinson.
16/07/1828m 42s

British Politics: A Russian View

Peter Pomerantsev asks why new techniques in political campaigning have succeeded and what the consequences are for society. He has a different view to most from his past career working inside the TV industry in Moscow. The future arrived first in Russia. The defeat of communism gave rise to political technologists who flourished in the vacuum left by the Cold War, developing a supple approach to ideology that made them the new masters of politics. Something of this post-ideological spirit is visible in Britain. Centrism no longer seems viable. Globalisation is increasingly resented. Ours is an uncertain political landscape in which commentators and polls habitually fail to predict what is to come. There was a time when if you lived in a certain place, in a certain type of home, then you were likely to vote a certain way. But that is no longer the case. Instead, political strategists imagine you through your data. The campaigns that succeed are the ones that hook in as many groups as possible, using advances in political technology to send different messages to different groups. Pomerantsev, one of the most compelling voices on modern Russia, is a senior visiting fellow at the London School of Economics and is the author of "Nothing is True and Everything is Possible: Adventures in Modern Russia".Producer: Ant Adeane.
09/07/1828m 11s

The Middle East Conundrum

Edward Stourton asks if there any chance of a long-term solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Tensions have been rising following the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem and the deadly clashes at the border between Israel and Gaza. The peace process - if it exists at all - seems to be in deep freeze. The idea of a two-state solution does not appear to be getting any closer, while a one-state solution would effectively mark the end of a Jewish state. Does Israel have a long-term strategy? Producer: Ben Cooper.
02/07/1828m 13s

Can Technology Be Stopped?

Can the Big Four - Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple - be reined in and forced to play by the rules society sets, rather than imposing their own standards on society? It seems like news breaks every few weeks that reveal how the technology on which we increasingly depend - smartphones, search engines, social media - is not as passive as many of us thought. Big data, fake news, extremism, Russian trolls: with little or no regulatory supervision, the big tech companies are changing the world and disrupting our lives. Yet governments seem to have little power to respond. The tech giants look too big, too international and too hard to pin down. So is it time to disrupt the disrupters? Journalist and writer Jamie Bartlett asks how we can regulate big tech. He meets the regulators who are daring to reclaim power, and assesses the challenges involved in imposing rules on an industry which is deeply complicated, ever changing and supranational. Do governments have the resources to reassert sovereignty over something which has become so embedded in our culture? And how would society change if they did?Producer: Gemma Newby.
25/06/1836m 1s

Death Is a Bore

Most of us are resigned to the fact that we won't escape death in the end. But there are people who have dedicated their entire lives to conquering death. This relatively new movement of 'transhumanists' believes that science is close to finding a cure for aging and that immortality may be just around the corner. Chloe Hadjimatheou asks whether it's really possible to live forever and whether it's actually desirable.
18/06/1828m 45s

Disconnected Britain

New infrastructure such as major transport projects promises huge benefits. London and the South East are currently looking forward to Crossrail, the start of HS2 and much more besides. But how does all this look from further north? Chris Bowlby heads for his home territory in the north east of England to discover a region full of new ideas about future connections, but worried that current national plans risk leaving it lagging behind. And what, he asks, might this mean for the whole country's future? Producer: Chris Bowlby Editor: Hugh Levinson.
11/06/1828m 29s

Algorithm Overlords

How can we be sure that the technology we are creating is going to do the right thing? Machines are merging into our lives in ever more intimate ways. They interact with our children and assist with medical decisions. Cars are learning to drive themselves; data on our likes and dislikes roam through the internet. Sandra Kanthal asks if we already in danger of being governed by algorithmic overlords.
04/06/1828m 53s

#metoo, moi non plus

Do French women really think differently about sexual harassment - and if so, does feminism have national borders? Catherine Deneuve was one of 100 prominent women who signed an open letter to Le Monde critiquing the #metoo movement. "We believe that the freedom to say yes to a sexual proposition cannot exist without the freedom to pester," they wrote. Have the French mastered a more sophisticated approach to relations between men and women, based around seduction - or is this a myth that sustains male power? Parisian journalist Catherine Guilyardi investigates.Producer: Estelle DoyleContributors: Claude Habib - historian and author of "Galanterie francaise"Elaine Sciolino - ex New York Times Paris bureau chief and author of "La Seduction" and "Rue des Martyrs"Eric Fassin - professor of sociology, Paris-8 UniversitySylvie Kauffman - editorial director and columnist at Le Monde Sandra Muller - journalist and founder of #balancetonporcCécile Fara and Julie Marangé - feminist activists, organisers of the Street Art and Feminism tour in Paris Fatima El Ouasdi - feminist activist and founder of Politiqu'ellesPeggy Sastre - philosopher of science and author of "Male Domination Doesn't Exist".
28/05/1828m 26s

Too Young to Veil?

This year, St. Stephen's primary school in east London found itself at the centre of an incendiary and increasingly far-reaching debate that is rocking not only Muslim communities and campaigners across the UK but also penetrates the very heart of the country's education system.An attempt to ban girls under the age of 8 from wearing the hijab to school resulted in a major backlash from the local community and beyond. Over 19, 000 people signed a petition to reverse the ban, a national campaign group got involved and social media was awash with outrage, some comparing the head teacher to 'Hitler' and branding her a 'paedophile'. The ban was swiftly reversed. What is really at the root of the outrage given that Islam does not require children to cover their heads? And what is motivating the trend for younger girls -some as young as four- to wear the hijab, when previous generations would not have veiled so young? Female Muslim campaigners have warned that it should be fiercely rejected' as it ‘sexualises' young girls. Ofsted has voiced concern and is investigating whether teachers have come under pressure from religious groups to change uniform regulation. Others argue it is simply a case of girls copying their mums and suggesting otherwise is a form of Islamophobia.In all the noise between parents, teachers, religious leaders, campaigners and authorities, who - if anyone - has the right to decide what a young girl puts on her head?Producers: Lucy Proctor and Sarah Stolarz
24/04/1837m 7s

The End of Arms Control?

Existing arms control treaties are under threat - at the same time that new types of weapon emerge, with nothing to regulate them. There is a growing crisis in the arms control regimes inherited from the Cold War era, which threatens to undermine existing agreements. At the same time, new technologies are emerging like drones, cyberwar, biotech and hypersonic weapons, which are not covered by existing rules. BBC Defence and Diplomatic Correspondent Jonathan Marcus asks if a new era of chaos beckon or might the whole idea of arms control and disarmament be revived? Producer: Matthew Woodcraft.
26/03/1828m 43s

Screens and Teens

Do we need to "do something" about the effects of smartphones on teenage children? The backlash against the omnipresent devices has begun. Parents on both sides of the Atlantic are increasingly worried that smartphones pose a threat to the current generation of teenagers, who have grown up with a phone almost constantly in their hand. Smartphones make our teenagers anxious, tired narcissists who lack empathy and the ability to communicate properly in person. Or so the story goes.David Baker examines the evidence behind the case against smartphones. He hears from the academics calling for action to curb the addictive pull of the screen and from a former Silicon Valley developer who won't let his children have a smartphone. But he also speaks to experts convinced this is just another moral panic about technology's effect on the young. Could there be a danger in blaming smartphones for the rise in teenage anxiety, especially among girls, at the expense of finding the real cause?What, if anything, should we be doing to protect our kids? And who can we look to for guidance in fashioning a healthy relationship with this incredibly powerful piece of kit?Producer: Lucy Proctor.
19/03/1828m 20s

What Are Universities For?

Almost half of the UK's school leavers are now going to university. But the university sector is under more scrutiny than ever before. Sonia Sodha argues that it's time to take a profound look at what universities are really for. Should we be spending vast amounts of public money educating young people at this level if the main purpose is to get ahead of the next person? Are vast numbers of students being failed by a one-size-fits-all system that prizes academic achievement above all else? Why has Apple - and several other companies in Silicon Valley - decided that training young people's imagination and sense of civic culture is of paramount importance? What are the long-term risks to society if universities increasingly become little more than training grounds for the workplace? Producer: Adele Armstrong.
12/03/1828m 28s

Town v Gown: New Tribes in Brexit Britain

In the 2016 referendum on whether Britain should leave the European Union, a stark division emerged: those with university degrees were far more likely to vote remain than those with few educational qualifications. And Britain is not the only country where such a gap exists - in the recent American presidential election, far more graduates voted for Hillary Clinton than for Donald Trump. Edward Stourton investigates the impact of this faultline on voting and politics, and asks how policy makers and wider society should respond. Producer: Neil Koenig.
05/03/1828m 23s

The Dictator's Survival Guide

How do dictators and authoritarians stay in power? James Tilley, a professor of politics at Oxford University, finds out what's in the dictators' survival guide. How do they control ordinary people and stop revolts? How do they stop rivals from taking over? And how do they manipulate apparently democratic procedures like elections - such as the notoriously fraudulent 2004 vote in Ukraine - to secure their rule? This is another chance to hear a programme, originally broadcast in 2018, that has acquired new relevance. Producer: Bob Howard Production Coordinators: Sophie Hill and Siobhan Reed Editor: Hugh Levinson
26/02/1828m 19s

Political Electricity

Electricity is crucial to modern life - and in the digital or electric vehicle age, that dependence is going to grow even more. But will we all get the power we need? Chris Bowlby discovers what life is like when power suddenly fails, and how a revolution in the way we generate electricity is posing huge political questions. This could give everyone secure, cheap power - or leave society divided between those with a bright future, and those left increasingly in the dark. Producer: Chris BowlbyEditor: Hugh Levinson.
19/02/1828m 23s

A Very British Battle

The latest round in the fight over the future of the UK armed forces is raging in the corridors of Whitehall. As politicians and military top brass argue about money, wider questions about what we want the Army, Navy and RAF to do once again top the defence agenda.Caroline Wyatt spent many years covering defence for the BBC and has heard warnings from retired generals about chronic under-funding many times. But with army numbers already down to a level not seen since before the Napoleonic Wars, big projects like the F-35 fighter jets in trouble, and a £2bn a year black hole in the defence budget, further salami slicing seems untenable. How then to prioritise which capabilities the UK must maintain and improve?The UK faces an intensified threat from Russia, 'hybrid' warfare where cyber attacks and political destabilisation are used alongside military force, and advances in missile technology. Post Brexit, the UK's strategic position both globally and within the European defence space is unclear. How we want to deploy our armed forces - where, with whom, and at what cost - is once again up for debate.Producer: Lucy Proctor.
12/02/1828m 37s

The Illiberal Democrats

Poland and Hungary appear to be on paths to what the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban called "illiberal democracy". What does this mean for the European Union? Naomi Grimley hears how in Hungary a respected newspaper was shut down overnight after criticising government officials. A liberal university is fighting for its survival. In Poland, a popular singer was disinvited from a festival after speaking out against the proposed outlawing of abortion. Laws have been passed which give politicians more control over the appointment of judges. Both countries are in trouble with the European Commission. And yet, the view from Warsaw and Budapest is that their governments were democratically elected, and that they are enacting the will of their peoples - a will that may not be the same as that of Brussels, but has a popular mandate. In Hungary, Naomi is told that the country simply wants to keep its Christian identity. In Poland, the argument is that the changes of the court systems are simply an overdue updating of the judiciary after the Communist era, and that Poland is entitled to develop as its voters see fit. Could their new paths divide East and West and eventually threaten the EU itself? Producer: Arlene Gregorius.
05/02/1828m 26s

Why Are Even Women Biased Against Women?

Women are sexist too. Even avowed feminists are found to be unconsciously biased against women when they take 'implicit association' tests. Mary Ann Sieghart asks where these discriminatory attitudes come from and what we can do about them. Evidence for women's own sexist biases abounds. In one example, female science professors rated the application materials of ostensibly male applicants for a lab position considerably higher than the identical documentation of ostensibly female candidates, in an experiment with fictitious applicants where only the names were changed. The reasons for the pervasive bias seem to lie in the unconscious, and in how concepts, memories and associations are formed and reinforced from early childhood. We learn from our environment.. The more we are exposed to sexist attitudes, the more we become hardwired to be sexist - without realising it. So what to do? Does unconscious bias training help? Or could it make our implicit biases worse? A good start might be to tell little girls not that they look so pretty in that dress, but to ask them what games they like to play, or what they are reading. And so teach them they are valued not for how they look, but for what they do. Producer: Arlene Gregorius.
29/01/1828m 40s

The Invisible Hand of Donald Trump

Donald Trump's surprise elevation to the office of president last November stunned the world and electrified the financial markets. Promises to cut red tape, bring huge infrastructure projects to life, and sort out the byzantine American tax system propelled Wall Street to record highs. It's called the Trump Bump. Yet Trump's protectionist rhetoric simultaneously created fears of a global trade war. Martin Wolf, Chief Economic Commentator of the Financial Times, reflects on what Trump has accomplished in economic terms in the year since the election heard round the world. Financial systems are recovering from the calamities of the last decade, but that improvement was well under way before Trump took the helm of the world's largest economy. New proposals from the administration are stalled for lack of clarity, infirmity of purpose and political disarray. This doesn't mean that President Trump's decisions on everything from trade tariffs to the Federal Reserve will not send ripples around the globe in the years ahead. He's vowed to deliver tax reform, build a wall, bring jobs home and tear up trade treaties. Will these promises still be delivered? If they are, what might follow? Producer: Sandra Kanthal.
01/12/1742m 20s

Offence, Power and Progress

In 2017 it's easier than ever to express offence. The angry face icon on Facebook, a sarcasm-loaded tweet or a (comparatively) old-fashioned blog post allow us to highlight the insensitivities of others and how they make us feel - in a matter of moments. Increasingly, offence has consequences: people are told what they can and cannot wear, comedy characters are put to bed. Earlier this year, a white artist was condemned for her depiction of the body of a murdered black teenager. Those who were offended demanded that the painting be destroyed because 'white creative freedoms have been founded on the constraint of others'. It's easy to scoff. Detractors refer to those asking for a new level of cultural sensitivity as "snowflakes" and insist the offence they feel is self-indulgent. But history teaches that fringe discussions often graduate to mainstream norms. So are these new idealists setting a fresh standard for cultural sensitivity? A standard that society will eventually come to observe? Mobeen Azhar puts aside familiar critiques about the threat to free speech. Instead, he tries to understand the challenging arguments put forward by those who are pushing for new norms, and who believe that being offended will create a more culturally aware, progressive society. Featuring contributions from X-Factor star Honey G, black lesbian punk rockers Big Joanie and RuPaul's Drag Race contestant Charlie HidesProducer: Tim Mansel.
20/11/1729m 2s


These days when we talk about politicians we are more likely to discuss whether they are authentic than whether they are great orators or statesmen or women. Few of us take the time to listen to a speech or read a manifesto and when we judge politicians we more often focus on whether they seem sincere, warm or passionately committed to a cause rather than weighing up their policy programmes . We're turned off by spin and cynical about many politicians' motivations and we seek reassurance that they can really be trusted.Professor Rosie Campbell asks how we can make judgements about a politician's authenticity. Are politicians more trustworthy if they stick to their principles without compromise? Or is authenticity about revealing our true character, warts and all? And what is better for democracy? Authentic leaders who are straight talking and stick rigidly to their ideals or leaders who are willing to negotiate behind the scenes? Producer: Ben Carter.
13/11/1728m 7s

Primate Politics

Professor James Tilley finds out what we can learn about politics from the power struggles within chimpanzee groups and how our evolutionary past may affect the political decisions that we make today. Interviewing primatologists, evolutionary psychologists and political scientists, he explores the parallels between our political world and that of other primates. These include the way politicians form coalitions, how people choose leaders, loyalties to parties and even how, and when, we go to war. These similarities to other primates reflect our evolutionary heritage and the way in which stone-age human groups settled disputes internally and externally. Producer: Bob Howard.
06/11/1728m 12s

Courting Trouble

When does flirting go too far? In a changing world, can we agree on what is acceptable behaviour? Sexual harassment is much in the news, new laws and codes are in place. Legal definitions are one thing, but real life situations can be a lot messier and more uncertain. Mixing expert analysis of the issues with discussion of everyday scenarios, Jo Fidgen asks: what are the new rules of relationships? Producer: Chris Bowlby.
01/11/1728m 34s

Europe Unbound

Edward Stourton asks how the European Union might change after Britain leaves. "The wind is back in Europe's sails", according to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. In September, in his annual address to the European Parliament, he set out a bold dream for the future. Soon afterwards it was echoed by another, this time from French President Emmanuel Macron who declared that "the only path that assures our future is the rebuilding of a Europe that is sovereign, united and democratic". Amongst the proposals that the two leaders put forward were a European budget run by a European finance minister, an enlargement of the Schengen passport-free travel zone, and much closer collaboration on tax, defence, and a host of other issues. But at present, the European project faces huge challenges. Britain is about to leave the EU, whilst Catalonia's bid for independence is causing turmoil in Spain. In the face of such developments, how realistic are the grand visions that Europe's leaders have for the future of the continent? Producer: Neil Koenig.
30/10/1728m 31s

Parliament - A Building Catastrophe?

