126 | Italy vs. Europe

We try to make sense of the big story in European politics this week: not Brexit (not yet!) but the high stakes standoff between the Italian government and the EU.  Why has the proposed Italian budget produced this showdown?  Who is really pulling the strings?  And what does it tell us about the current prospects for populism in Europe? Plus we assess the ups and downs of the Macron project and ask what its fate means for the future of France and of the wider European project.  With Helen Thompson, Chris Bickerton and Lucia Rubinelli.

125 | What's happening in Brazil?

We try to make sense of the recent election of far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro as president of Brazil, with the help of three experts in Brazilian politics and society. Who voted for Bolsonaro, and why? What role is being played by the army? Can he deliver on his promises? And what does his election tell us about the prospects for democracy in the country and the wider world? With Nadya Araujo Guimarães, Pedro Mendes Loureiro and Graham Denyer Willis.

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124 | Midterms Special!

In a special episode recorded the morning after the midterms, we try to make sense of the results as they come in. How much trouble can a Democratic House cause for Trump's presidency? What will Republicans do with their new strength in the Senate? And when, if ever, will the South turn blue? Plus we ask what impact the Kavanaugh hearings had on the outcome and whether the Democrats have an economic message for 2020. With Helen Thompson and Gary Gerstle – recorded in front of a live audience at Trinity College, Cambridge.

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123 | America First?

We talk to the historian Sarah Churchwell about the origins of some of the ideas churning up politics in the age of Trump: 'America First', 'Make America Great Again', 'Fake News'. Where do these phrases come from and what do they mean? We try to unpick the racism from the isolationism and the anti-immigrant from the anti-elitist sentiment. Plus we discuss whether fascism in America was a real threat in the 1930s and whether it's a real threat today. With Andrew Preston, historian of US foreign policy. Next week: the midterms!

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122 | How Bad Could it Get?

As crunch time approaches, we talk through some worst-case Brexit scenarios: for the government, for the economy, for Remainers, for Europe.  Have the negotiations been a humiliation for Britain?  Is the Tory Party facing an existential crisis?  And what might go wrong if the marchers for a 'people's vote' got their way?  Plus we speculate about what a no-deal Brexit would mean for Britain's service economy.  With Diane Coyle, Helen Thompson and Chris Bickerton.

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121 | Gandhi's Politics

David talks about the enduring influence of Gandhi with Ramachandra Guha, author of an epic new biography Gandhi 1914-194: The Years That Changed the World.  A conversation about the politics of protest, the legacy of empire and the possibility of moral leadership. Plus, what was it like having Gandhi as your father?