Talking Politics

David Runciman’s weekly political chat, produced in partnership with the LRB.
This is just a selection of episodes. For more, subscribe on the links below.

The Long-term Legacy of Brexit

David Runciman, Helen Thompson and Anand Menon, 18 January 2021

14 January 2021 · 53mins

David and Helen are joined by Diane Coyle and Anand Menon to have another go at pinning down the long term consequences of Brexit.

New Year, New World?

David Runciman and Helen Thompson, 13 January 2021

7 January 2021 · 56mins

David Runciman and Helen Thompson look at what's changed – and what hasn't – since the last episode of Talking Politics, from Brexit to Biden to Covid. Has the Brexit deal really given the UK a chance to do things differently? Do Democrat wins in the Georgia Senate races open up new possibilities for Biden? What is at stake in the politics of vaccination? Where do things now stand for the future of the Union?

Did Covid Kill the Climate?

David Runciman, 8 January 2021

31 December 2020 · 40mins

A recording of a recent talk by David on what we've learned in 2020 about the resilience of democratic societies in the face of disaster. Has the experience of Covid shown us how we can deal with climate change, or has it shown us what we are missing? An argument about optimism, pessimism and everything in between.

Looking Back, Looking Forward

David Runciman and Helen Thompson, 3 January 2021

24 December 2020 · 46mins

This week David, Helen and our producer Catherine Carr look back at five years of podcasting and five years of crazy politics, to pick our favourite moments and to discuss what we've learned. From the 2015 general election to the current crisis, via the Corn Laws and Crashed, the politics of abortion and super forecasting, Corbyn and nuclear weapons. Plus, we'll let you know about some of our plans for 2021.

Where Is the Opposition?

David Runciman and Helen Thompson, 17 December 2020

17 December 2020 · 45mins

David Runciman, Helen Thompson and Chris Brooke explore where the long-term opposition to Johnson's government is going to come from. Can Corbynism remain a force in British politics, even without Corbyn? Is there room for a challenge to the Conservatives from the right? Will climate politics drive street protest politics or can it help the Greens?

What’s Next for France and Italy?

David Runciman, 3 January 2021

10 December 2020 · 39mins

As we wait for a Brexit deal or no deal, we discuss what the next year might hold for French and Italian politics. What are Macron's prospects as he heads towards the next presidential election? Has Giorgia Meloni replaced Matteo Salvini as the leader of the Italian far right? And what chance of a return to political normalcy in either country? With Lucia Rubinelli and Chris Bickerton.

From Brexit to Scottish Independence

David Runciman, Helen Thompson and Anand Menon, 3 December 2020

3 December 2020 · 47mins

Trying to join the dots from the final days of the Brexit negotiations to the looming prospect of another referendum on Scottish independence: can the government really risk a no-deal outcome? Will the SNP still hold a referendum if the courts say no? What will Labour do?

Young People v. Joe Biden

David Runciman, 10 December 2020

26 November 2020 · 57mins

David talks about race and representation with Cathy Cohen of the GenForward Survey project based in Chicago. He also catches up with Jeevun Sandher and Michael Bankole of the Politics Jam podcast to explore a UK perspective on why young and minority voices find it so hard to be heard.

Post-Covid Economics

David Runciman, Helen Thompson and Adam Tooze, 24 December 2020

19 November 2020 · 45mins

David Runciman, Helen Thompson and Adam Tooze discuss what might follow the pandemic. From vaccines to changing patterns of employment, from action on climate to new tensions with China, what might the long-term effects of 2020 might be? They also consider what options are open to a Biden administration: with the Georgia run-offs to come and the disease still spreading, how much wriggle room has he got? This episode was recorded as part of the Bristol Festival of Economics.

War: What Is it Good For?

David Runciman, Margaret MacMillan and Helen Thompson, 21 November 2020

12 November 2020 · 38mins

David and Helen talk to the historian Margaret MacMillan about the changing character of war, from the ancient world to the twenty-first century.

What Just Happened?

David Runciman and Helen Thompson, 11 November 2020

5 November 2020 · 52mins

David, Helen and Gary convene on very little sleep to try to make sense of another extraordinary election.

What Trump Means To Us

David Runciman and Helen Thompson, 5 November 2020

29 October 2020 · 44mins

Helen and David talk about four years of Trump. Is it possible to give a balanced picture of Trump's presidency? Have the last four years followed a pattern or has it just been chaos?

Democracy for Sale

David Runciman, Helen Thompson and Peter Geoghegan, 28 October 2020

22 October 2020 · 47mins

A conversation with Peter Geoghegan of openDemocracy and Jennifer Cobbe of the Trust and Technology Initiative about Cambridge Analytica, money, power, and what is and isn’t corrupting our democracy. How easy is it to buy influence in British politics? Did Cambridge Analytica break the rules or show just how little difference the rules make anyway? Who has the power to take on Facebook? And what does the British government’s failure to handle the pandemic tell us about the corrosive effects of cronyism?

Trump Stress Test

David Runciman and Sarah Churchwell, 26 November 2020

15 October 2020 · 47mins

David talks to the historian Sarah Churchwell about how well America's political institutions have withstood the stress of the last four years. Have we seen the limits of presidential power or have we discovered how easy it is to trash those limits? Are constitutional checks and balances still intact? Is it really Mitch McConnell who is putting American democracy under stress? Plus we talk about what will be needed to restore the social contract and the perils of political humility.

Can Boris Survive Brexit?

David Runciman and Helen Thompson, 29 October 2020

8 October 2020 · 54mins

David and the team talk Brexit and ask whether Boris Johnson has a good way out of the current negotiations with the EU over a trade deal.