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Programme examining the ideas and forces which shape public policy in Britain and abroad, presented by distinguished writers, journalists and academics.

From Analysis at 2022-07-25 20:30:00

Addiction in the age of the metaverse (p0cnzn4m.mp3)

Are we past the point of no return when it comes to our obsession with online technology? Elaine Moore considers her own tech use and explores our future in the metaverse. According to a YouGov poll, the majority of Brits can’t get through dinner without checking their phone. Children and young adults can now be treated on the NHS for ‘gaming and internet addiction’. So, with the arrival of the metaverse, which promises to seamlessly blend our real and virtual worlds, are we facing a future which could potentially turbocharge this issue? Elaine asks if addiction to technology is real, and as it becomes more entwined in our everyday lives, what’s being done about it? Speaking to addiction specialists, tech experts, and others, she finds out how we can live more harmoniously with technology and develop healthier relationships with our screens. With contributions from: James Ball, author of 'The System: Who Owns the Internet, and How it Owns Us'. Anna Lembke, Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine and author of 'Dopamine Nation'. Dr Rebecca Lockwood from the National Center for Gaming Disorder. Catherine Price, science journalist and founder of ScreenLifeBalance.com. Professor of AI and Spatial Computing, David Reid. Producer: Craig Templeton Smith

From Analysis at 2022-07-18 20:30:00

Is the UK the new sick man of Europe? (p0cmm9c7.mp3)

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the United Kingdom was sometimes characterised as the 'sickman of Europe' due to industrial strife and poor economic performance compared to other European countries. Today, inflation is once again rising and growth is forecast to slow considerably and economists predict that the UK could suffer a greater hit to living standards next year than any other major European country. BBC economics correspondent Dharshini David asks just how hard the times ahead will be and how might we find a cure to avoid the mantle of 'sick man of Europe' once more? Producer: Caroline Bayley Editor: Richard Fenton - Smith Sound Engineer: Rod Farquhar Production Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Helena Warwick-Cross

From Analysis at 2022-07-11 21:00:00

What is childcare for? (p0cl68w8.mp3)

Is formal childcare for pre-school children there to provide an early years education? Or to allow parents to go out to work? Politicians would say both, but many argue the UK’s system is failing to do either. Charlotte McDonald explores what improvements could be made and ask – do we want a big overhaul of our current system?

From Analysis at 2022-07-04 21:00:00

Beyond the cost of living crisis (p0cjd3xj.mp3)

The Bank of England says inflation might reach 11 per cent this year. There are warnings that some people will have to choose between heating and eating. But what does it mean for the whole economy when prices just keep rising? In the 1970s inflation in the UK led to prices and wages spiralling as workers fought for wages that would keep up with prices. Those years were dominated by waves of strikes and social unrest as inflation became embedded in the economic system. The current situation is being exacerbated by Covid 19, the war in Ukraine and Brexit so is there anything that government can do to stop it? How bad could it get? And are the days of low inflation gone forever? Reporter Philip Coggan talks to: Manoj Pradhan consultant at Talking Macroeconomics Andy Haldane, Chief Executive of the RSA and former Chief Economist at the Bank of England Jagjit Chada: Director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium Ruth Gregory, Economist at Capital Economics Kenneth Rogoff, Professor of Economics at Harvard University Producer: Claire Bowes Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production co-ordinators: Helena Warwick-Cross and Maria Ogundele Sound engineer: Neil Churchill

From Analysis at 2022-06-27 21:00:00

Cashing in on the green rush (p0chg1z1.mp3)

Some countries have legalised cannabis, often with the hope of kick-starting a lucrative new source of tax revenue - but just how profitable has it been? Aside from a few fact-finding trips, the prospect of legalising cannabis is not on the political agenda here in the UK - but could it be missing out? Advocates say it's a bad call to let criminals continue to profit when legal businesses and the government could reap the financial rewards instead. Opponents counter that no amount of money is worth the associated public health risks. But in the past decade countries including Canada, Malta, Uruguay and parts of the United States have decided to embrace the so-called green rush. But how is it working out for them economically and what lessons could other places considering legalisation learn? Reporter Datshiane Navanayagam talks to: Christopher Snowden, Head of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs Adam Spiker, executive director of a cannabis trade association in California Amanda Chicago Lewis, a US based investigative reporter covering cannabis Laura Schultz, executive director of research at Rockefeller Institute of Government in New York Rishi Malkani, Cannabis Leader at Deloitte Charlotte Bowyer, Head of Advisory at Hanway Associates Producer: Ben Carter Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production co-ordinators: Helena Warwick-Cross and Maria Ogundele Sound engineer: James Beard

