We talk to public policy expert Dennis Grube about the changing character of the civil service, from Victorian mandarins and Yes, Minister to the current battles over Brexit in the age of Twitter. Senior civil servants increasingly find themselves in the public eye, expected to communicate their views. Has this politicised the advice they give?
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.
An extra episode in our climate season: we talk to Sir David King, former Chief Scientific Advisor to the British government, about what's now known about the scale of the threat and the urgency of the need for action. What has happened since the Paris agreement? What is the Chinese government most afraid of? What is the meaning of Extinction Rebellion? And is it time to start talking about refreezing the poles to repair the damage already done?
With the US government still shut, we compare this standoff to shutdowns of the past and try to work out what happens next. What is Trump's game? Can the two parties hold together? And why aren't the workers taking to the streets? Plus we weigh up where things stand with the Mueller investigation, the race for the democratic nomination and Trump's shifting policy on Syria. It's all connected! With Helen Thompson and Gary Gerstle.
A special extra episode for this week with Adam Tooze, author of Crashed and one of our most popular previous guests. He takes us through the wider political and economic context for Britain's Brexit crisis, from Italy to France to Germany, and beyond to China and the US. Plus he explains why Brexit is one of the great calamities of his lifetime.Read More