Below you'll find brief biographies for our regular panel members, with links to further reading. If the panel member's on Twitter, you'll find their handle beneath their photo.


Professor David Runciman became Head of the University of Cambridge's Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) in October 2014. He gave his Inaugural Lecture on "Political Theory and Real Politics in the Age of the Internet" on Tuesday 24th February 2015, which can be viewed online here. His research interests are in twentieth century political thought, particularly ideas of democracy and crisis, and the role of technology in contemporary politics. David's new book is How Democracy Ends, published by Profile. His recent Darwin lecture on Trump as conspiracy theorist can be seen here. David also writes regularly about politics for the London Review of Books.



Helen Thompson moved to Cambridge in 1994, and works in the Department of Politics and International Studies. She is interested in the political economy of the present predicaments facing western politics including their relationship to geopolitics. Since 2008 she has worked on questions generated by the 2008 financial crash and the eurozone crisis, including their historical origins in the fallout of the economic and political crises of the 1970s. Her most recent book is Oil And The Western Economic Crisis, published by Palgrave. Her article ‘Inevitability and contingency: the political economy of Brexit,’ won the 2017 prize for best article in the British Journal of Politics and International Relations.  



Christopher Brooke is Senior University Lecturer in Political Theory in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Homerton College, where he is Director of Studies in Politics, having earlier worked at the Universities of Oxford and Bristol, and studied at Oxford and Harvard. He is the author of Philosophic Pride: Stoicism and Political Thought from Lipsius to Rousseau (2012), and his new edition of Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan was published by Penguin in 2017.



Chris Bickerton is a Reader in Modern European politics at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of Queens’ College, Cambridge. Educated at the universities of Oxford and Geneva, he taught previously at the University of Amsterdam and Sciences Po, Paris. He has written widely on European politics and is the author of the best-selling book, The European Union: A Citizen’s Guide (Penguin). He has written for the Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, New York Times, The Guardian, Prospect, New Statesman, The Big Issue and the Monde Diplomatique, and is currently writing a book on populism, technocracy and the crisis of party democracy.



Very sadly, Dr Aaron Rapport passed away on Thursday 27 June 2019, aged 38 years. The entire Talking Politics team is profoundly saddened at the loss, and extend our heartfelt sympathies to his friends and family. An extended tribute to Aaron can be found here.

Dr Rapport is a lecturer in Cambridge's Department of Politics and International Studies and a fellow at Corpus Christi College. He was previously an assistant professor of political science at Georgia State University in Atlanta. His research interests include international security and U.S. foreign policy. His book, Waging War, Planning Peace: U.S. Noncombat Operations and Major Wars, was published in 2015 by Cornell University Press. His work has also appeared in leading journals of international relations such as International Security, International Studies Quarterly, the Journal of Peace Research, and Security Studies. He lies to his dentist about his flossing habits.