From Analysis at 2022-06-20 21:00:00

Germany and Russia: It's Complicated (p0cg2qcj.mp3)

In late February, three days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz made a landmark speech in the German parliament, the Bundestag. The invasion, he declared, represented a 'Zeitenwende' - a turning point. The speech has been much discussed since - was Mr Scholz referring simply to the fact of the invasion, or to the way Germany needed to respond to it? The speech contained a number of policy statements, the boldest of which was the commitment to set up a 100 billion Euro fund to re-equip Germany's outdated armed forces. The question now is whether Germany will live up to Mr Scholz' promises, or will the cultural, political and economic bonds that have tied Germany and Russia together get in the way? Presenter: Caroline Bayley Producer: Tim Mansel

From Analysis at 2022-06-13 21:00:00

The Advertising Trap (p0cdmy03.mp3)

Digital advertising fuels the digital economy, but is it all based on smoke and mirrors? Ed Butler investigates what some claim is a massive collective deception - a trillion dollar marketing pitch that simply does not deliver value to any of those paying for it. He asks, do online ads actually work, or could it be that some of the biggest names in global tech are founded on a false prospectus?

From Analysis at 2022-06-06 21:01:00

Can nationalism be a force for good? (p0cc8xmc.mp3)

Arguments over the value of nationalism seem to have been raging for centuries, even though the nation state as we know it has only become widespread in the last two hundred years. In this programme, David Edmonds tracks the emergence of the nation state and the debate surrounding it. From post-colonial Ghana to contemporary Britain, we hear what nationalism has meant to different people in different contexts, as well as the social and philosophical principles that underlie it. Contributors: Professor Michael Billig, Emeritus Professor of Social Sciences at Loughborough University, Professor Richard Bourke, professor of the history of political thought, University of Cambridge. Elizabeth Ohene, former Minister of State in Ghana. Dr Sandra Obradovic, Lecturer in Psychology, The Open University. Professor Tariq Modood, director of the Bristol University Research Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship. Dr Sarah Fine, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Cambridge Producer: Nathan Gower Studio Manager: James Beard Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production Co-ordinators: Maria Ogundele and Helena Warwick-Cross

From Analysis at 2022-05-30 21:00:00

From Russia with love (p0c8zg81.mp3)

As Russia’s brutal war with Ukraine enters its fourth month, Edward Stourton asks who Russia's allies and friends are and looks at the nation's influence overseas. While President Putin has made no secret of his belief that Ukraine should be part of a “greater Russia”, what is less apparent is how far Russia’s influence is spreading in other parts of the world. These include sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. With the West having left a vacuum in parts of Africa, President Putin has been able to offer military help in unstable countries such as Mali and the Central African Republic. This follows Russia's intervention in Syria's civil war on the side of Bashar Al-Assad's government, with implications for the wider geopolitics of the region. And in Latin America, Russia is accused of using soft power tactics through its media channels to polarise society and spread anti-US and anti-Western propaganda. Edward Stourton asks to what extent this shows that Russia is trying to rebuild the old Soviet-US spheres of influence of the Cold War. Producer: Caroline Bayley Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Sound Engineer: James Beard Production Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Helena Warwick

From Analysis at 2022-03-21 21:00:00

The Court of Putin (p0bwm91x.mp3)

In the wake of the greatest crisis to hit Europe since the Second World War, former Moscow correspondent Tim Whewell examines the president, people and processes that led to that momentous decision, and others like it. Radical advisers, tame oligarchs, intelligence agencies scared to tell Putin the truth and the domestic repercussions of NATO’s political moves - Tim brings together the variety of causes that have led to deep dysfunction and the concentration of power in a single man who risks becoming synonymous with the state itself. Interviewees include investigative journalists Catherine Belton and Andrei Soldatov, and former NATO Secretary General George Robertson. Producer: Nathan Gower Sound: Nigel Appleton Production Coordinators: Siobhan Reed and Sophie Hill Editor: Hugh Levinson

