With Italians elections coming up, we talking to the leading philosopher of democracy Nadia Urbinati about what's going on. How is Berlusconi still in the game? What is the role of the Five Star movement? Are Italian politicians learning any lessons from Trump or Macron? Plus we address the perennial question: is Italy a good indicator of where democracy is heading?
David talks to two-time Booker-prize winning novelist Peter Carey (Oscar and Lucinda, True History of the Kelly Gang) about his latest book A Long Way From Home, which tells a story of race and dispossession in Australia's recent past. Plus we cover a lot else besides: Trump, conspiracy theories, the CIA, Tocqueville and what's it's like to be an Australian in America today. A wide-ranging chat with one of the greatest novelists of our time.
Before we get stuck into 2018, we go back to the sixteenth century to explore another technology revolution that overthrew the established order. John Naughton recently published his 95 theses for the digital age and we talk to John about the theology of technopoly and the Church of Facebook. Plus we're joined by Helen to discuss the parallels between the current revolt against the elites and what happened five hundred years ago. From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: where does this story end?
To ring in the New Year, before we get back to the serious business of talking politics, we talk about some of our favourite recent reading. History books, novels, Asian politics, shameless plugs for our nearest and dearest - it's all here in one neat little package, from Aaron, Helen, Chris, Chris and David.
David recently gave the Political Quarterly annual lecture, on the subject 'Nobody Knows Anything: Why Is Politics So Surprising?' We hear his thoughts on why so many people - including podcasts like this one! - keep calling elections wrong. And why, when there is so much more information available about how people behave, do we know so little about what the voters are really thinking? Recorded at an echoey venue in Bush House, London - apologies for the sound quality, hope you enjoy the content.
With Christmas round the corner, we pick some personal highlights and lowlights from another rollercoaster year of politics. What are our most memorable Trump moments? What stays with us from the UK general election six months on? And, with all the usual caveats, what do we think is coming down the pipe in 2018? With Helen, Aaron, Chris, Chris and David