What does the dangerous state of the Houses of Parliament tell us about our politics? There are increasing fears of a catastrophic fire, asbestos leak or major systems failure in the famed buildings. But after years of warnings, MPs and Lords are still struggling to decide what to do. Some say Parliament must remain active in the buildings while urgent work is done. Others say they must be vacated for renovation - and that this is an opportunity for a complete rethink of how our parliamentary democracy functions.Chris Bowlby visits the buildings' secret and hazardous corners and talks to key figures in the debate, discovering a story of costly but revealing political paralysisProducer: Chris Bowlby Editor: Hugh Levinson.
23/10/1728m 24s

Can We Teach Robots Ethics?

From driverless cars to "carebots", machines are entering the realm of right and wrong. Should an autonomous vehicle prioritise the lives of its passengers over pedestrians? Should a robot caring for an elderly woman respect her right to life ahead of her right to make her own decisions? And who gets to decide? The challenges facing artificial intelligence are not just technical, but moral - and raise hard questions about what it means to be human.Presenter: David Edmonds Producer: Simon Maybin.
16/10/1728m 20s

What would war with North Korea look like?

What could spark a major conflict on the world's most sensitive front line, and just how devastating would it be? Alarm about North Korea has spiked. It claims to have successfully test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile that could hit Alaska. Some experts estimate that North Korea is now 18 to 36 months away from launching a missile able to reach Los Angeles. President Trump has threatened to "totally destroy" the country, in an exchange of increasingly belligerent messages from both sides. Neal Razzell takes a look at the two sides' war plans and asks: what would war with North Korea look like?Producer: Sarah Shebbeare.
09/10/1728m 28s

The Fintech Revolution

Will technology radically reshape the highly profitable world of finance? Technology can revolutionise industries, making goods and services cheaper and more accessible. Television is going the same way with online services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime providing thousands of movies and boxsets. From the point of view of the consumer the picture is the same - we tend to have more choice and pay less money. Profits get squeezed. Yet there's one service we buy that seems to be a glaring exception - finance. Philip Coggan of The Economist asks whether the rapidly growing financial technology sector is about to change all that, creating a future that's much less comfortable for City fat cats, but better for everyone else.Producer: Ben Carter(Photo: Tech Globe on hand. Credit: Shutterstock).
02/10/1728m 29s

Reducing re-offending

'The Fix' brings together twelve of the country's bright young minds and gives them just one day to solve an intractable problem. This week we have asked our teams to come up with ways to stop criminals re-offending when they leave prison. The day is introduced by Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA and the teams will be led through the day by Cat Drew, Director at design consultancy Uscreates. Can the teams do enough to impress our judges, Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive of the Big Lottery Fund and David Willetts, former minister and Executive Chairman of the Resolution Foundation, or will they fall short?
30/08/1743m 10s

The Fix: Childhood Obesity

The teams have just one day to find solutions to the problem of childhood obesity
23/08/1743m 19s

The Fix: Setting Up Home

In the first of a new series, twelve of the country's brightest young minds gather to solve difficult social problems. This week - how do we improve access to affordable housing? Using policy planning techniques used by governments around the world, three teams are given free reign to think the unthinkable. They then present their ideas to two judges, who'll interrogate them and pick the best. Presented by Matthew Taylor and facilitated by Cat Drew of Uscreates Team One: Oliver Sweet - runs an ethnographic research department at Ipsos MORI. Margot Lombaert - creative director of Margot Lombaert Studio, an independent graphic design practice. Ethan Howard - RSA award winner. Jack Minchella - research and design associate at the Innovation Unit and the founder of the urban research collective In-Between Economies based in Denmark. Team Two: Solveiga Pakštaitė - industrial designer specialising in user-centred design. Gemma Hitchens - Account Director at Signal Noise, which specialises in data visualisation and analysis. Jag Singh - tech entrepreneur and former political strategist. Hashi Mohamed - barrister at No5 Chambers. Team Three: Helen Steer - educator and maker who runs Do It Kits, a start-up that helps teachers use technology. Zahra Davidson - designer with a background spanning service design, social innovation and visual communication. Piero Zagami - information designer and consultant in graphic design and data visualization. Tobias Revell - artist and lecturer in Critical and Digital Design. Producer: Wesley Stephenson.
17/08/1743m 3s

Understanding Prevent

David Anderson examines the government's controversial counter-terrorism strategy Prevent
26/07/1737m 31s

Minimum Wage: Too Much of a Good Thing?

Has the initial success of the minimum wage meant politicians have extended the policy to damaging levels? All the major political parties agree: the measure has been a success, and in the 2017 election all promised substantial rises in the rate by 2020. The Conservatives are aiming for a £9 national living wage by the end of the decade, and not to be outdone, Labour promised £10 for all but the under-18s. Paul Johnson, director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies, asks why left and right have both adopted this once controversial policy. And could the current bidding war of big increases undermine the positive effects it has had over its eighteen-year history? Producer: Kate Lamble.
24/07/1728m 28s

Yascha Mounk on democracy at risk

An extended interview with the political theorist who argues that liberal democracy is in grave danger. Ngaire Woods, dean of the Blavatnik School at Oxford, speaks to Harvard scholar Yascha Mounk. He says that across a wide sample of countries in North America and Western Europe, citizens of mature democracies have become markedly less satisfied with their form of government and surprisingly open to nondemocratic alternatives. "A serious democratic disconnect has emerged. If it widens even further, it may begin to challenge the stability of seemingly consolidated democracies." Producer: Jim Frank (Image: Yascha Mounk. Credit: Steffen Jaenicke).
17/07/1728m 18s

Is work too easy?

Michael Blastland asks if it's desk-bound work, rather than over-eating, which is making more and more of us obese. He hears about remarkable research which, despite received wisdom, suggests that people in the UK have reduced their calorie intake. However, they are expending far less physical energy, particularly because of new patterns of work which now require little if any bodily exertion. Michael examines projects to change individual behaviour such as corporate wellness programmes and altering office layouts - but finds it's going to be a tough sell.Interviewees: Dr Melanie Lührmann, Senior Lecturer, Royal Holloway Professor Alexi Marmot, architect, UCL Professor Andre Spicer, Cass Business School Professor Mike Kelly, School of Clinical Medicine, Cambridge UniversityProducers: Estelle Doyle, Phoebe Keane and Smita Patel.
10/07/1728m 32s

Constitutions at Work

Constitutions put controls on the people who run countries - but how are they created and how well do they work?In ordinary times constitutional debate often seems an abstract business without very much relevance to the way we live our lives. But political turmoil can operate like an X-ray, lighting up the bones around which the body politic is formed. Drawing on recent political events, Edward Stourton explores the effectiveness of the constitutions of the United Kingdom, the USA and France and asks are they doing what they were meant to do?CONTRIBUTORSLord Peter Hennessy, Professor of Contemporary British History, Queen Mary University of LondonAlison Young, Professor of Public Law, University of OxfordProfessor Tom Ginsburg, University of Chicago Law SchoolSophie Boyron, Senior Lecturer, University of Birmingham Law SchoolDavid S Bell, Professor of French Government and Politics, University of LeedsPresenter: Edward Stourton Producer: Richard Fenton-Smith.
03/07/1729m 11s

Who Speaks for the Workers?

Union membership is in decline whilst structural changes in the economy - including the rise of the so-called gig economy - are putting downward pressure on wages, and creating fertile conditions for exploitation by unscrupulous employers. So who is going to ensure that workers get a fair deal? Sonia Sodha, chief leader writer for the Observer, investigates. Producer: David Edmonds.
26/06/1728m 12s

Brexit: A Tale of Two Cities

A year on from the Brexit referendum, Anand Menon contrasts Wakefield, which voted leave, with Oxford which voted remain, to find out how they feel now.
23/06/1728m 14s

What went wrong with Brazil?

During Brazil's boom years the country's rising economy created a new middle class of gigantic proportions - tens of millions escaping from poverty. Brazil felt confident and even rich enough to bid for the 2016 Olympic Games. But then the economy turned. In the last two years the country has endured its worst recession on record. Rio de Janeiro - the city that hosted the Olympics - is bankrupt. Many communities don't have functioning schools or clinics. Corruption is endemic.David Baker, a regular visitor to Brazil, travels to Rio De Janeiro and São Paulo to find out where it went all wrong for the country, what's holding it back from being a great economic power and what the wider lessons are for developing countries across the world. Producer: Alex Lewis.
19/06/1728m 37s

Germany - Anxious Giant

With angst over European security growing, why is Germany such a reluctant military power? Chris Bowlby discovers how German pacifism has grown since World War Two. The German army, the Bundeswehr, is meant to be a model citizen's army but is poorly funded and treated with suspicion by the population. Some now say the world of Trump, Putin and Brexit demands major change in German thinking, much more spending and Bundeswehr deployments abroad. But most Germans disagree. Could Germany in fact be trying historically something really new - becoming a major power without fighting wars? Producer: Chris Bowlby Editor: Hugh Levinson.
12/06/1728m 19s

Implicit Bias

Do we unconsciously harbour racist and sexist attitudes? Far fewer people are explicitly racist than a couple of decades ago. They won't express or admit to racist sentiments. But what happens beneath the conscious level? In recent years there has been an explosion in research into what's called implicit bias. David Edmonds discovers that big business is taking the idea very seriously. He asks: does it stand up to scrutiny? Producer: Ben Carter.
05/06/1728m 31s

Aid: Something to Boast About?

Why is the UK such a generous global aid donor and should it be? The coalition government legislated to ensure Britain spent 0.7% of its national income on international development and it is now one of the very few countries to meet this United Nations target for such spending. With financial pressures on public services at home remaining acute, Jo Coburn asks why most politicians still support the idea, despite public criticism and press campaigns about wasted money. In her quest, she investigates the history of the UK's support for overseas aid and examines what makes so many politicians willing to risk voters' displeasure on the issue. Producer: Simon Coates.
30/05/1728m 30s

Adventures in Social Mobility

What are the unwritten rules you must learn to get a top job? Hashi Mohamed came to the UK aged nine, as an unaccompanied child refugee, with hardly any English. His academic achievements at school were far from stellar. Yet he now works as a barrister - and so is a member of one of the elite professions that have traditionally been very difficult for people from poor backgrounds to crack. So how did he do it? In a personal take on social mobility, we meet his mentors. These are the people who gave him a few lucky breaks and showed him how to fit in to a world he could barely imagine. But how many people can follow that path? And why should they have to? Producer: Rosamund Jones (Image: Hashi Mohamed. Credit: Shaista Chishty).
11/04/1737m 24s

Detoxifying France's National Front

Has Front National leader Marine Le Pen really detoxified the party founded by her father 40 years ago? Is it a right-wing protest movement or a party seriously preparing for power? Anand Menon, professor of European politics at Kings College London, analyses the process the French call Dédiabolisation. Le Pen has banished the name of the party and even her own surname from election posters and leaflets. Her party is making inroads into socialist and communist fiefdoms in northern and eastern France. Combining nationalism with a message designed to reach out to the left, she speaks up loudly for the have-nots, people who live in the land she calls "the forgotten France." She targets trade unionists, teachers and gay voters. But widening the party's appeal leads to a tricky balancing act. Can Marine Le Pen manage the process of political exorcism without alienating die-hard supporters? Producer: Lucy Ash.
20/03/1728m 43s

Holland's Challenge to Tolerance

Why is liberal, tolerant Netherlands home to one of Europe's most successful anti-immigration, anti-Islamic parties?Geert Wilders' radical right-wing Party For Freedom (PVV) - which wants to close mosques and ban the Qur'an - will be one of the biggest in the new Dutch parliament. So have its voters - whom Wilders once described as "Henk and Ingrid", Holland's Mr and Mrs Average - turned their backs on centuries-old Dutch values? Or do they just understand those values in a different way?Unlike some far-right parties elsewhere in Europe, the PVV has no neo-Nazi roots. It's loud in its support for gay and women's rights. It promotes itself as a strong defender of Holland's Jewish community. Is its ideology just an opportunistic mishmash? Or does it make some sense in a Dutch context? Searching for Henk and Ingrid, Tim Whewell sets off through Dutch "flyover country" - the totally un-photogenic satellite towns and modern villages that tourists, and Holland's own elite, rarely see. He asks if the PVV's platform is just thinly disguised racism. Or has it raised important questions about immigration and multiculturalism that other European countries, including the UK, have been scared to ask? Producer: Helen Grady.
13/03/1728m 25s

How do the SNP sell a second referendum?