From Analysis at 2022-03-14 21:00:00

Can the UK ever be a low tax economy again? (p0btwj9y.mp3)

As tax rises hit pay packets next month is this an end to traditional Conservative low tax policy? The UK government has so far defied calls from across the political spectrum to shelve the planned 1.25 per cent increase in National Insurance, despite millions of households grappling with a rising cost of living at a time of great economic uncertainty as war rages in Ukraine. A greater proportion of the nation’s income will go to the taxman than at any point since the 1950s. Yet Brexit was billed by some as the UK’s chance to go it alone and create its own economic model, a “Singapore on Thames” – a low tax, light touch economy to attract outside investment. Instead, corporation tax is to increase from 19 percent to 25 per cent by 2023, while a new £12 billion annual levy to fund the NHS and social care comes in from April, initially in the form of higher national insurance payments. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has broken his election manifesto pledge not to raise such taxes to meet, he argues, the cost of supporting the economy through the pandemic. His chancellor hopes this will permit future tax cuts. But with policy priorities such as levelling up and a transition to net zero, and the realities of an ageing population, BBC Economics Correspondent Dharshini David asks whether we're seeing a fundamental shift in traditional Conservative low tax philosophy and whether that's a temporary choice - or an unavoidable permanent reorientation? Guests: Sir John Redwood MP Sir Charlie Bean, professor of economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science Lord Nick Macpherson, former permanent secretary to the Treasury Dame DeAnne Julius, distinguished fellow, Chatham House Dr Jill Rutter, senior fellow, The Institute of Government Producer: Caroline Bayley Production Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Jacqui Johnson Sound: Graham Puddifoot Editor: Hugh Levinson

From Analysis at 2022-03-07 21:00:00

Ending Violence (p0bs9q7d.mp3)

Is a world without violence possible? Violence blights the lives of countless individuals each year. The Crime Survey of England and Wales suggests there were 1.2 million incidents of violent crime in the year ending March 2020. Sonia Sodha focuses on one category of violence – gender-based violence – and assesses the global progress in tackling this issue. Statistics show that most perpetrators – and victims – of violent crime are men. As a result, many violence prevention initiatives have traditionally focused on reducing men’s propensity for violence. But how effective is this gender-based approach? And does it provide any clues for the best way to reduce violence in society as a whole? Presenter: Sonia Sodha Producer: Dan Hardoon Production Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Jacqui Johnson Sound: James Beard Editor: Hugh Levinson

From Analysis at 2022-02-28 21:00:00

The case for public service reform (p0br78n6.mp3)

Chris Naylor asks if there's a better way to deliver public services. Many of these were designed nearly a century ago to address the challenges of that time; from cradle to grave, offering help and support during times of need - just enough to get you back on your feet. But as we approach the quarter-way mark in the 21st century, our context today is radically different to that of 100 years ago. Dig a little deeper and some of the other assumptions that underpinned Beveridge’s vision of a welfare state no longer hold either: full employment; economic and fiscal growth; the presumption of unpaid domestic care (then done by women) and of affordable housing. Little wonder that services designed to respond to momentary problems in a person or household life can’t cope with the tsunami of demand that comes when those problems last for decades. And if our public services can’t cope with collective demand, the worry is this is contributing to a collapse in the trust we place in our public institutions and therefore in our politics too. As the years go by, as trust declines, so the problems get harder and harder to resolve. So what are we going to do about this? Is there a better way to deliver public services? Chris Naylor, the former Chief Executive of Barking and Dagenham Council assesses the need for public service reform, meeting innovators and talking to those who design and use public services. Is it time for a radical rethink? Producer: Jim Frank Production Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Jacqui Johnson Editor: Hugh Levinson

From Analysis at 2022-02-21 21:00:00

Planning, Housing and Politics (p0bpwz91.mp3)

How can the planning system adapt so we can build new homes without alienating voters? Barrister and author Hashi Mohamed investigates, focussing on the system in England. The government has pledged to build 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s to ease the country’s housing crisis and increase home ownership. But wide-ranging planning reforms to make it easier to achieve were shelved following the Conservatives’ shock defeat in the Chesham and Amersham by-election last year. So is it possible to create a politically acceptable planning system in this country? Deadlock between local communities and big developers is commonplace, with planning policies taking years to realise through a local government system that lacks vital resources and expertise. And what has to change for enough new homes to be built? Hashi Mohamed asks how the planning system, and the way we live and build, needs to adapt. Producer: Caroline Bayley Production Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Jacqui Johnson Sound: Graham Puddifoot Editor: Hugh Levinson

