55 | America, Russia, Venezuela, France

We reconvene in the dog days of summer to talk about what's been on our minds.  Helen wants to know how the US Congress managed to agree a tough sanctions regime against Russia when it can't agree on anything else.  What does this mean for Trump and for Europe?  David wants to know why Jeremy Corbyn is so little damaged by his past support for the current Venezuelan regime.  When does ideology catch up with domestic politics?  Chris Bickerton wants to know whether Macron is coming down to earth with a bump.  How is he doing a hundred days in?

 

54 | What a Year!

A mash-up of some of the best bits of the last year.. as we look back on an unbelievable period of politics. With clips from TP guests: Mary Beard, Yuval Noah Harari, Pankaj Mishra, Thomas Piketty, Jill Lepore, and Michael Gove.. and of course featuring David Runciman and some of the panel. It ends with Judith Butler and one of our favourite ever moments on the podcast.

53 | The Nine Dots Winner

This week we talk to James Williams, winner of the inaugural Nine Dots Prize, which offered $100,000 for the best answer to the question: 'Are digital technologies making politics impossible?'  James used to work at Google and he channeled his experiences for his prize-winning entry.  He tells us what he learned there and what it means to live in the attention economy.  Plus we discuss how Trump has managed to monopolise the attention of the entire world.  Along with the money, James now has to write a book with his answer - we'll be checking in with him along the way to see how he's getting on.  With John Naughton.
 

52 | Summer Reading 2

Regular panellists John Naughton and Aaron Rapport share their summer reading recommendations this week, joined by the podcast's intern Colby Smith. The list includes blogs and baseball. Listen out for an appearance from Maha Rafi Atal at the end, who helps Aaron brush up on his English history. 

51 | Ha-Joon Chang

With arguments about austerity and public spending back at the heart of British politics, we ask economist Ha-Joon Chang to help us make sense of it all.  Why is tax always described as a 'burden'?  Are the Tories trapped in their austerity narrative?  Where should the government invest for the best return?  Plus we discuss why it's so hard to solve Britain's productivity problem: it goes back a hundred years.  Ha-Joon Chang is the author of 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism (2010) and Economics: A User's Guide (2014).

50 | Summer Reading 1

With thoughts turning to the idea of some kind of break over the summer, members of the panel pause to share what they'll be reading over the next few weeks - for work and for fun. In this episode, David Runciman, Maha Rafi Atal and Chris Bickerton also make recommendations about the things they've read over the last rollercoaster of a year. Listen to the end for a special pop-up appearance by Pussy Riot's Maria Alyokhina, who visited Cambridge recently.