173 | Waiting for Boris

Barring an act of God, Boris Johnson is going to be the next leader of the Conservative Party. We're exploring what that means in two parts. Today, Helen and David talk about the domestic implications. Can Johnson avoid an election? Can he hold on to the seats he needs while winning others he doesn't have? Will he unite or divide his party? Will Labour be able to stop him either way? Plus we talk about what's at stake for the Tories in Johnson's relationship with Trump. Next week: Europe and Brexit.

170 | Outlasting Trump

We talk with Gary Gerstle about the big issues roiling US politics with likely aftereffects that will long outlast Trump's presidency. First up: the fight over the census. What's a stake in the citizenship question? How has American politics been shaped by people-counting in the past? And what is the Supreme Court likely to
decide? Plus we look at constitutional reform, the environment and impeachment. These are the battles that could have consequences for decades to come. With Helen Thompson.

168 | Who is Boris Johnson?

We try to work out what the current favourite to be next Tory  leader actually stands for.  Can his time as Mayor of London tell us what kind of PM he might be?  Will his journalistic past come back to haunt him?  Does he have a political philosophy beyond 'doing Brexit'?  Plus we discuss whether the Johnson-Trump comparisons really stand up. With Helen Thompson and Chris Brooke.

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.

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.