From Analysis at 2022-02-14 21:00:00

Tackling Inequality (p0bp28nr.mp3)

Probing the results of a major study into our unequal society. Faisal Islam, BBC Economics Editor, talks to two leading experts on inequality, who have together been working for several years on a research project for the Institute for Fiscal Studies. He asks Paul Johnson, IFS Director, and Nobel laureate Sir Angus Deaton what the findings reveal about the UK now, and how these issues can be addressed. Producer: Xavier Zapata Production Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Jacqui Johnson

From Analysis at 2022-02-07 21:00:00

Why worry about future generations? (p0blyp64.mp3)

What do we owe future generations? Everyone who is alive, has rights. And governments have obligations to their citizens. But what about people who are not yet born? Should their interests be taken into account - even though they don’t yet exist? David Edmonds draws upon the thinking of the late philosopher Derek Parfit to address this vexing question, which has consequences for real-world policy now in areas such as climate change. Presenter: David Edmonds Producer: Nathan Gower Editor: Hugh Levinson

From Analysis at 2022-01-31 21:00:00

Universal Vaccines (p0blcs7q.mp3)

Can scientists develop a vaccine which can combat the coronavirus and all its variants? There have been three lethal outbreaks caused by coronaviruses this century: SARS in 2002, MERS in 2012 and now SarsCov2. Scientists predict we will eventually encounter SarsCov3. That’s why the race is on to develop a universal vaccine to combat the coronaviruses and variants we know about, and the ones we have yet to confront. But attempts to create a universal vaccine for viruses such as influenza and HIV have been going on for decades - without success. Before 2020, proposals to create a vaccine against coronaviruses were not thought important enough to pursue since many just cause the common cold. Now that we understand their real threat, can scientists succeed in creating a vaccine to fight this large family of viruses,? Produced and presented by Sandra Kanthal Editor: Emma Close Production Coordinators: Maria Ogundele and Jacqui Johnson Sound: James Beard and Rod Farquhar

From Analysis at 2021-11-15 21:00:00

Finding Things Out (p0b3kyqp.mp3)

Finding things out during the pandemic has been hit and miss: there’ve been miracles, and there’s been junk. What matters is not just what we think we know about how to intervene to improve human health, but how we think we know it. Methods can be inspired, flawed, or both. Michael Blastland tells the short and still-changing story of how science has been trying to get better at finding things out. Contributions from: Professor Sir Angus Deaton, Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs Emeritus at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and the Economics Department at Princeton University. Maria Popp. Department of Anaesthesiology, Intensive Care, Emergency and Pain Medicine, University Hospital Wuerzburg. Professor George Davey Smith, Director of the Medical Research Council Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol. Sheena McCormack, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at University College London Producer: Ben Carter Editor: Jasper Corbett Sound Engineer: Graham Puddifoot

From Analysis at 2021-11-08 21:02:00

Baby Boom or Bust (p0b322qf.mp3)

Birth rates in many countries, including China, Japan, Italy and the UK have dropped below replacement level. Clare McNeil asks if we should be concerned about this, and the burden it will place on taxpayers and the young, or welcome it as a good thing for climate change, where some think that the fewer consumers and CO2 emitters the better. But with fertility rates of 1.58 in England and Wales, and only 1.29 in Scotland, society is aging, with the higher healthcare and pension costs to be borne by the taxpayers of working age. What role could or should the government play in increasing the birthrate? Presenter: Clare McNeil Producer: Arlene Gregorius Editor: Jasper Corbett Speakers: Angie Hobbs, Professor of the Public Understanding of Philosophy, the University of Sheffield Lord David Willetts, President of the Resolution Foundation George Monbiot, environmental campaigner and author Felix Pinkert, Assistant professor of Philosophy and Economics, University of Vienna Jacob Hacker, Professor of Political Science, Yale University Jade Sasser, Associate Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies, University of California, Riverside Ronald Lee, emeritus professor of Demography and Economics, University of California, Berkeley

From Analysis at 2021-11-01 21:02:00

Revenge of the Workers (p0b1msht.mp3)

