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?
This week, as one of our LRB author specials, we talk to regular LRB contributor Jan-Werner Müller about populism, Trump and the state of democracy. Jan has long argued that populism is not just an election winning strategy, it's also a governing philosophy. We ask whether Trump's first year in office bears that out. Does he have a governing philosophy? How does it compare with other populists, from Berlusconi to Modi? And what difference does it make that he has a nuclear arsenal at his disposal? With Helen Thompson and Chris Bickerton.
David talks to writer and philosopher John Gray about pretty much everything, from the Corbyn cult to the craziness of cryogenics. John tells us how to make the connections between technology, populism and religion and he explains why the worst may be still to come. Plus we ask whether democracy is really finished. A conversation about the big stuff, recorded in the stationery cupboard at the London Review of Books.
We catch up with Michael Gove, one of the leaders of the Brexit campaign, to ask how he feels about the future of Europe now. What difference will a Macron presidency make? Will Theresa May have more of a mandate than any other European leader when it comes to the Brexit negotiations? And how does he feel today about his notorious remark that 'the people of this country have had enough of experts'?
In a Talking Politics extra, we speak to Indian novelist and historian Pankaj Mishra about his new book The Age of Anger. He explains the deep historical roots that underpin the rise of populism and he explores what connects Modi and Trump. He also tells us why the British general election might be just a sideshow. Recorded at the Cambridge Literary Festival.