Could a second referendum on Scottish independence yield a different result? In September 2014 when Scotland voted against becoming an independent country it seemed like the question had been settled for the foreseeable future. All that changed on June 23rd 2016 when the UK voted to leave the EU. Just a few hours later - before she'd even been to bed - Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was already talking about the prospect of another vote on independence. Ever since she has been ramping up the rhetoric. But what would the SNP's strategy be second time around?BBC Scotland Editor Sarah Smith explores whether the SNP would dare call another vote when there seems little appetite and opinion polls have failed to move as much as Nicola Sturgeon might have expected following the Brexit vote. Sarah talks to strategists and politicians for an insight into how things might be different should a second referendum take place in the near future. She asks whether an independent Scotland would be accepted into the EU and what the future might hold for the first minister should she fail to achieve what she sees as her duty - offering Scotland another chance to gain independence.Presenter: Sarah Smith Producer: Ben Carter.
06/03/1728m 40s

How Voters Decide: Part Two

What makes us change our mind when it comes to elections? We are all swingers now. More voters than ever before are switching party from one election to the next. Tribal loyalties are weakening. The electorate is now willing to vote for the other side.Professor Rosie Campbell from Birkbeck University finds out what prompts voters to shift from one party to another. Quentin Davies had been a Tory MP for decades when he crossed the floor of the house. He believes his views stayed the same - but the world changed around him. Journalist Janet Daley was once too left wing for the Labour Party - until Margaret Thatcher came along. Meanwhile Daryll Pitcher felt as though no party wanted his vote. Today he is a UKIP campaign manager.Does age make us become more right wing? Have the main political parties alienated their core vote? And what does this mean for democracy?Producer: Hannah Sander.
27/02/1728m 35s

How Voters Decide: Part One

What does the story of the Downing Street cat reveal about the way voters decide? We are not taught how to vote. We rely on intuition, snap judgments and class prejudice. We vote for policies that clash wildly with our own views. We keep picking the same party rather than admit we were wrong in the past.Rosie Campbell, Professor of Politics at Birkbeck University, sets out to become a rational voter. Class and religion have a huge impact. But our political views have become less polarised even as the parties have moved further apart. Rosie asks whether discussions of "left" and "right" have become irrelevant. In a neuropolitics lab Rosie undergoes tests to uncover her implicit biases. She learns that hope and anger make her want to vote - but blind her to the truth.Producer: Hannah Sander.
20/02/1728m 56s

Analysis Extra: The Pull of Putin

Why do populist politicians across the West want warmer relations with Russia? Are they just Kremlin agents? Or are they tapping into a growing desire to find common cause with Moscow – and end East-West tension? Tim Whewell travels from Russia to America and across Europe to unravel the many different strands of pro-Moscow thinking, and offer a provocative analysis which challenges conventional thinking about the relationship between Russia and the West.Donald Trump is just one of a new breed of Western politicians who want warmer relations with Vladimir Putin. Most Western experts say that’s dangerous: an aggressive Russia is plotting to divide and weaken the West. But Trump and others seem to have tapped into a popular desire to reduce tension and discover what Moscow and the West have in common. Could Moscow now lead a “Conservative International”, promoting traditional social values and national sovereignty around the world? On the right, some see Russia as a spiritual beacon. Others, both on the right and left, simply think the threat from the East is much exaggerated – and are warming to Russia as a protest against the Western establishment. Maybe it's time for a new way of understanding relations between the old superpowers.
16/02/1737m 34s

Is Talent a Thing?

When hiring people, is the concept of talent so ill-defined as to be useless? Entrepreneur and author Margaret Heffernan thinks so and explores what characteristics recruiters might want to look for instead. She argues that we need something new, as good grades and top degrees have proved no guarantee of high performance in the workplace. She talks to the recent head of HR (or "people operations") at Google, the pioneer of the concept of a "growth mindset", and the academic who found people's intelligence increased over the course of the 20th century. She also hears about other measures like "grit", "cultural fit" and how to interview people to find the candidate who is best for the job and the company, rather than the one you like. Producer: Arlene Gregorius.
13/02/1728m 36s

How Not to Do It

Jacqui Smith, the former Labour home secretary, investigates why government policies fail, focusing on one of her party's most cherished reforms.Indeterminate sentences for public protection (IPPs) were devised by David Blunkett and the Home Office to reassure voters that those convicted of serious violent and sexual offences would stay in prison until they could show by their changed behaviour that they could safely be released.But much larger numbers of offenders received the sentences than had been expected and, as the prison population rose, jails struggled to provide the facilities IPP prisoners needed to show that they had reformed. The new sentencing structure, first passed in 2003, had to be drastically changed by Labour in 2008 and finally to be repealed by the coalition four years after that.Jacqui Smith discovers the reasons why the change in sentencing was embarked upon, why its potential flaws weren't detected before its introduction and why the policy was maintained even as problems mounted. She considers the difficult legacy of IPPs - for those still in prison and for politicians devising shiny new initiatives in other fields of government.Among those taking part: David Blunkett, Kenneth Clarke, Lord Judge, Professor Nick Hardwick.Producer: Simon Coates.
06/02/1728m 30s

Atom Man

The journey of an American 'cold warrior' from nuclear deterrence to nuclear disarmament. Former US Secretary of Defence William J Perry has spent his entire seven-decade career on the nuclear brink. A brilliant mathematician, he became involved in the development of weapons-related technology in the aftermath of World War II. As an analyst working at the heart of the Cuban Missile Crisis, he thought each day could be "my last day on earth." He was undersecretary for defence under President Carter in the 1970s, and secretary for defence under President Clinton in the 1990s. He arranged the dismantling of thousands of nuclear weapons in former Soviet republics after the collapse of the USSR, used strategic diplomacy with nuclear nations to prevent escalation, and argued - unsuccessfully - against the NATO expansion that Russia continues to find so threatening.Now Secretary Perry is worried. Very worried. President Trump and President Putin are both ramping up their bellicose rhetoric. Mr Perry sees an increasing risk of nuclear conflagration in South Asia and the Korean peninsula, and in the face of an on-going terrorism threat, he is concerned unsecured nuclear materials could fall into the wrong hands. "Today, the danger of some sort of nuclear catastrophe is greater than it was during the Cold War and most people are blissfully unaware of this danger," he argues. What can be done? In a challenging interview with Edward Stourton, Secretary Perry reflects on the nuclear nightmare, and lays out his formula for nuclear security in our changing world. Producer: Linda Pressly(Image: Dr William Perry gives a lecture at Stanford University about the history of nuclear weapons. Credit: Light at 11b).
30/01/1728m 34s

Hospital Trust?

Is public affection for the NHS preventing it from becoming fit for the future? Polling suggests that despite many complaints about the public health service, it is regarded as a much-loved and uniquely British institution. That's why for decades, it has been an article of faith among politicians that closing down hospitals or major medical services is close to electoral suicide. Received wisdom is that members of the public are dogmatically attached to their local hospitals. But could our attachment be more than just dogma? And what happens when politicians and professionals believe they know what needs to change - but the public come to an altogether different answer? Amid a time of rising demand, rising costs, and changing priorities, Sonia Sodha of The Observer explores the subtle relationship between public opinion and healthcare management. Producer: Gemma Newby.
23/01/1728m 50s

Brexit: What Europe Wants

How political forces in other countries will shape any future UK-EU deal.As a younger man, Anand Menon spent a care-free summer Inter-railing around Europe. Some decades later, and now a professor of European politics, he's taking to the rails again - this time with a more specific purpose. While British ministers squabble over what they want for a post-Brexit UK, less attention is paid to the other 27 countries in the negotiations. Each can veto any long-term deal between Britain and the European Union. And each, critically, has its own politics to worry about. Professor Menon visits four European countries where politicians will face their electorates next year. What forces will decide their political survival? And how will those forces shape the EU's future relationship with the UK?Producer: Simon Maybin.
14/11/1628m 37s

How Did We Save the Ozone Layer?

On 30 June this year, a study was released in one of the world's top scientific journals. It explained how a group of scientists who had been measuring the amount of ozone in the stratosphere had made a startling observation: the hole in the ozone layer had shrunk. Here, they said, was the first clear evidence that the ozone layer had begun to heal. So how did this happen?Helena Merriman tells a story that involves dogged scientific endeavour, the burgeoning green movement of the 1980s and the signing of what has been described as the most successful treaty ever created. Producers: Lucy Proctor and Hannah Sander.
07/11/1628m 25s

Trusting Inmates

Should we place more trust in prisoners to help them change their lives? "Trust is the only thing that changes people," says Professor Alison Liebling, the director of the Prisons Research Centre at the University of Cambridge. But, asks Lucy Ash, how can we encourage trust in prisons that are overcrowded, often understaffed, and blighted by rising rates of violence? Prisoners are locked up because they broke trust, and on the wings distrust, rather than trust, is an essential survival skill. And yet Professor Liebling's latest evidence surprisingly shows that ultimately it is only staff-prisoner relationships built on trust that ensure better outcomes. "Values grow virtues", she argues. Treating prisoners with the same values as other people - dignity, respect, trust - will help them turn their lives around. Producer: Arlene Gregorius(Image: A knife with a blunted point, chained to a work surface. Credit: Rene Hut, of the Dutch Ministry of Justice).
31/10/1628m 40s

The Myth of Mobs

In popular imagination, being in a crowd makes people scary and irrational. But is this true? In this edition of Analysis, David Edmonds asks social psychologists - including a leading expert on groups, Steve Reicher - about the psychology of crowds. This is far more than merely a theoretical matter. It has profound implications for how we police crowds.
24/10/1628m 14s

Brexit and Northern Ireland

Is the island of Ireland where Brexit will matter most? Edward Stourton visits Londonderry, right on the Irish border, to explore what's at stake as the UK leaves the EU. Some locals fear the border across Ireland - as the EU's new external border - will harden, causing great practical and economic difficulty and even threatening the Northern Ireland peace process. Others say change the will matter far less, and that peace is now guaranteed. While people in Derry ask anxious questions, we'll hear too how policy makers in London and Dublin face a particular challenge in making Brexit work. Producer: Chris Bowlby.
17/10/1628m 24s


Can the process of gentrification be controlled? It is often hailed as a sign of social and economic progress. Places which were originally poor and downtrodden are transformed into prosperous and vibrant neighbourhoods. The phenomenon applies to large swathes of London and other cities across the country. David Baker asks whether gentrifying urban areas can retain their diversity and vibrancy. Is there a danger that in the latter stages of gentrification these places become the preserve of the very wealthy, losing much of their original character in the process? What tools are available to urban planners, local and national politicians to avoid this happening? Are there any lessons to be learned from cities in Europe and North America? Is there a new model of urban development emerging or will the British obsession with owning bricks and mortar define the way places become gentrified? Producer: Peter Snowdon.
10/10/1628m 17s

Breaking Promises

Paul Johnson, director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies, asks if the time has come for the government to break pledges made to pensioners. He charts how the average income of senior citizens has risen and is now higher than that of the rest of the population. "We are in a position we never intended," he says. "One generation has lucked out and generations coming after are not only doing much worse, but paying for the older generation." He asks whether the government can and should sustain the "triple lock" which makes the state pension rise much faster than other benefits. And he argues that the inequality between generations is now entrenching inequality within generations. Producer: Helen GradyInterviewees: Torsten Bell, the Resolution Foundation Angus Hanton, the Intergenerational Foundation Baroness Ros Altmann, former pensions minister John Kay, economist Joanne Segars, Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association Baroness Onora O'Neill, philosopher Frances O'Grady, Trades Union Congress Ben Page, Ipsos MORI.
03/10/1628m 18s

Tearing Up the Politics Textbook

British politics has been going through a period of rapid and remarkable change. That's a headache for the politicians and for the voters. But spare a thought also for politics professors like Rosie Campbell of Birkbeck, University of London. Following the results of the 2015 election and the EU referendum, she ask whether it's time for her and her colleagues to bin their old lecture notes and start afresh. How should we understand this new landscape where old assumptions about the dominance of two mainstream class-based parties and the crucial role of a few swing seats have become outdated? And what should go in the new politics textbooks?Producer: Rob Walker.
26/09/1628m 3s

How Low Can Rates Go?

Martin Wolf, Chief Economic Commentator of the Financial Times, examines how policymakers are testing the norms of economic life as they seek solutions to slow growth. The payment of interest goes back to the Babylonians. Today, the business of banking is based on paying savers and charging borrowers for money. Negative interest rates, paying banks for holding our funds, violates this established norm. Yet, five central banks, which together oversee a quarter of the world's economy, have opted to impose negative rates on the commercial banks that must use their services. The aim of this unconventional policy is to convince people to spend and invest rather save. The results so far have been mixed. So might central banks be running out of options to boost economic growth, nearly ten years after the start of the last financial crisis? Martin Wolf talks with economists and central bankers, past and present, about why ideas once thought utterly shocking, such as "helicopter money" and a the abolition of cash, are being openly considered. How might such policies affect the way people spend and save in the future? And how low can interest rates go? Producer: Sandra Kanthal.
25/07/1642m 17s

A Subversive History of School Reform

Change, change, change - conventional wisdom is that the classroom is the site of an endless set of reforms, a constant stream of White Papers and directives that promise 'revolution' and sudden changes in direction. Yet is the real story of school reform really one of continuity? Professor Alison Wolf of King's College London explores the post-war history of school reform in England. Speaking to former secretaries of state, historians, and teachers, she explores the forces and events that have shaped schools. She argues that real changes have been surprisingly few and that despite a great deal of fiery rhetoric, they have generally continued across party lines. And she asks if that means that governments have perhaps been listening to what parents genuinely want? Producer: Gemma Newby.
18/07/1628m 28s

Money for Nothing

Should the state pay everyone a Universal Basic Income? Sonia Sodha finds out why the idea is winning support from an unlikely alliance of leftists and libertarians. Producer: Helen Grady.
11/07/1628m 1s

Obama's World

Politico foreign correspondent Nahal Toosi examines the international record of President Obama's eight years in office and tries to discern the governing principles behind his foreign policy. The president sought to avoid costly overseas interventions - yet his critics allege that he has allowed rival powers like Russia and China to flex their muscles and threaten American interests. And he has been condemned for his signature foreign policy achievements, like rapprochements with Iran and Cuba. With interviews gathered in Europe, the Middle East and in Washington DC, Nahal examines the president's decisions to ask if there is such a thing as an "Obama Doctrine". Producer: Lucy Proctor.
04/07/1628m 6s

The Charitable Impulse

Charity is big business. In the UK, over £9 billion is donated to charitable institutions each year. But fundraising can also be controversial as recent news stories about expensive electricity tariffs, elderly donors receiving incessant requests for donations and the tactics of some "chuggers" have confirmed.So studies in experimental psychology that reveal which approaches persuade people to be more generous are timely and could offer charities a neat way to raise more money. David Edmonds explores the results of this research - including findings published for the first time. He asks if, by adopting techniques already used by the marketing and advertising industries, charities could transform their fortunes - but at what cost?Producer Simon Coates.
27/06/1628m 17s

Marxism Today

Journalist Robin Aitken comes from a conservative political viewpoint to a man who has inspired mass movements on the left: Karl Marx. Robin who was a BBC reporter for 25 years thinks Marx was always in the background discourse of politics, an influence he partly feared and didn't fully understand. He takes a walk through central London in the footsteps of the great revolutionary. And in conversation with the likes of Paul Mason, Judith Orr, Marc Stears and Peter Hitchens he tries to find out what political and economic influence Marx retains today. Producer: Nina Robinson.
20/06/1628m 16s