The shortage of HGV drivers has been hitting the headlines, but other sectors are affected by a lack of staff too, from care homes to restaurants. This despite wages going up, and the end of the furlough scheme. What's going on? Could it be that power is shifting away from employers to workers, for perhaps the first time since the 1970s? Since the 2008 financial crisis public opinion has increasingly been unfavourable towards globalisation, immigration and big corporations. This has been reflected in a shift away from an assumed pro-business stance among the mainstream political parties too. Philip Coggan speaks to a range of experts to find out what's been happening, whether workers really will gain more power, and what that might mean for the economy. Guests: Ben Clift, Professor of Political Economy at the University of Warwick Dame DeAnne Julius, Distinguished Fellow for Global Economy and Finance, Chatham House Kate Bell, Head of Rights, International, Social and Economics at the Trades Union Congress Rob Ford, Professor of Political Science at the University of Manchester Jonathan Portes, Professor of Economics and Policy at King’s College, London Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality Shereen Hussein, Professor of Health and Social Care Policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Gerwyn Davies, Public Policy Adviser and Senior Market Analyst at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Producer: Arlene Gregorius Sound: Gareth Jones

From Analysis at 2021-10-25 20:58:00

Parental Alienation (p0b0679n.mp3)

Splitting up where children are involved is tricky. Especially when it ends up in the family courts. It’s even more tricky when a child decides they don’t want a relationship with one of the parents. Over the last two decades a controversial psychological concept has emerged to describe a situation where children - for no apparent reason - decide they don’t want to see one parent. It’s called parental alienation. Women’s rights organisations argue parental alienation is used to gaslight abused women. Fathers’ rights organisations claim that some mothers make up allegations of abuse to prevent them from seeing their children. And children are caught in the middle. Sonia Sodha explores the polarizing concept of “parental alienation” and asks how a contested psychological theory has evolved into an increasingly common allegation in the UK family courts. Producer: Gemma Newby

From Analysis at 2021-10-11 21:00:00

Look who's talking - the rise of ‘voice cloning’ (p09ybp3l.mp3)

When you listen to a radio programme, watch an animated film, or even receive a phone call, it’s unlikely you’ll question whether the words you’re hearing are coming from the mouth of a human being. But all that could be about to change thanks to the rise of ‘voice cloning’. Elaine Moore is a tech columnist at the Financial Times and she’s interested in the ramifications of this new technology. Thanks to artificial intelligence, cloning a human voice can be achieved with just a few minutes of recorded audio. As the technology becomes more sophisticated and its use more widespread, how will this affect our society, our politics and our personal interactions? And is it time we were able to control what happens to our own voice both now and when we die? With contributions from: Carlton Daniel, lawyer at Squire Patton Boggs. Tom Lee, co-founder of LOVO. David Leslie, Ethics Theme Lead at the Alan Turing Institute. Rupal Patel, founder & CEO of VocaliD. Tim McSmythurs, AI Researcher and creator of Speaking AI. James Vlahos, co-founder of HereAfter AI. Producer: Craig Templeton Smith Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2021-10-04 21:00:00

Who Defends Europe? (p09xpw49.mp3)

This summer's hasty and poorly executed withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan caused shock and profound unease among Washington's allies, just as they hoped the unilateralism of the Trump era had been left behind. But anxiety about America's position on defence only intensified with the unveiling in September of AUKUS - a trilateral security pact involving Australia, the US and UK covering the Indo-Pacific region. The exclusion of France from that deal not only enraged Paris but also further alarmed European allies about American intentions. So what next? Can the Biden administration be trusted to uphold the security guarantee which underpins NATO? Or, as France's President Emmanuel Macron argues, do these and other actions by the United States show that the 70 year-old Alliance is effectively "brain dead" and that Europe has to set about achieving "strategic autonomy" without depending on Washington's whims? In a lively forum with key players and thinkers about European security from both sides of the Atlantic, Edward Stourton considers what should happen now on European defence and whether seemingly divergent views about it can be reconciled. Those taking part: Professor Malcolm Chalmers, Deputy Director of the Royal United Services Institute in London; Nathalie Loiseau, MEP, former French Minister of European Affairs and Chair of the European Parliament's Sub-committee on Security and Defence; Dr Constanze Stelzenmüller, expert on Germany and trans-Atlantic Relations in the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.; and Linas Linkevicius, former Foreign and Defence Minister of Lithuania. Producer: Simon Coates Editor: Jasper Corbett Photo by Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

