166 | Jared Diamond

We talk to the author of Guns, Germs and Steel about his new book on nations in crisis.  Jared Diamond argues that personal crises are a good way of thinking about national ones.  He tells us about one of his own personal crises and we see whether the lessons really apply to politics.  Plus we discuss what's gone wrong with political leadership in the US and we explore what it would take to tackle the global environmental crisis.

165 | Split Down the Middle

David and Helen catch up with the European election results and the Tory leadership race - there's lots to talk about.  How can the Tories compete with the Brexit Party?  Are the Liberal Democrats a real threat to Labour?  What does it all mean for Ireland?  And for Scotland?   Plus, is the surge in support for Greens across Europe a signal that it's time to take environmental politics seriously?

164 | The Next PM

As Theresa May's premiership gets very close to the end, we talk about who and what might be coming next.  Can her successor re-establish the authority she has lost?  Can anyone govern in this parliament or do we need a general election?  Is the age of long-serving prime ministers also coming to an end?  Plus we discuss what lessons can be drawn from the recent election in Australia: what does it tell us about the politics of climate change?  With Helen Thompson and Chris Brooke.

163 | Death of the Republic

We talk to historian Tom Holland about the fall of the Roman Republic and the parallels with today.  Why does Roman history still exert such a strong pull over our imaginations?  Are politicians like Trump and Berlusconi recognisable types from the ancient past?  And is contemporary democracy vulnerable to the same forces that brought down the Roman Republic?  Plus, we discuss Putin's claim that Russia is now the Third Rome.  What is he getting at?  With Helen Thompson.

162 | Adam Tooze on US vs China

An extra episode with Adam Tooze to catch up on the latest in the US/China trade wars.  What's really at stake and what does Trump want?  Is this about economics or security?  What does it say about the future of capitalism?  And where does Joe Biden fit in?  With Helen Thompson.

161 | President Bernie?

We talk about socialism in America: where it comes from, what it means, why it's so associated with Bernie Sanders and whether it can actually reach the White House.  What's the difference between democratic socialism and social democracy?  How would the workers gain control of businesses like Facebook and Amazon?  Who are the workers these days anyway?  Plus, we ask what a Sanders vs Trump contest would actually be like.  With Adom Getachew, from the University of Chicago, and Gary Gerstle.