The New Young Fogeys

Young people today drink and smoke much less than previous generations. The rates of teenage pregnancy and youth crime have fallen dramatically. New Statesman editor Jason Cowley talks to experts to find out what is shaping the attitudes and choices of young people today. He grew up in Harlow in Essex during a time of particular social unrest. He returns to his former sixth-form college where he meets a group of students who are markedly more conformist and disciplined than his generation, but more anxious too. So what accounts for this change in young people's behaviour? Is it economic pressures, government policy or the fear of transgressors being shamed on social media? Will we continue to see the rise of a generation of New Young Fogeys? Producer: Katie Inman.
13/06/1628m 25s

Silicon Valley Values

David Baker explores the identity and values of Silicon Valley - and what they mean for the rest of us. He talks to entrepreneurs, investors, academics and activists about how those values are permeating the world and what to do when they clash with other priorities down on the ground. Producer: Peter Snowdon.
06/06/1628m 10s

Protectionism in the USA

Edward Stourton examines America's long history of resistance to free trade, and asks why it has again become such a potent political force. Donald Trump's most consistent policy has been opposition to free trade agreements which he sees as unfair, particularly with China. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders has been equally opposed, if for different reasons, while Hillary Clinton has had to tack away from her previous support for free trade pacts. Edward looks back to debates from the 19th century to the 1990s to shed new light on these forces. And he asks whether the protectionist impulse is a natural reaction to globalisation's wrenching changes. Producer: Smita Patel.
30/05/1628m 17s

Beyond Binary

In communities around the globe, genderqueer, gender-variant and gender-fluid people are rejecting the categories of male and female, and attempting to re-define gender identity. Linda Pressly asks if being non-binary breaks the last identity taboo, and explores the challenges it creates for the law, society and conventional concepts about the very nature of gender. Producer: Lucy Proctor (Photo: Pips Bunce, the global head of Fixed Income & Derivatives IT engineering at Credit Suisse, who identifies as gender-fluid, or gender-variant).
23/05/1628m 26s

Free Speech 1 - Oxygen of Freedom

Timothy Garton Ash introduces the subject of freedom of speech and why it is more important than ever in today's internet-connected world. Professor Garton Ash sets out the arguments for why we need free speech, including for the sake of diversity, good governance and the search for truth. He argues that as smartphones and the web change our communications, we need a set of principles which govern free speech more than ever as this essential human right comes under attack. Drawing on research behind his book on the subject, he identifies three main threats. The first is what he calls the heckler's veto: if you shout loudly enough you can restrict free speech. The second is the offensiveness veto: if you cry 'I'm offended' you can restrict free speech. The third is the assassin's veto: if you say that, we will kill you. Produced by Nina Robinson
21/04/1614m 8s

Free Speech 2 - I'm Offended

Timothy Garton Ash examines how free speech is being eroded in the place it should be most secure: in universities. He examines the activist practise known as 'no platforming'. It means that one group of students is being prevented from hearing someone they do want to hear, because another group of students doesn't want that voice to be heard. Feminists Julie Bindel and Germaine Greer were both 'no platformed' due to their views on transgender people. Professor Garton Ash argues that the practice goes directly against a core principle of free speech, which is that all views - even offensive ones - must be robustly challenged in well-informed debate and not censored by those who cry 'I'm offended'.Producer: Nina Robinson
21/04/1614m 8s

Free Speech 3 - Respect Me, Respect My Religion

Timothy Garton Ash asks if religion is a special case where freedom of speech should be curtailed. He asks how we can reconcile belief in an absolute revealed truth with the post-Enlightenment freedom to question everything, including religious faith. He proposes that the principle we should adopt is to "respect the believer but not necessarily the content of the belief". Will this be enough to bridge the gap? Producer: Nina Robinson
21/04/1614m 10s

Free Speech 4 - Media We Need

Timothy Garton Ash asks whether we have the media we need to really exercise our right to freedom of expression? He examines the diversity of voices across the media landscape and wonders whether the ownership structure of Britain's media industry is conducive to free speech. Are we able to understand what is happening in our government so we can exercise clear judgment on public policy? Are we being told the Truth with a capital T? With the advent of the internet, there is a plethora of ways in which we are now communicating, especially using social media networks like Facebook. But is the algorithm used for news feeds showing us only what we want to see, rather than what we need to see? Producer: Nina Robinson
21/04/1614m 29s

Free Speech 5 - Big Brother is Watching

It is often said that our right to free speech is balanced by our right to privacy. Timothy Garton Ash asks how we should strike the right balance between the two. In a world where we are sharing more of our lives online than ever before, should we accept that our privacy rights are no longer as important? Producer: Nina Robinson
21/04/1614m 12s

The Deobandis: Part 2

In part two of The Deobandis, the BBC's former Pakistan correspondent Owen Bennett Jones reveals a secret history of Jihadist propagation in Britain. This follows the BBC's discovery of an archive of Pakistani Jihadist publications, which report in detail the links some British Deobandi scholars have with militant organisations in Pakistan. Among the revelations are details of a lecture tour of Britain by Masood Azhar - a prominent Pakistani militant operating in Kashmir. He toured the UK in the early 1990s, spreading the word of Jihad to recruit fighters, raise funds and build links which would aid young Britons going abroad to fight Jihad decades later.The programme also explores intra-Muslim sectarianism in Britain, and discovers how some senior Deobandi leaders have links to the proscribed organisation Sipah-e-Sahaba, a militant anti-Shia political party formed in Pakistan in the 1980s.But how widespread and representative is this sympathy with militancy? The programme explores the current battle for control in some British mosques, speaking to British Deobandi Muslims pushing back against the infiltration of Pakistani religious politics in British life. As one campaigner says, this is 'the battle for the soul of Islam' and the 'silent majority' must speak out - but can moderate Muslims build the institutional power they need to really enforce change?CONTRIBUTORS INCLUDE: Aimen Dean - former member of Al Qaeda and former MI5 operativeRafaello Pantucci - Director in International Security Studies, RUSIMufti Mohammed Amin Pandor Toaha Qureshi MBE - Trustee of Aalimi Majlise Tahaffuze Khatme Nubuwwat (Stockwell, London)Aamer Anwar - human rights lawyerProducers: Richard Fenton-Smith & Sajid Iqbal Researcher: Holly Topham
14/04/1642m 7s

The Deobandis: Part 1

The Deobandis are virtually unknown to most British people, yet their influence is huge. As the largest Islamic group in the UK, they control over 40% of mosques and have a near monopoly on Islamic seminaries, which propagate a back-to-basics, orthodox interpretation of Islam. Founded in a town called Deoband in 19th Century India, it's a relatively new tradition within the Islamic faith, but has spread throughout the world, with the UK being a key centre. Migrants from India and Pakistan brought Deobandi Islam to the UK during the 1960s and 1970s, setting up mosques and madrassas in the mill towns of Bury and Dewsbury, from which a national network grew. The Deobandi movement is large and diverse: from the quietest and strictly non-violent missionary group the Tablighi Jamaat to the armed sectarian and jihadist groups of Pakistan. The BBC's former Pakistan correspondent Owen Bennett Jones investigates which strands of Deobandi opinion have influence in the UK, speaking to people from within the British Deobandi community, from scholars to missionaries to madrassa students. In the first of two programmes he explores claims that Deobandi Islam is intentionally isolationist and that its strict beliefs put it at odds with mainstream British culture, leaving the community segregated from wider British society. Though if true, is that really the fault of Deobandi Muslims? Producers: Richard Fenton-Smith & Sajid Iqbal Researcher: Holly Topham
14/04/1642m 0s

The Philby Tape

How did notorious traitor Kim Philby manage to infiltrate MI6 and send its most sensitive secrets to the Soviets? Now, for the first time, we can hear his account in a once secret tape the BBC has unearthed. It is a story of documents smuggled, Cold War operations betrayed, and Philby’s ability to evade detection by simply denying everything. BBC Security Correspondent Gordon Corera reveals the full story.
04/04/1628m 5s

Corporate Amnesia

Phil Tinline finds out what happens when institutions lose their memory and how they can best capture and share the lessons of the past.
21/03/1628m 25s

The End of Free

Andrew Brown of The Guardian asks if the dramatic rise of ad-blocking software will undermine the commercial model behind most free news on the internet. He finds an industry in deep concern over the "Ad-blockalypse" - with these new programmes meaning that advertisers may refuse to continue to subsidise online news providers if consumers are now no longer seeing their online adverts. Can the industry persuade people to pay for what was previously available at no charge? And if not, can commercial online news services survive? Producer: Katie Inman.
14/03/1628m 1s

Power to the People?

Will devolution bring back the power to England's cities and regions that they once had? And, if so, will all local authorities fare equally? Michael Robinson explores the history of local government and asks if old freedoms are now set to return under the new deal promised by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. Producer : Rosamund Jones.
07/03/1628m 23s

Labour and the Bomb

Jeremy Corbyn's opposition to the renewal of Britain's nuclear deterrent has opened up divisions within the Labour Party that run very deep. The issue will come to a head when Parliament votes on whether to replace the Trident weapons system, following a recommendation from the Government. While Labour formally reviews its position, will Corbyn be able avoid a damaging split that beset the party in the 1980s?It was a Labour government which decided to make Britain a nuclear power. "We've got to have this thing, whatever it costs. We've got to have a bloody Union Jack on top of it," declared Ernest Bevin, Foreign Secretary in the postwar Labour government. Ever since that decision in 1946, the question of whether to keep 'the bomb' has divided the party between those who believe it is the cornerstone of Britain's defence policy within NATO and others who have long campaigned to rid the world of nuclear weapons. Twice before in Opposition the party has opted for unilateral disarmament, only for the policy to be reversed after a period of acrimonious debate and electoral defeat. In this programme, the veteran political reporter John Sergeant examines Labour's troubled relationship with the bomb. Former party leader Neil Kinnock and other senior figures reflect on how the party discarded unilateralism in the late 1980s and offer advice on what lessons can be learned. Can Jeremy Corbyn overcome opposition with the Parliamentary Labour Party to changing the official policy of multilateral disarmament? Does his recent suggestion of maintaining submarines without nuclear missiles satisfy those who want Britain to disarm come what may? Producer: Peter Snowdon.
27/02/1628m 26s

Multiculturalism: Newham v Leicester

How are councils in two of the UK's most multicultural places managing diversity? Back in the 1970s, the Labour party developed a model of working with ethnic minority and faith community groups to help new immigrants to Britain settle in. Presenter Sonia Sodha, a British Asian journalist, explores how this has worked in Leicester, a city often held up as a beacon of diversity. Has it led to more integration - or less? And does a radical new approach being trialled in Newham - the most diverse place in Britain - offer any lessons?Sonia Sodha is chief leader writer of The Observer and a former Labour party aide.
22/02/1628m 14s


Why does inheritance arouse such powerful emotions? Family, death and money make for gripping stories - just ask Tolstoy, Austen or Dickens - but our attitudes also reflect the way we feel about society, the state, and even ourselves. Discussions tend to dissolve into rows about levels of tax but in this programme Jo Fidgen explores the values and intuitions that underpin our strength of feeling. Producer: Joe Kent.
15/02/1627m 56s

Brexit: The Irish Question

If the UK leaves the EU, what happens on the island of Ireland? Its people would be living on either side of an EU border. In this edition of Analysis, Edward Stourton explores an aspect of the Brexit debate that few elsewhere in the UK may have thought about, but which raises urgent questions. Would there be a new opportunities, with a new version of the old Anglo-Irish special relationship? Or could a divisive border and economic harm revive dangerous tensions? Producer: Chris Bowlby Editor: Hugh Levinson.
08/02/1627m 48s

Space Wars, Space Peace

Chris Bowlby explores the shifting balance between two visions of outer space - as a place of harmony and as a zone of growing international tension. We may think war in space is a scenario dreamed up by Hollywood. But the world's top military minds now believe future wars will be fought both on Earth - and above it. Chris visits an arms sales fair, and hears how space now affects everything from how armies move, to how nuclear deterrence works. Could crucial satellites he hacked in an act of aggression, might space debris trigger a war? Why is China taking space security so seriously? And can the international cooperation which put astronaut Tim Peake into space survive? Producer: Chris Bowlby Editor: Hugh Levinson.
01/02/1628m 19s

Tomas Sedlacek: The Economics of Good and Evil

What have the Book of Genesis and the movie Fight Club got to do with GDP? According to the radical Czech economist, Tomas Sedlacek, quite a lot. He believes notions of sin and belief recorded in ancient texts should influence our thinking about the contemporary economy - and he describes the biblical story of the 7 fat cows and 7 lean cows as "the first macro-economic forecast". He argues passionately that we need to make the economy work for us, rather than us working for the state of the economy. And he condemns the way most nations have got themselves hooked on debt, in a never-ending cycle. Evan Davis interviewed Sedlacek,at University College London as part of the 100th anniversary celebrations for the School of Slavonic and East European Studies.Producer: Hugh Levinson.
25/01/1627m 59s

Correspondents' Look Ahead: 2016

Who and what will be making the global headlines in 2016? Owen Bennett-Jones and leading BBC correspondents discuss and give their predictions about what will shape the world in the year ahead and assess its likely impact on the United Kingdom. Owen is joined by Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet who has spent the year reporting from across the globe. North America Editor Jon Sopel looks ahead to next year's US Presidential election. Who does he think will win the race for the White House? Joining them are the BBC's most experienced diplomatic correspondents, James Robbins and Bridget Kendall. Last year she predicted that 2015 would be a year of shocking terrorist activities in Europe and a big year for the Pope. What will she and the other correspondents predict for 2016? Producer: Jim Frank
01/01/1647m 11s

Will They Always Hate Us?

The Middle East conflict and other long-running international disputes have so far proved incapable of resolution by war or traditional diplomacy. So are the parties fated always to hate each other? Or might there be another approach that could be worth trying?David Edmonds explores new ideas that psychologists are testing which could offer a way of tackling seemingly intractable disputes. These include understanding the real importance of sacred sites and how to negotiate about them, how to achieve empathy with opponents and the importance of how different sides understand historical events and how these then lastingly shape how different groups view each other.The programme also hears from those with direct experience of conflict resolution and negotiation to understand how they react to what the latest research has to say. These include Senator George Mitchell, who was famously involved in talks over both Northern Ireland and the Middle East, and Jonathan Powell, Tony Blair's former chief of staff Jonathan Powell, author of "Talking with Terrorists".Producer Simon Coates.
09/11/1528m 15s

Currencies and Countries

Looking at the UK, reunified Germany and the European Union, the former Conservative Cabinet Minister John Redwood MP asks how successful a currency union can be without political union behind it. After the travails of the eurozone in the wake of Irish, Portuguese, Spanish and - above all - Greek woes, John Redwood argues that the pressure is growing on the countries which use the euro to move closer politically. But not everyone in those countries agrees, as he discovers. Meanwhile, in the UK, leading Scottish Nationalists continue to make the argument for Scotland to become independent while retaining the pound. But how sustainable is this position? And what are the lessons of the decision by the German government to bring together the old East and West using a currency union that valued both countries' currencies at the same rate despite a huge gap in the productivity between the two? Producer: Simon Coates.
02/11/1528m 10s

Killing Cows

Carnivore and steak-lover Jo Fidgen attempts to work out whether killing cows for food can be morally justifiedMany meat eaters believe animal suffering should be avoided. They buy higher welfare products or free range eggs and hope the animal they plan to eat has had a good life and a painless death. But if animal suffering matters, surely animal death does too?Omnivorous Jo Fidgen explores the ethics of killing cows for food. She discusses cow psychology, fart spray and cannibalism with leading philosophers like Peter Singer and Jeff MacMahan. And she tests her own intuitions about meat eating as she looks a bullock in the eye before picking up some of his his minced and butchered body a few weeks later. And eating it.While on this ethical journey Jo confronts big questions about where morals come from, what is bad about killing humans and how we decide what beings are worthy of our moral attention.Producer: Lucy Proctor.
26/10/1528m 17s

Will George Be King?

