167 | 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 | 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.

164 | 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.

163 | 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 | A Mockery of Democracy?

Are the UK's looming European elections making a mockery of democracy, or is this how democracy is meant to work?  Would cancelling them at the last minute make the situation worse?  We talk about trust in politics, the threat to the two main parties, and the knock-on effects for the rest of Europe.  Plus we discuss what can meaningfully happen before the end of October, and whether the events of the last few weeks have done permanent damage to the Tory brand.  With Helen Thompson, Catherine Barnard and Chris Bickerton.

160 | David King on Climate Repair

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?