Below you'll find brief bios for our regular panel members and friends of the podcast, 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. He currently co-directs the Conspiracy and Democracy project: a five-year Leverhulme-funded research program based in CRASSH. 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.


Christopher Brooke is 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 this summer. 


Helen Thompson moved to Cambridge in 1994, and works in the Department of Politics and International Studies. She writes about the relationship between politics and the economy. Since 2008 she has worked on questions generated by the 2008 financial crash and the euro zone 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. 


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.


Ayşe Zarakol is a University Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Cambridge and a fellow at Emmanuel College. Ayşe broadly works on East-West relations in the international system; problems of modernity and sovereignty; rising and declining powers; and non-Western politics in a comparative perspective. In addition many articles, Ayşe is the author of After Defeat: How the East Learned to Live with the West (Cambridge University Press, 2011). In recent years, she has held fellowships with the Council on Foreign Relations, the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Cambridge and the Nobel Institute in Oslo. Her most recent book is Hierarchies in World Politics (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). 


Glen Rangwala is a university lecturer in the politics of the Middle East at the University of Cambridge, and a fellow of Trinity College Cambridge. Glen's research specialises in the Levant (including Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Palestine) and the northern Gulf region (including Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait). His particular interests are the forms of political debate in these regions and the character of the state and state-building processes. He also works on theories of contemporary conflict and modern war, international organisation and some aspects of the role of international law in politics, and is the co-author of Iraq in Fragments (Cornell University Press, 2006), which analyses the consequences in Iraq of the invasion of 2003.


Chris is a lecturer in 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, The Big Issue and the Monde Diplomatique. He is currently writing a book on populism, technocracy and the crisis of party democracy.