Edward Stourton examines the long-term prospects for the British monarchy as an avowed republican becomes leader of the opposition. At least eighty per cent of the population affirm their belief in the institution, opinion polls suggest - a figure that has remained remarkably constant since the Queen, now the longest serving monarch, ascended to the throne. But how can we be sure that this support and the institutions that underpin the monarchy will remain by the time her great-grandson becomes King?Within two or three generations the constitutional make-up of Britain could look very different. Could the monarchy withstand a series of upheavals such as the disestablishment of the Church of England, Scottish independence, a weakening of Britain's links with the Commonwealth and reform of the House of Lords (along with the remnants of the hereditary principle)? What if the institutional foundations on which the monarchy rests change irrevocably or disappear altogether? By the time Prince George is likely to become King, in the latter half of this century, social attitudes may have changed considerably. Is it safe to assume that the monarchy will survive? And what will attitudes towards this institution say about wider changes across British society?Producer: Peter Snowdon.
19/10/1528m 15s

Scotland's Radical Land Reform

In June the Scottish Government introduced radical proposals for land reform. Local communities would gain a new right to ask the government to force a landowner to sell their land if they are deemed a barrier to sustainable development. The plan caused uproar amongst landowners. David Cameron's father-in-law, Lord Astor, claimed the SNP was staging a Mugabe-style land grab. Yet campaigners in the growing cross-party movement for reform see this as just the start of a generational mission to break up the most unequal pattern of land ownership in the developed world. Is this an attack on the right of individuals to hold on to their property - or a much-needed step towards sustainable development?Euan McIlwraith asks why so few people own so much of Scotland, whether it matters, and how you can legitimately diversify ownership in a 21st century liberal democracy.Producer: Liza Grieg.(Image: The Scottish Highlands. Credit: Shutterstock)
12/10/1528m 18s

The Iran-Iraq War's Legacy

Lyse Doucet asks how far the Middle East today is defined by the legacy of the Iran-Iraq war? The conflict - the longest convention war of the 20th century- exposed deep fault lines in a region still shattered by violence. Thirty five years after it began, Iraq has imploded. Syria too. And Iran is extending its influence. Lyse retells the story of the war, then is joined by a panel of guests to ask if the events of three decades ago can help us understand what's going on in the Middle East today? Guests: Professor Mansour Farhang : Former Ambassador to UN of the Islamic Republic of Iran Sinan Antoon: Iraqi poet and novelist Dr Haider al-Safi: BBC Arabic service Professor Ali Ansari: Historian and Director of the Institute for Iranian Studies, St Andrews UniversityProducers: Mike Gallagher and Rozita Riazati.
05/10/1528m 11s

Can We Learn to Live with Nuclear Power?

The Fukushima disaster made many people oppose nuclear power. Michael Blastland asks what it would take to change their minds. In 2011, following a devastating tsunami, Japan's Fukushima nuclear power station went into meltdown, leaking radiation. It was the most serious nuclear accident since Chernobyl. It appeared to send the nuclear power industry into retreat - and not just in Japan. Other nations had second thoughts too. Germany decided to phase out its nuclear reactors altogether. But now Japan has resumed nuclear power generation. At the heart of the 'nuclear wobble' of 2011 is the question of risk. Attitudes to, and understanding of, risk vary surprisingly between nations and cultures. But after one of the most shocking incidents in nuclear power's history, will we be able to cope with our fears? In other words, can we learn to live with nuclear power? Producers: Ruth Alexander and Smita Patel.
28/09/1527m 49s

What's Housing Benefit For?

Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, asks why Britain spends such vast sums on Housing Benefit - now £25 billion. He examines the history of these payments and how government funding for house-building has gradually changed into subsidies for rents, especially to private landlords. 40% of tenants in private housing receive Housing Benefit. Critics argue that these have distorted the market and failed to address the fundamental shortage of housing supply. Paul asks how we got here and whether anything can change.Producer: Adam Bowen.
21/09/1528m 21s

Free Movement: Britain's Burning EU debate

Freedom of movement will be a key battleground in Britain's crucial EU debate. It gives EU citizens the right to live and work anywhere in the union and is praised by supporters as boosting prosperity. But critics say it has created unsustainable waves of mass migration and must be restricted. So where does this policy actually come from, and what does it mean in practice? Sonia Sodha discovers why it has become such a crucial issue, and what's at stake as Britain decides its European future.Producer: Chris Bowlby Editor: Hugh Levinson(Photo credit: Getty Images)
20/07/1527m 55s


Who are "the people" - and who's keeping power from them? Eliane Glaser explores how across Europe and beyond, populist movements are claiming they can to put back politicians in touch with voters and reinvigorate democracy from the grassroots. From UKIP's millions of voters to the passionately engaged Scottish referendum, from the rise of nationalist parties in northern Europe to burgeoning left-wing movements like Syriza and Podemos further south, traditional politicians are feeling the public's wrath. But how much of the crowd-pleasing rhetoric can be taken at face value - and do politicians really now think of themselves as ordinary people? Contributors: Professor PAUL TAGGART, University of Sussex Professor VERNON BOGDANOR, King's College London DOUGLAS CARSWELL, UKIP MP for Clacton SIRIO CANOS, Podemos PETER OBORNE, journalist and author Professor CAS MUDDE, University of GeorgiaProducer: Polly Hope.(Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images. Picture shows a woman holding a placard at a demonstration on 5th July 2015)
13/07/1528m 14s

Why do American police kill so many black men?

Recent high profile cases of unarmed black men dying at the hands of the US police have sparked outrage, protests and civil unrest in several American cities. The deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Walter Scott and Freddie Gray are - some claim - evidence of long-standing problems with police racism and excessive violence. But what do we really know about what's happening? Helena Merriman explores the issues of racism, bias and police use of force. And the head of President Obama's taskforce on police reform, Charles Ramsey, tells us that fixing the problem will involve much more than just fixing the police.(Photo copyright: Reuters)
06/07/1527m 46s

Samuel Scheffler on the Afterlife

The American philosopher Samuel Scheffler reveals a hidden force which motivates our actions: our belief in the continuation of humanity after our deaths. In an interview with Edward Stourton, plus a Q&A from an audience at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Scheffler proposes thought experiments which expose the importance of this conception of the afterlife. It is, he argues, this continued existence of the human race in general - and not just of our own descendants - which gives meaning and purpose to much of our lives. With references to Woody Allen, National Porn Shops and Martin Luther. Scheffler is professor of philosophy and law at New York University. Producer: David Edmonds.
29/06/1528m 3s

Is it Time for the Internet to Grow Up?

In its short lifetime, the world wide web has raised giants and monsters. It's transformed sections of the economy, from retail to publishing and the music industry. It has had a profound effect on journalism and the transmission of ideas. It has facilitated social networks which have penetrated deep into the private lives of millions of people around the world. It has even been held responsible for far-reaching political upheavals like the Arab Spring.Some internet evangelists compare the web to the Wild West, a territory full of exciting opportunity that will lose its character and potential if it's brought under the rule of law. Others insist that the web is too disruptive to established institutions and practices and must be tamed. So, what do we want from the next 25 years of the internet? And how can we go about getting it?Producer: Luke Mulhall.
26/06/1528m 8s

How Gay Became OK

Why have British attitudes towards homosexuality changed so far and so fast? Less than 50 years ago, sex between men was a criminal act. Now they can marry. It's not just the law that has changed: we have. Surveys suggest that public opinion about homosexuality has undergone a dramatic shift over the same period. Jo Fidgen asks what drives this kind of change in collective attitudes. Producer: Chloe Hadjimatheou.
22/06/1528m 21s

Making Invisibles Visible

The UK is the world's second largest exporter of services - and has been for some time. The surplus generated by these "invisibles" - everything from banking to public relations to whizzy new phone apps - helps balance the country's stubbornly high deficit in "visibles" or things.Yet politicians talk continually about the need to rebalance the economy away from services. Linda Yueh finds this puzzling. As with other advanced economies, services comprise a very large proportion of our output - around three-quarters of the economy - and yet we spend a great deal of time worrying about a far smaller and long declining part of it: manufacturing.It is understandable to want to reduce our deficit in goods, says Linda. But while we try to do that, she argues, we should also try to understand more about the reasons for our success in services - and how to maintain and augment it. In this edition of "Analysis", she finds out why it is difficult to make invisibles visible and why it is important for our future growth and wealth that we do.Along the way, she discovers how innovation in services is distinctive, why services firms invest heavily in their staff and why the popular enthusiasm for bashing bankers is misguided. We have to start loving the people we hate, Linda argues. And by making the invisible sector more visible, she says, we can make that process easier and more credible.Producer: Simon Coates.
15/06/1528m 15s

Is the Pope a Communist?

Pope Francis' critique of modern economics has made him an icon for the Left and prompted claims that he is a Communist. The leader of 1.2 billion Catholics has called capitalism, at best, a source of inequality and, at worst, a killer.Edward Stourton examines the Pope's critique of the free market system and explores the origins of his thinking in Latin America and in Catholic Social Teaching. Is Pope Francis, as his critics claim, dragging his church to the Left and promoting a Marxist branch of liberation theology? And what does his insistence on seeing the world through the eyes of the poor mean for modern notions of charity?We hear from the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols; corporate lawyer turned Catholic priest, Fr Augusto Zampini Davies; Chief Economist at The Heritage Foundation (a free market think tank based in Washington), Stephen Moore; Professor or Finance, Public Policy and Ethics at St Mary's University, Twickenham and Programme Director at the Institute for Economic Affairs, Philip Booth; Labour Peer Maurice Glasman; and Austen Ivereigh, author of The Great Reformer - Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope.Producer: Helen GradyPhoto Credit: Tim Widden.
08/06/1528m 22s

Ritual Sexual Abuse: The Anatomy of a Panic (Part 2)

David Aaronovitch of The Times traces the powerful intellectual influences behind what he sees as one of the most important cultural shifts of the past 40 years: from a society in which accusations of sexual abuse were wrongly ignored to one in which the falsely accused were crushed by a system where the mantra was "victims must be believed".In the second of two programmes, Aaronovitch re-examines the role played by unproven psychoanalytic theories which, from the 1980s, spread from the world of therapists in Canada and the USA to social work, medicine and then to law enforcement in Britain. The programme explores the parallels between the belief in ritual abuse with some of the claims being made today about VIP paedophile rings and group murder. Some of the mistakes of the past - such as the false accusations made against parents in the Orkneys and Rochdale of satanic abuse - have been acknowledged. But, Aaronovitch argues, without a profound understanding of how and why such moral panics arise we are unlikely to avoid similar mistakes in the future. And when such mistakes recur we risk an over-reaction and a return to a culture of denial.Producer: Hannah BarnesContributors: Rosie Waterhouse - Investigative Journalist; Head of MA in investigative journalism at City University Debbie Nathan - Investigative Journalist and AuthorTim Tate - Television Producer and DirectorSue Hampson - Former counsellor, and now Director of Safe to Say Trauma Informed Training and ConsultancyDr Sarah Nelson - Research Associate at the University of Edinburgh Professor Richard McNally - Professor of Psychology at Harvard UniversityAnonymous case study.
01/06/1528m 7s

Ritual Sexual Abuse: The Anatomy of a Panic (Part 1)

David Aaronovitch of The Times traces the powerful intellectual influences behind what he sees as one of the most important cultural shifts of the past 40 years: from a society in which accusations of sexual abuse were wrongly ignored to one in which the falsely accused were crushed by a system where the mantra was "victims must be believed".In the first of two programmes, Aaronovitch will examine the role played by unproven psychoanalytic theories which, from the 1980s, spread from the world of therapists in Canada and the USA to social work, medicine and then to law enforcement in Britain. From the NSPCC to academia it was believed that children were being sexually abused in group Satanic rituals, which involved murder and animal sacrifice. The programme will explore how these bizarre ideas took hold, how they were related to mistaken psychotherapeutic practices, and how they resonate still.The programme will look at the influences of four books which played a key role in influencing the intellectual and cultural climate. These are Sybil, Michelle Remembers, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and The Courage to Heal.Producer: Hannah BarnesContributors: Rosie Waterhouse - Investigative Journalist; Head of MA in investigative journalism at City University Debbie Nathan - Investigative Journalist and AuthorTim Tate - Television Producer and DirectorSue Hampson - Former counsellor, and now Director of Safe to Say Trauma Informed Training and ConsultancyRoma Hart - Former Multiple Personality Disorder patient, who has retracted claims she was abused in childhood.
25/05/1528m 6s

The Edge

Is the West losing its military edge? Mark Urban investigates whether the US and its allies are losing superiority as they cut defence spending while rivals increase theirs.
14/04/1537m 7s

Company vs Country

Michael Robinson asks what lies behind the boom in companies suing governments.
30/03/1528m 11s

Two-Nation Britain

Jeremy Cliffe of The Economist asks if our real political divide is between those who feel comfortable in liberal, diverse, urban Britain and those who do not - the cosmopolitans vs the rest. He argues that the success of UKIP is one sign of this division. At one end are the cosmopolitans - comfortable in diverse Britain, urban and socially liberal. At the other end are the non-cosmopolitans, who tend to be older, white, and socially conservative, This new divide poses a serious problem for the established political parties. How can they appeal to one side without alienating the other? And what role does the traditional left-right split play? Producer: Lucy Proctor.
23/03/1528m 29s

Caring in the New Old Age

Is it time to rethink how we care for older people, to enable them to have fulfilling lives? In recent years the media has highlighted terrible cases of paid carers abusing and neglecting vulnerable, older people. Is it now time for a more fundamental re-examination of how society should care for older people? Much is made of the poor status, low wages and lack of training of workers in the care system. Why are older people entrusted to them in a way which we would never allow for children? Should we tackle the view that old age is simply a period of decline that has to be managed rather than an opportunity for a fulfilling final chapter of life? Sonia Sodha examines new thinking from Japan, the US and closer to home about how care might be done differently. And she considers whether we need to change our approach to how we look after the elders in our society. Producer: Ian Muir-Cochrane.
16/03/1528m 22s

The End of Development

Over recent decades, the richer world has poured money towards poorer countries, in the form of aid and loans for development over many decades. But is this top-down solution really effective? Anthropologist Henrietta Moore argues that the age of development is over, and that we need to move to new ideas about how to improve human lives. Professor Moore, who heads the Institute for Global Prosperity at University College London, says that the fatal flaw of "development" is that it is a concept invented by the global North and imposed on the global South. She speaks to students from across the world at Oxford University's Blavatnik School of Government, who and then faces their questions. The lecture is chaired by the school's dean, Professor Ngaire Woods. Producer: Julie Ball.
09/03/1528m 20s

When Robots Steal Our Jobs

Technology has been replacing manufacturing jobs for years. Is the same about to happen to white-collar work? Will new faster, smarter computers start destroying more jobs than they create?Technologists and economists are now arguing that we are approaching a turning point, where professional jobs are becoming automated, leaving less and less work for humans to do. David Baker investigates the evidence and asks what this means for society, the individual and equality. Producer: Charlotte McDonald.
02/03/1528m 5s

Artificial Intelligence

Should we beware the machines? Professor Stephen Hawking has warned the rise of Artificial Intelligence could mean the end of the human race. He's joined other renowned scientists urging computer programmers to focus not just on making machines smarter, but also ensuring they promote the good and not the bad. How seriously should we take the warnings that super-intelligent machines could turn on us? And what does AI teach us about what it means to be human? Helena Merriman examines the risks, the opportunities and how we might avoid being turned into paperclips.Producer: Sally Abrahams.
23/02/1528m 12s

Downward Social Mobility

Social mobility is a good thing - right? Politicians worry that not enough people from less-privileged backgrounds get the opportunity to move up in life. But are we prepared to accept that others lose out - and move in the opposite direction? Jo Fidgen explores the implications of downward social mobility. Producer: Charlotte McDonald.
16/02/1528m 8s

You Can't Say That

Does free speech include a right to cause offence? Many thinkers have insisted that it must - but debate has raged for millennia over where the limits to insult can be set. While some maintain Enlightenment values must include permission to shock, offend and even injure, there is a growing sense that rights must be balanced by responsibilities to one's community, in speech as well as action. And as technology has given each of us an worldwide platform to express any idea, anywhere, the potential for instant, global offence has only grown. How are we to define how much is too much - and what really distinguishes insult from injury? Edward Stourton speaks to historians, theologians and philosophers to explore the outer limits of free expression. Producer: Polly Hope.
09/02/1528m 13s

Referendum Conundrums

Scotland last year showed how dramatic referendums can be. So what would an in-out vote on the EU be like? What would be the crucial strategies for a winning campaign? The stakes would be huge for the UK, and if those who want a vote get their way, this could happen within the next few years. Chris Bowlby talks to key potential players and observers about their fears and hopes, lessons drawn from Scotland, and campaign plans already being made behind the scenes.Producer: Chris Bowlby.
02/02/1527m 57s

Maskirovka: Deception Russian-Style

'Maskirovka' is the Russian military strategy of deception, involving techniques to surprise and deceive the enemy. Lucy Ash looks back over its long history from repelling invading Mongols in the 14th Century, to its use to confound the Nazis in World War II, to the current conflict in Ukraine. Translated literally maskirovka means "a little masquerade", but it also points to strategic, operational, physical and tactical duplicity. When heavily-armed, mask-wearing gunmen - labelled the 'little green men' - took over government buildings in Crimea last year, was this a classic example of maskirovka in the 21st century? All nations use deception as a strategy in war, but Analysis asks whether any other nation has pursued guile as an instrument of policy so long and so ardently as Russia. Producer: Katy Hickman.
26/01/1528m 12s

Correspondents Look Ahead

Mark Mardell forecasts how the world could change in 2015, aided by top BBC journalists Lyse Doucet, Carrie Gracie, Kamal Ahmed and Bridget Kendall.
02/01/1546m 56s

Precedents or Principles?

We firmly believe that our choices - about what we eat and how we vote - reflect the inner core of our being. But do those choices originate in principle - or simply because of what we have done in the past? Psychologist Nick Chater asks if precedent matters more than principles and discovers a complex interplay between the two forces which govern the choices we make. Producer: Simon Coates.
17/11/1428m 15s

Conservative Muslims, Liberal Britain

The recent so called Trojan Horse dispute in some Birmingham schools shone a light on how separately from the liberal British mainstream a significant conservative bloc of British Muslims wants to live. Although some Muslim parents objected, most seemed happy to go along with rigorous gender segregation, the rejection of sex education and ban on music and arts lessons. Why is it that so many British Muslims - especially from Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds - seem to be converging much more slowly, if at all, on liberal British norms? Is this a problem in a liberal society and what are the future trends likely to be? David Goodhart, of the think tank Demos, visits Leicester in search of some answers. He listens to many different Muslim voices from a mufti who advises Muslims on how to navigate everyday life in a non-Muslim society to a liberal reformer who is dismayed at seeing more women wearing the niqab.East is East (extract with Jane Horrocks and Ayub Khan) is playing at the Trafalgar Studios, London until 3rd January, and then on tour.Contributors: Mustafa Malik, Director of the Pakistan Youth and Community Centre, Leicester Saj Khan, Leicestershire businessman Mufti Muhammed Ibn Adam, Islamic scholar, Leicester Riaz Ravat, Deputy Director, St Philip's Centre, Leicester Dilwar and Rabiha Hussain, New Horizons organisation, Leicester Gina Khan, human rights campaigner Myriam Francois-Cerrah, journalist and PhD researcher Jytte Klausen, affiliate professor at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University Producer Katy Hickman.
10/11/1428m 8s

Just Culture

Margaret Heffernan explores why big organisations so often make big mistakes - and asks if the cure could be the aviation industry's model of a "just culture".In the past ten years, there have been a string of organizational failures - from BP to the banks, from the Catholic Church to Rotherham. In each instance, hundreds, even thousands of people could see what was going on but acted as though they were blind. Silence ensured the problems continued and allowed them to grow.The conditions that create the phenomenon called "wilful blindness" are pervasive across institutions, both public and private. Wherever there have been cases of organisational failure you typically find individuals who are over-stretched, distracted and exhausted. They cannot see because they cannot think.Businesswoman and writer Margaret Heffernan argues that the solution is a "just culture"; which means organizations that encourage people to speak up early and often when things go adrift, without fear of being silenced.Contributors: Alexis Jay, author of the report into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham Ben Alcott, Head of Safety at the Civil Aviation Authority Helene Donnelly, Cultural Ambassador, Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent NHS Trust Bill McAleer, a former safety auditor for General Motors Philip Zimbardo, the psychologist behind the famous Stanford Prison experimentProducer: Gemma Newby.
03/11/1428m 14s

Inside Welfare Reform

Economist Jonathan Portes assesses how well the government has implemented its controversial welfare reforms. The government describes the programme as "the most ambitious, fundamental and radical changes to the welfare system since it began".When the Coalition came to power in 2010, welfare - not including pensions - was costing the country nearly £100 billion a year. Iain Duncan Smith, the secretary of state for work and pensions, was given the task of making work pay and - in so doing - taking millions of people off benefit and saving the country billions.Influential figures from parliament, the civil service and one of Iain Duncan Smith's closest advisers offer revealing accounts of what's been happening during those past 4 years.Economist Jonathan Portes asks whether these changes are a vital strategy to stem a welfare system spiralling out of control or - as some argue - nothing short of a fiasco, which has caused genuine hardship?Producer: Adele Armstrong.
27/10/1428m 21s

The Idea of the Caliphate

What is a caliphate? What ideals does such an Islamic state embody - and how could or should it be implemented? Analysis consults a range of voices to explore how the concept has evolved and has been expressed over the centuries. Edward Stourton talks to historians, religious scholars and political thinkers who offer their perspectives on caliphates of the past, the revivalist rhetoric of the present and the beliefs shared by many Muslims about its future return.Contributors: Prof Hugh Kennedy, School of Oriental and African Studies Sheikh Ruzwan Mohammed, Sunni theologian and scholar Rebecca Mastertron, Shiite commentator Dr Reza Pankhurst, author, "The Inevitable Caliphate?" Dr Caroline Finkel, author, "Osman's Dream: the History of the Ottoman Empire" Dr Salman Sayyid, Leeds University, author, "Recalling the Caliphate" Dr Abdou Filali Ansary, Aga Khan UniversityPresenter: Edward Stourton Producer: Polly Hope.
20/10/1428m 21s

Meet the Family

Politicians love talking about supporting families. But, asks Jo Fidgen, do they understand modern family life? And how far can or should the state change the way families live? There's endless focus on young children and childcare, while family care for the elderly is rarely mentioned. She hears from policy insiders, those who have to define families to make their businesses work, individuals facing extraordinary challenges as family life changes with society and across the generations.Producer: Chris Bowlby Editor: Hugh Levinson.
13/10/1427m 40s

Peston and the House of Debt

Robert Peston tests the arguments made by the authors of a new book who claim the financial crisis was caused by exploding household debt - not by the banks. But are they right?Now the BBC's Economics Editor, he witnessed at first hand every twist and turn of the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008. He first exposed the crisis at Northern Rock as well as revealing the failure of Lehman Brothers. This makes him the ideal interviewer to probe the arguments and conclusions of "The House of Debt", a radical new study of the recession and the lessons to be learnt from it. In discussion with the book's authors, Atif Mian and Amir Sufi, he subjects their arguments to rigorous scrutiny.They challenge the conventional wisdom that the banks were to blame for the recession in the US and UK. They argue that the real villain was the doubling between 2000 and 2007 in total American household debt to $14 trillion. Much of this was owed by borrowers with the poorest credit ratings. When the house price bubble burst and incomes also fell, these households suddenly stopped spending and plunged the US economy into deep recession.By this argument, the banks weren't the real problem. And yet, thanks in large part to their lobbying power, they received help which would have been better directed at helping indebted households. If correct, this means governments and central banks should fundamentally reappraise how they tackle future downturns, focusing much more on households and much less on bankers. For many, this may sound highly attractive. But does the new analysis pass muster with Robert Peston?Producer Simon Coates.
06/10/1428m 14s

Michael Pollan on Food

What should we eat? Jo Fidgen talks to the influential American writer Michael Pollan about what food is - and what it isn't. In an interview before an audience at the London School of Economics and Political Science he criticises the way the food industry has promoted highly-processed products delivering hefty doses of salt, sugar and fat. He believes that the plethora of accompanying health claims have left us more confused than ever about what food really is, where it has come from and its impact on our health and the environment. His solution? To cook at home. He argues that this simple change will guarantee a healthy diet and stop us relying on big food companies to feed us. It is also, he says, a profoundly political act. But is it a realistic proposition for busy working families or simply a middle-class ideology?Producer: Sally Abrahams.
29/09/1427m 56s

Thrifty Debtors

The downturn's made everyone worry more about money. But while we may want to be thriftier, Chris Bowlby discovers why we're stuck with high levels of personal and household debt. Credit has become a way of life and new technology makes it ever more accessible. We know we ought to save more for, say, old age, but pensions seem distant and a dodgy investment, while the government and others are desperate to encourage revived consumer spending . Borrowing to buy houses seems to many the best financial bet. Is there an alternative approach out there?A wide range of voices from different communities explore the mixture of hard financial fact, psychology and morality that's shaped our financial behaviour in such a turbulent few years.Producer: Chris Bowlby Editor: Hugh Levinson.
21/07/1427m 58s

The End of the Pay Rise?

Something strange has been happening in the British economy. For over six years now, wages have fallen for most of us, which is unprecedented in British modern history. And despite the return of economic growth, wages still have not picked up.What has happened? And crucially is this a long term problem - is this the end of the pay rise? Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, explores the mystery of our falling wages and finds out how it is related to how productive we are, but also to how wages themselves are shared out between the top earners and the rest of us.Producer: Estelle DoyleContributors: ** Nikki King, Honorary Chairman, Isuzu Trucks UK ** Andy Haldane, chief economist, Central Bank of England ** Jonathan Haskel, Professor of Economics, Imperial College Business School ** Paul Gregg, Professor of Economic and social policy, University of Bath ** Nick Crafts, Professor of Economic History, Warwick University ** Andrew Sentance, former member of Central Bank MPC ** Matt Whitaker, Chief Economist, Resolution Foundation ** Nicola Smith, Trade Union Congress ** Sarah Collyer, Peter Murphy, Hillary Rogers from Isuzu Trucks UK.
14/07/1428m 15s

Tories: Nasty or Nice?

Why have the Tories attracted the label 'the nasty party'? Tory supporter Robin Aitken explores why the phrase took hold, and why it matters in key national debates today. Senior and influential figures in the Tory party's recent history offer revealing personal accounts of what they believe and how the party is perceived by the outside world. Producer: Chris Bowlby Editor: Hugh Levinson.
30/06/1427m 51s

Varieties of Capitalism

What is the best form of capitalism? The free-market form found in countries such as the UK and the United States, or the more collaborative model which is common across Northern Europe?Some British politicians, from both the left and right, are somewhat starry-eyed when it comes to the way other countries run their economy and have even suggested the UK could improve its lot by importing practices found across Scandinavia and Germany. But is that remotely possible?In this edition of Analysis, Britain politics correspondent for The Economist Jeremy Cliffe investigates the different forms of capitalism defined by the Varieties of Capitalism school - most-famous for the book of the same name published in 2001.He begins by working out what makes a 'Liberal Market Economy' and a 'Coordinated Market Economy', and then digs deeper to find out how these different models formed in the first place. He discovers a deep web of intertwined government institutions which have been shaped over decades and centuries by each individual country's culture. It turns out that transplanting a different way of doing things from one country to another is just not that simple - but does that mean politicians should just give up trying to do something different? Producer: Richard Fenton-Smith.
23/06/1427m 51s

What Does Putin Want?

There's a new government in Kiev and Crimea is firmly in Russian hands. The political map of eastern Europe has changed dramatically in the last few months. But are Moscow's actions in the Ukraine crisis evidence of a long-term strategy to reassert Russia as a world power? Or are they the actions of a weakened government scrabbling to keep up with events?Edward Stourton investigates whether Vladimir Putin, former KGB Colonel and holder of a black belt in Judo, is playing a strategic game of chess , or just a high-stakes game of poker.Contributors:Anne Applebaum, historian Anna Arutunyan, author of The Putin Mystique Mary Dejevsky, columnist for The Independent Valery Korovin, Deputy Director, Eurasia Movement Sir Roderick Lyne, former UK ambassador to Russia Sergey Markov, Director of the Institute of Political Studies, Moscow Vyacheslav Nikonov, Member of the Russian State Duma Gleb Pavolovsky, senior political adviser to Boris Yeltsin and co-founder of the Foundation for Effective Politics, Moscow Mikhail Smetnik, Official Moscow City GuideProducer: Luke Mulhall.
09/06/1428m 14s

Time to Rethink Asylum?

Tim Finch of the Institute of Public Policy Research asks if it is time for a fundamental rethink of the way we deal with refugees. He investigates the history of asylum as a political issue, the way asylum policy is implemented in the UK today, and discusses various views on how refugees could be handled in the future. Our current system was introduced in the early 2000s in response to public anger over allegations of bogus asylum seekers. Earlier this year responsibility for assessing asylum claims was removed from the UK Border Agency to the Home Office, amidst claims that the system was not fit for purpose. Why does asylum continue to be such a vexed issue?CONTRIBUTORSTua Fesefese, currently seeking asylum in the UKDavid Blunkett MP, Home Secretary 2001 - 4Zrinka Bralo, Executive Director of the Migrant And Refugee Community ForumOskar Ekblad, Head of Resettlement at the Swedish Migration BoardMark Harper, MP for Forest of Dean and Immigration Minister 2012 - 14Roland Schilling, United Nations High Commission for Refugees Representative to the UKRob Whiteman, Director General of the UK Border Agency 2011 - 13Producer: Luke Mulhall.
02/06/1428m 13s

Deirdre McCloskey

Evan Davis interviews economic historian Deirdre McCloskey in front of an audience at the London School of Economics, where she argues that poverty matters more than inequality. She describes how at the beginning of the 19th century most people who had ever lived had survived on $3 a day. Today, on average, people in Western Europe and North America live on over $100 a day. Although Professor McCloskey is an economic historian, she says we can't explain this 'Great Enrichment' using economics alone. She also argues that capitalism is an inherently ethical system, and that it would be a mistake to prioritise equality over innovation. Prof McCloskey talks about the role of ideas and attitudes in creating modern prosperity and discusses what her study of history tells us about where our priorities should lie today.Producer: Luke Mulhall.
26/05/1428m 8s

Why Minsky Matters

American economist Hyman Minsky died in 1996, but his theories offer one of the most compelling explanations of the 2008 financial crisis. His key idea is simple enough to be a t-shirt slogan: "Stability is destabilising". But TUC senior economist Duncan Weldon argues it's a radical challenge to mainstream economic theory. While the mainstream view has been that markets tend towards equilibrium and the role of banks and finance can largely be ignored, Minsky argued that in the good times the seeds of the next crisis are sown as the financial sector engages in riskier and riskier lending in pursuit of profit. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, this might seem obvious - so why did Minsky die an outsider? What do his ideas say about the response to the 2008 crisis and current policies like Help to Buy? And has mainstream economics done enough to respond to its own failure to predict the crisis and the challenge posed by Minsky's ideas?Producer: James Fletcher.
24/03/1428m 11s

Eldar Shafir: Scarcity

(Image credit: Jerry Nelson)Jo Fidgen interviews Eldar Shafir, professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University, and co-author of Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much in front of an audience at the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University. Jo will explore the book's key idea: that not having enough money or time, shapes all of our reactions, and ultimately our lives and society.Producer: Ruth Alexander.
17/03/1427m 57s

The Jihadi Spring

Owen Bennett-Jones asks if the real beneficiaries of the multiple failures of the Arab revolutions are the Islamist militants both of al-Qaeda and its increasingly violent allies. Does the West's tacit support for the reassertion of military control in Egypt send a powerful message to would-be Islamists - that they will never be allowed to achieve power through the ballot box? Producer: Leo Hornak.
16/03/1428m 20s

Scotland and the Union: Can Britain be Rebooted?

Is there any such thing as unionism, and what is the case for the union?On September 18th, Scotland will vote in a referendum on whether to become independent. Supporters have been setting out their visions of how Scotland could be transformed. But what about those who want to keep Scotland within the United Kingdom? They've picked away at potential practical problems with independence - on sharing the pound sterling, or joining the European Union. But while the future may be unclear for an independent Scotland, the alternative of staying British may be just as unclear.Douglas Fraser asks if there's a grand vision for those who argue Scotland should stay in the union. Is it more than just an appeal to a shared history or institutions? Is the union fit for purpose in the 21st century? These aren't just questions for Scotland. They represent a challenge to the rest of the UK - how can democratic and economic power be distributed to tackle disaffection with politics and the centralising pull of London?The programme follows an edition Douglas presented in July 2013 on Scottish nationalism. Producer: James Fletcher.
03/03/1428m 28s

Life by Lottery

Should we use chance to solve some of our most difficult political dilemmas? From US Green Cards to school place allocation, lotteries have been widely used as a means of fairly resolving apparently intractable problems. Jo Fidgen asks whether the time has come to consider whether more of society's problems might be solved by the luck of the draw.Producer: Leo Hornak.
24/02/1427m 55s

A Is for Anonymous

The wish to be anonymous in our dealings with private companies or governments, in commenting on the news or in daily life seems to be increasing. For some, anonymity is an ironic response to the cult of celebrity that usually preoccupies us. For others, being anonymous enables us to reject the endless celebration of the individual that characterises our times and instead to find comfort and ease in the unidentifiable mass.Frances Stonor Saunders examines if the desire for being unknown - whether by the NHS or your search engine - is set to be the new trend of our times. She explores with those who use the cloak of anonymity - including whistleblowers, authors and medical practitioners - the benefits which concealing your identity can confer. But she also considers the dangers of not being identifiable and how these pitfalls may affect the rest of society. Producer Simon Coates.
17/02/1428m 15s

What is Wahhabism?

Since the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington DC, the ultra-conservative Wahhabi branch of Islam has often been cited by critics and commentators as the ideology of Islamic extremists around the world today. But can 21st Century terrorism really be blamed on the teachings of this 18th Century sect?In this edition of Analysis, Edward Stourton asks what is - and what isn't - Wahhabism? He explores the foundation of this fundamentalist form of Islam, the evolution of its interpretation in Saudi Arabia, and asks what power and influence it has across the globe.Founded by the Arabian scholar Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, this form of Salafi Islam sought to purify the religion by returning to its original principles. Ibn Abd al-Wahab was part of a broader Muslim reform movement which promoted a return to the texts of the Quran and Hadith and, controversially, questioned the teachings of Islamic scholars of the day, who formed part of a chain of knowledge stretching back centuries.What is said to be a very literal translation of Islam is now an inspiration for modern-day Muslim hardliners, who view a binary world of believers and non-believers, strict social rules and adherence to Sharia law - but how close is this to the teachings of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab?CONTRIBUTORSShaykh Dr Usama Hasan, The Quilliam FoundationAbu Khadeejah, Salafi scholarProf Natana DeLong-Bas, Boston College, MassachusettsProf Madawi Al-Rasheed, The London School of Economics and Political ScienceShaykh Ruzwan Mohammed, Sunni theologianPRODUCER: Richard Fenton-Smith EDITOR: Innes Bowen
10/02/1428m 6s

The Philosophy of Russell Brand

In a recent Newsnight interview, the comedian Russell Brand predicted a revolution. His comments entertained many and became the most-watched political interview of 2013. But between the lines, Brand was also giving voice to the populist resurgence of a serious but controversial idea: anarchism.The new "anarcho-populism" is the 21st century activist's politics of choice. In evidence in recent student protests, the Occupy movement, in political encampments in parks and squares around the world, it combines age-old anarchist thought with a modern knack for inclusive, consumerist politics.Brand's interview was just one especially prominent example. The thinkers behind the movement say it points the way forward. Jeremy Cliffe, The Economist's Britain politics correspondent, asks if they are right?Producer: Lucy Proctor.
03/02/1427m 46s

Last Rites for the Church of England?

Andrew Brown asks if the Church of England has become fatally disconnected from society.
27/01/1428m 7s

Roberto Unger

Renowned social theorist Roberto Unger believes that left-of-centre progressives - his own political side - lack the imagination required to tackle the fundamental problems of society. In the run-up to the US presidential elections of 2012, he declared that his former student Barack Obama "must be defeated". Professor Unger argued that President Obama had failed in his first term in office to advance the progressive cause. There was, Unger maintained, effectively no difference between the Democrat and Republican political programmes.In front of an audience at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Roberto Unger discusses with presenter Jo Fidgen the reasons for his critical appraisal of the progressive left in the United States and Europe. He sets out what he believes its alternative agenda should be and gives his verdict on another of his former students: Ed Miliband.Roberto Mangabeira Unger is the Roscoe Pound professor at Harvard Law School. He served as a minister in the Brazilian government of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva from 2007-2009. His books include: "The Left Alternative"; "Democracy Realised"; and "The Self Awakened". His new book, published next year, will address a new theme: "The Religion of the Future".#LSEProgressiveProducer: Simon Coates.
18/11/1328m 26s

France: Sinking Slowly?

The French are far more attached to the idea of a centralised, big state than their Anglo-Saxon counterparts. The philosophy behind it, Colbertism, holds that the economy of France should serve the state and that the state should direct the economy.But as France's big state looks less affordable, some French intellectuals are arguing that it is time that French identity became less tied to the dirigiste idea. Former BBC Paris Correspondent Emma Jane Kirby travels to France to meet those questioning their country's traditional resistance to economic reform.Producer: Fiona Leach.
11/11/1328m 39s

Importing the Metropolitan Revolution

In America, there is talk of a "metropolitan revolution" as big cities reinvent themselves. Matthew Taylor asks if Britain too can transform its economy by setting city halls free.In America, there's a growing realisation that the old economic model, based on every city aiming for "a Starbucks, stadia and stealing business," has failed to revive urban economies. But now cities such as Denver, Colorado -- once famous for the oil money that inspired the soap opera Dynasty -- have turned a corner. This "Metropolitan Revolution" was led by local mayors who ripped up the old administrative boundaries and did creative things to diversify the economy and create jobs, such as building a vast new airports and offering incentives to hi-tech start-ups.For this week's edition of Analysis, Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the RSA and a former insider in Downing Street under Tony Blair, sets out to see if these new ideas could hold answers for Britain's long term economic future. Cities are where the modern global economy happens, but ever since the decline of heavy industry, Britain's northern cities have performed below the national average. Now, key national and local figures, from Lord Michael Heseltine to Bristol's new Mayor George Ferguson, famous for his red trousers, are pinning their hopes for an economic revival on giving greater economic powers to city halls. Speaking to a wide range of voices from both sides of the Atlantic, and combining wit with insights from urban geography, history and economics, Matthew asks: could Britain's great cities be the key to us all turning the economic corner?Producer: Mukul Devichand.
04/11/1328m 39s

Syria: Inside the Opposition

Syria's opposition movements comprise a diverse range of political and armed groups. But how do they differ in terms of their ideology, their modus operandi and in their vision for a post-conflict Syria?Edward Stourton investigates the numerous alternatives to President Assad and assesses which groups are gaining or losing influence on the ground after more than two years of bloody fighting.The programme will hear from those in charge of the National Coalition - the Istanbul based group officially recognised by the UK government but dismissed by some as "the opposition of the hotels".Ahead of the United Nations Geneva II negotiations, expected in late November, Edward Stourton will examine why, in a country with an overwhelming Sunni Muslim majority, a leader from the small Alawi minority community has managed to hang on to power.Contributions from: Monzer Akbik, Chief of Staff to the President of the National Coalition; Walid Saffour, former Muslim Brotherhood activist and Coalition Representative to the UK; Sheikh Mohammed Yaqoubi, Syrian Sunni scholar; Raphael Lefevre, author of Ashes of Hama: The Muslim Brotherhood in Syria; Aron Lund, Middle East analyst; Faisal Irshaid, BBC Monitoring.Producer: Hannah Barnes.
28/10/1328m 18s

Quantitative Easing: Miracle Cure or Dangerous Addiction?

Quantitative Easing was the drug prescribed by economists to keep Western economies functioning in a moment of crisis. Sunday Telegraph economic commentator Liam Halligan argues that the policy of money creation has now become a dangerous addiction.Interviewees include:Dr Adam Posen, President of the Petersen Institute for International Economics in Washington DC Stephen King, Chief Economist of HSBC Jim Rickards, author of Currency Wars Professor Richard Werner, Chair in International Banking at Southampton University Dan Conaghan, author of The Bank: Inside the Bank of England Dr Philippa Malmgren, former financial markets advisor to the US PresidentProducer: Phil Kemp.
21/10/1328m 11s

What Are Charities For?

Charities have been drawn into the world of outsourced service provision, with the state as their biggest customer and payment made on a results basis. It is a trend which is set to accelerate with government plans to hand over to charities much of the work currently done by the public sector. But has the target driven world of providing such services as welfare to work support and rehabilitating offenders destroyed something of the traditional philanthropic nature of charities? Fran Abrams investigates.Producer: Mukul Devichand.
14/10/1328m 26s

Edward Snowden: Leaker, Saviour, Traitor, Spy?

Last June, Edward Snowden, a man still in his twenties with, as he put it, "a home in paradise", went on the run. He took with him vast amounts of secret information belonging to the US government's security services.Snowden holds libertarian - or anti-statist - views. He believes the American government's pervasive surveillance activities which he revealed break the law but are also morally wrong.In Britain, "The Guardian" newspaper published the classified information Snowden had obtained. This seemed odd. Editorially, it was not sympathetic to Snowden's anti-state nostrums. But, on privacy grounds, it agreed with him that it was inherently wrong for democratic governments to spy on their citizens online. Furthermore, it argued that governments should not decide for themselves when and how they would do their surveillance.It is this political alliance between the libertarian right and the liberal left - which are normally opposed to one another - which David Aaronovitch investigates in this programme.He explores, in a detailed interview with the editor of "The Guardian", Alan Rusbridger, why the newspaper published the secret information. Are states threatening citizens' privacy in the cyber age? Or is it in fact governments which are more vulnerable than ever before to the unauthorised disclosure of their secrets?What secrets is the state itself entitled to keep from its citizens and from potential enemies? And who decides that question?the security services, Parliament or the government? Or the press and the whistle-blowers? Alan Rusbridger claims his newspaper can properly adjudicate what should and should not be published about state secrets. But how does he justify that apparently self-serving argument?
07/10/1328m 22s

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood: Why Did They Fail?

Barely a year after Egypt's post-revolution elections were held, millions of protestors took to the streets to demand the resignation of President Mohammed Morsi. After a short stand-off with army leaders, he was removed from power in what many describe as a coup d'etat. The subsequent clashes between Mr Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood supporters and security forces have proved violent and bloody and the country is once again being governed by the military - but what were the events which closed this short chapter in the fledgling Egyptian democracy? Christopher de Bellaigue speaks to insiders from across Egypt's political spectrum to reveal the mistakes and power-plays which led to the downfall of the country's first democratically elected president.Contributors: Dr Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, former Freedom and Justice Party MP for Luxor. Dr Hisham Hellyer, associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (London) and the Brookings Institution (Washington). Dr Omar Ashour, senior lecturer in Middle East Politics and Security Studies, University of Exeter. Angy Ghannam, Head of BBC Monitoring, Cairo. Dr Wael Haddara, former communications adviser to President Mohammed Morsi. Dr Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, founder of the Strong Egypt party. Producer: Richard Fenton-Smith Editor: Innes Bowen
30/09/1328m 18s

The Rule of Law v the Rule of Man

With huge concern over tax avoidance, tax officials are the latest to be given increased powers of discretion. They will be able to penalise people who have obeyed the letter of the law, but who have contravened the spirit of the tax code - as determined by the officials themselves, based on certain criteria. The use of official discretion is now applying across the UK's legal systems, from areas such as tax and finance to crime and hate speech.Philosopher Jamie Whyte asks: is this growth in the Rule of Man undermining the Rule of Law? If officials can punish you, despite the fact that you followed the rules on the books, doesn't that raise the danger of injustice?Even though few tears are being shed for tax avoiders, couldn't the lack of legal clarity lead to uncertainty? Would that drive business away from Britain? Jamie unravels the methods of sophisticated tax lawyers, and speaks to academic thinkers and legislators. He asks if we are we creating a culture where it pays to cosy up to officials. And he explores the deeper philosophy of the Rule of Law and whether it is being diminished in our uncertain times.Producer: Mukul Devichand.
22/07/1327m 56s

Scottish Nationalism: From Protest to Power

Just what does the Scottish National Party want? And what could it mean for the UK? Douglas Fraser investigates the SNP's long search for an independence vision that works. He talks to insiders about the party's turbulent past, torn, as one leader put it, between 'Jacobites and Jacobins'. How has the party tried to build a vision of Scottish identity that keeps pace with social change? Does it aim to preserve the old British welfare state, or try something different? What do its plans for continued close links with the rest of the UK mean for its vision of a separate Scotland?Scotland may be diverging more and more from England, whatever happens in next year's independence referendum. With that vote fast approaching, where this debate is heading matters for everyone in the UK. The SNP's journey reveals much about this important change.Presenter: Douglas Fraser Producer: Chris Bowlby Editor: Innes Bowen.
15/07/1328m 3s

They're Coming for Your Money

Paul Johnson, the director of the widely-respected independent Institute for Fiscal Studies, has been looking at the latest projections for how much the government will spend in the next five years and how much revenue it will receive. Despite the recent announcement of further cuts in spending, tax rises look difficult to avoid.Paul explores the reasons for this gap in the budget and asks what taxes could help to fill it. With tax avoidance and evasion now at the top of world leaders' agendas, he asks if the increasingly tax-averse companies sector can be made to pay more and how much the rich and wealthy could contribute. He also considers the taxation of our houses and pensions and whether more will be taken from them.Then he focuses on the three levies which contribute the lion's share of government revenue - income tax, national insurance and VAT - and, with politicians, economists and tax experts, finds out how much we are all - young and old, better and worse off - likely to pay. He also drops in on a young family in Norfolk to discover what taxpaying voters think of the choices and what they will be expected to pay.Among those taking part: Nigel Lawson (former Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer); Kitty Ussher (former Labour Treasury minister); Bill Dodwell (head of tax policy at Deloitte); Julian McCrae (former top Treasury official now at the Institute for Government); Gavin Kelly (chief executive of the Resolution Foundation who worked during the Blair/Brown years in Downing Street and the Treasury); and Malcolm Gammie QC (a leading tax lawyer).Producer Simon Coates.
08/07/1328m 24s

Syria and the New Lines in the Sand

Where the Arab Spring overthrew dictators, is the Middle East now dismantling the very 'lines in the sand' imposed by Britain and France a century ago? Edward Stourton investigates.
01/07/1327m 49s

Pornography: What Do We Know?

What do we really know about the effects of pornography?Public debate has become increasingly dominated by an emotive, polarised argument between those who say it is harmful and those who say it can be liberating. Jo Fidgen puts the moral positions to one side and investigates what the evidence tells us. She explores the limitations of the research that's been carried out and asks whether we need to update our understanding of pornography. She hears from users of pornography about how and why they use it and researchers reveal what they have learnt about our private pornographic habits.With pornography becoming increasingly easy to access online, and as policy-makers, parents and teachers discuss how to deal with this, it's a debate that will have far-reaching implications on education and how we use the internet.Producer: Helena MerrimanInterviewees:Professor Neil Malamuth - University of California Dr Miranda Horvath - Middlesex University Dr Ogi Ogas - Author of A Billion Wicked Thoughts Professor Roger Scruton - Conservative philosopher and Author of Sexual Desire: A Philosophical Investigation Professor Gail Dines - Wheelock College, Boston.
24/06/1328m 11s


Predistribution is Labour's new policy buzzword, used by leader Ed Miliband in a keynote speech. The US thinker who coined the phrase tells Edward Stourton what it means.
17/06/1328m 6s

The Quantified Self: Can Life Be Measured?

Self knowledge through numbers is the motto of the "quantified self" movement. Calories consumed, energy expended, work done, places visited or how you feel. By recording the data of your daily life online, the life-loggers claim, you get to know who you really are.So far this type of self-tracking is the obsession of a geeky minority. But through our smartphones and social networking sites more and more of us being drawn into this world by stealth. Frances Stonor Saunders asks what it means for our ideas about privacy and sense of self.Producer: Fiona Leach.
10/06/1327m 51s

Is Regional Policy a Waste of Time?

The gap between English north and south is growing. But does government have the answer? In the north-east of England, Alison Wolf discovers why 'regional policy' may be a waste of time. Does better infrastructure or state support for 'key' industries make a real difference? But there's a twist. Instead of everyone heading from north to south, there may just be a move back in the other direction. She discovers that individuals chasing quality of life, not government pushing its policies, will be what really decides the regions' future.Presenter: Professor Alison Wolf Producer: Chris Bowlby Editor: Richard Vadon.
03/06/1328m 3s

Labour's New New Jerusalem

The words of William Blake's Jerusalem were invoked by Labour Prime Minister Clement Attlee when he launched his party's proudest achievement: the creation of a welfare state."I will not cease from mental fight, Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand, Till we have built Jerusalem, In England's green and pleasant land."But some leading Labour Party figures no longer believe in the top down model that was meant to make real that vision of a "new Jerusalem". Mukul Devichand hears from leading Labour Party figures who want a radical new welfare settlement, saying the state itself is to blame for society's ills as much as the market.This new cadre of Labour thinkers is known as "Blue Labour". Two years ago we made a programme about them. Then they were worried about the impact of immigration on blue collar communities. Now they are part of Labour's inner circle: academic Maurice Glasman has been elevated to the House of Lords; Jon Cruddas MP is in charge of writing the party's manifesto; and Ed Miliband's widely applauded "One Nation" conference speech last year was written by "Blue Labour" godfather Marc Stears.The post war welfare settlement, according to Lord Glasman, represented the triumph of those who believed that government could solve social problems. That victory, says Glasman, came at a price: "A labour movement that was active and alive in the lives of people became exclusively concerned with what the state was going to do."The alternative, according to Blue Labour thinkers, is welfare delivered at local level rather than by a centralised state; and a benefits system that prioritises those who contribute over those who do not. "The key concept we use is incentive to virtue," Lord Glasman tells Mukul Devichand, "so we have to be judgemental."Producer: Fiona LeachInterviewees include:Maurice Glasman Labour PeerSir Robin Wales Labour Mayor of NewhamJeremy Cliffe Britain Politics Correspondent, The EconomistPolly Toynbee Guardian ColumnistAndrew Harrop General Secretary, The Fabian Society.
27/05/1327m 43s

Nudge Theory in Practice

Politicians are wary of forcing us to do the things they think we should such as drinking less, saving more for our pensions or using public transport. But they are also reluctant to do nothing. The theories expounded in the book Nudge, published in 2008, suggested there was a third way: a "libertarian paternalist" option whereby governments made doing the right thing easier but not obligatory. Rather than making pensions compulsory, for example, governments could make saving for one the default option whilst preserving the right to opt out.Nudge theory appealed to our better selves and to our politicians. The book's ideas were taken up by those inside government in Britain and the US.One of the book's authors, Cass Sunstein, answers questions from an audience at the Institute for Government in London and tells presenter Edward Stourton how well he thinks his theories are working in practice.Producer: Rosamund Jones.
25/03/1328m 14s

Who Decides if I'm a Woman?

A spat between feminist Suzanne Moore and transgender rights activists played out on social networking sites, and then hit the headlines when journalist Julie Burchill joined in too.Jo Fidgen explores the underlying ideas which cause so much tension between radical feminists and transgender campaigners, and discovers why recent changes in the law and advances in science are fuelling debate.Contributors:James Barrett, consultant psychiatrist and lead clinician at the Charing Cross National Gender Identity ClinicJulie Bindel, feminist and journalistLord Alex Carlile QC, Liberal Democrat member of the House of LordsMelissa Hines, professor of psychology at Cambridge UniversityRichard O'Brien, writer of the Rocky Horror ShowRuth Pearce, postgraduate researcher in sociology at the University of WarwickStephen Whittle OBE, professor of equalities law at Manchester Metropolitan UniversityProducer: Ruth Alexander.
18/03/1328m 16s

Three Score Years and Twenty

As more and more people look forward to ever longer life, Analysis examines what it's like to grow old in Britain and what we can learn from other countries facing the same challenge. We've heard much about the financial issues around pensions or health care. But it also poses more fundamental questions - is Britain a good society in which to grow old?Will those precious extra years be a time of wellbeing or alienation and loneliness? And, do other parts of the world have strengths from which we could learn?Chris Bowlby talks to those who have a unique perspective on this - migrants who came to the UK in the hope of better prospects. They can compare British society with other places they know as well. Many are now weighing up what to do when their working lives are over. And a number do not expect to stay here. Their children work long hours and live a distance away. The three-generation homes that supported their own grandparents as they grew old will not be an option for them. Many worry that they face a lonely future.So is Britain a model for the future of a longer life? Or do those with a global perspective believe there are better places to spend your later years?Contributors : Professor Sarah Harper (Oxford Institute of Population Ageing), Baroness Sally Greengross (International Longevity Centre) & Dr Chris Murray (Global Burden of Disease Study).Producer : Rosamund Jones.
11/03/1328m 9s

Islamists International

The Muslim Brotherhood is a global ideological network enjoying popular support across the Sunni Muslim world. It, and closely related Islamic groups, are well established across the Muslim world: from North Africa to the Middle East, Turkey, the Indian subcontinent and Malaysia. Christopher de Bellaigue discovers how this community of faith and politics has been influenced by the rise to power of its founding branch: the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.Producer: Sue Davies.
04/03/1327m 51s

Roberto Unger & Vulgar Keynesianism

Roberto Unger is an American-based thinker who is highly critical of the current ideas from left-of-centre politicians and thinkers about how to restore advanced economies to healthy growth. His devastating attack last summer on what he saw as the shortcomings of President Obama's plans for a second term made him an overnight internet sensation.For Unger, what he and others call "vulgar Keynesianism" - the idea that governments should spend more money to stimulate growth and create jobs - has little left to offer. It is unlikely to have a big enough impact and will disappoint both politicians and voters.Instead, he argues, those who think of themselves as progressive need to think much more boldly and creatively. And this applies not just to ideas about the economy but also to politics and democratic institutions. What he sees as a drab, predictable - and failed - approach needs a complete overhaul.In this edition of "Analysis", Tim Finch talks to Roberto Unger about his critique of left-of-centre thinking. He asks him to justify his criticisms of current ideas and to set out his alternative vision. Tim then discovers from figures on the left here in Britain how they react to Unger's approach and how likely it is that "vulgar Keynesianism" will give way to something new.Among those taking part: Jon Cruddas, MP; Sonia Sodha; Tamara Lothian; Stuart White and David Hall-Matthews.Producer Simon Coates.
25/02/1328m 7s

Making the Best of a Bad Job

David Goodhart considers whether the declining status of basic jobs can be halted and even reversed. Successive governments have prioritised widening access to higher education to try to drive social mobility, without giving much thought to the impact this has on the expectations of young people who, for whatever reason, are not going to take that path.But even in a knowledge-based economy, the most basic jobs survive. Offices still need to be cleaned, supermarket shelves stacked, and care home residents looked after.The best employers know how to design these jobs to make them more satisfying. Are politicians finally waking up to the problem?Contributors in order of appearance:Caroline Lloyd, professor and industrial relations specialist at the University of Cardiff Donna Braithwaite, supermarket worker Bill Mumford, chief executive of care charity MacIntyre Geoff Dench, sociologist and founder of the charity Men for Tomorrow. Sir Peter Lampl, founder of the Sutton Trust Andrew Oswald, professor of economics at the University of Warwick Josie Zerafa, cashier at Iceland supermarket Tracey Vella, cashier at Iceland supermarket Sandra McNamara, store manager at Iceland supermarketProducer: Ruth Alexander.
18/02/1328m 21s

Creative Destruction

In the last few weeks a number of high street names have closed for good. In Analysis Phil Tinline asks whether, amid the gloom, there is a reason to celebrate. The economist Joseph Schumpeter first coined the phrase "creative destruction" in the 1940s. Innovation he believed causes the death of established businesses and leads to new opportunities. So, are company failures necessary for future growth? Or is "creative destruction" a comforting delusion, not a saving grace? Producer : Rosamund Jones.
11/02/1328m 8s

The Alawis

The government of President Assad of Syria is under threat. So too is the secretive Shia sect known as the Alawis - or Alawites - to which he and many of the governing party and security officials belong. Hostility towards the minority Alawi population is such that one leading commentator predicts they are likely to be the victims of the world's next genocide. Presenter Owen Bennett Jones investigates the Alawis' origins, history and culture and asks how these once marginalised people came to power in a Sunni majority state. He discovers that for many their fortunes changed fifty years ago when the Baath party seized power in a coup d'etat. Alawis were dominant among the army officers who took control. They set about modernising the country and rolling out a secular agenda. Now, as Syria's revolution has morphed into a civil war, many Alawis believe their only choice is to kill or be killed. Are the majority of Alawis right to be convinced that the Assad regime is all that stands between them and a return to second-class status, or worse? If the opposition wins in Syria, are warnings about pogroms against the Alawis alarmist, or inevitable? Presenter: Owen Bennett Jones Producer: Damian Quinn.
04/02/1328m 8s

A Scottish Pound?

The cash question facing an independent Scotland. Chris Bowlby discovers the key role of currency in debate ahead of the Scottish referendum next year. With the SNP proposing to keep using sterling if Scotland becomes independent, what will this mean in the world of eurozone crises and financial panics? We discover the mysterious story of Scottish money - how its banknotes are guaranteed by so called giants and titans at the Bank of England. And we ask whether sterling can continue to work smoothly and keep popular confidence if the UK splits. What's the thinking behind the scenes as politicians and officials worry about a British version of the eurozone drama? With Scotland preparing to vote next year, and London wondering what could happen, Analysis reveals the key role of currency in the UK's political future.Producer Mark Savage Editor Innes Bowen.
28/01/1328m 2s

The Rise of Executive Power

In the battle over rewards at work, workers grew accustomed to winning a healthy share of the spoils during the 1960s and 1970s - and to being accorded high status. Since the 1980s, however, the power of executives has grown and is now reflected in their own much higher financial rewards and enhanced esteem. What explains this shift in power - and will it last?Michael Blastland asks why workers have appeared to be so weak as bosses have redressed the balance of power at work so strikingly in their own favour. Laws curbing trade union power, for example, so often cited as the explanation can, though, only be part of the reason. Investors - both owners and shareholders - have also lost out financially in relative terms as executives have grown wealthier and stronger. So what explains the power of the executive class? Are there other trends at work which help explain the relative position of executives and workers? And if both workers and investors want to increase their share of the rewards how might they go about it? Michael Blastland asks how likely investors and workers are to succeed in any fight to restore their influence when they face such a formidable and entrenched group of executives. He speaks to representatives of all three groups and also considers what business history and the experience of other economies teach us about the likely outcome of the struggle.Producer Simon Coates.
21/01/1328m 9s