From Analysis at 2021-09-27 20:55:00

Reimagining the Nation (p09ww1s4.mp3)

What keeps a nation together? For political scientist Benedict Anderson, it was the idea of the 'imagined community'. Although people from different backgrounds in a country might not know one another, they could imagine themselves as part of the same larger story. Peter Pomerantsev looks at how we can survive as a society when the idea of the 'imagined community' is under strain. Is it too late to find any commonality? Or are there other ways of imagining the future of the nation? Producer Ant Adeane Editor Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2021-07-19 20:30:00

Cancelling Colston (p09pvvsk.mp3)

In June 2020 the statue of slaver trader Edward Colston was toppled and thrown into the harbour in Bristol – one of the most visible moments of the Black Lives Matter movement in the UK. The statue now lies on its side in a museum, a testament to the dramatic re-evaluation of Bristol’s painful history at the centre of the transatlantic slave trade. Over the last year schools and buildings bearing Colston's name have been renamed. Colston has been cancelled. But what about the system of wealth, power and race that he represented? Bristol journalist Neil Maggs speaks to the people in Bristol dealing with Colston’s legacy. Current members of the Society of Merchant Venturers, a powerful charitable organisation which promoted Colston’s reputation as a philanthropist, have suddenly been thrust into the spotlight. School leaders are rolling out unconscious bias training. Elsewhere community leaders and politicians are navigating the potential for a backlash against terms such as white privilege as the national conversation on race continues. Producer: Lucy Proctor Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2021-07-12 21:00:00

Science in the Time of Cancel Culture (p09p5d3z.mp3)

In an age of social media ’cancel culture’ might be defined as an orchestrated campaign which seeks to silence or end the careers of people whose thoughts or opinions deviate from a new set of political norms. So if this threat exists for anyone expressing an opinion online in 2021, what’s it like for scientists working in academia and publishing findings which might be deemed controversial? In this edition of Analysis, Michael Muthukrishna, Associate Professor of Economic Psychology at the London School of Economics, assesses the impact of modern social justice movements on scientific research and development. Speaking to a range of experts, some who have found themselves in the firing line of current public discourse, and others who question the severity of this phenomenon and its political motives, Michael asks: if fear of personal or professional harm is strengthening conformism or eviscerating robust intellectual debate, can open-mindedness on controversial issues really exist in the scientific community? Or is rigorous public assessment of scientific findings helping to achieve better, more equitable and socially just outcomes? With contributions from: Emily M Bender, Professor of Linguistics at the University of Washington Pedro Domingos, Professor of Computer Science at University of Washington Caroline Criado Perez, writer and campaigner Brandeis Marshall, data scientist, Professor of Computer Science at Spelman College Steven Pinker, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University David Reich, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School Producer Craig Templeton Smith Editor Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2021-07-05 21:00:00

Stalemate: Israel and the Palestinians after Gaza (p09nfzt1.mp3)

After another round of violence, a two state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict appears farther away than ever. Edward Stourton examines the future. Producer Luke Radcliff Editor Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2021-06-28 21:00:00

A Hundred Glorious Years? (p09ms7tg.mp3)

The first, modest Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) took place in late July 1921. Of the twelve original members, only Mao Zedong and one of his closest aides survived to take part in the founding of the People's Republic in 1949. The others were killed by political opponents, lost factional struggles or took up other creeds. And the CCP's history has been punctuated by in-fighting, purges, jailings, defections and sudden deaths. The Party itself sees things differently. Only it was able to push China into the future, the CCP claims, after earlier abortive attempts to modernise the country - and to secure the global eminence that it now enjoys. Its narrative also insists on the CCP's seamless triumph over obstacles placed in its path by malevolent foreign powers and reactionary domestic forces. A hundred years on from the CCP's foundation, the eminent China-watcher Isabel Hilton assesses the importance of the Party's centenary and asks why control of its view of its history is so important. She shows which events and ideological shifts the CCP prefers not to highlight or to ignore altogether. She considers why so much of the Party's history swings between periods of repression and liberalisation. And she explores how Xi Jinping, its current leader, is using the centenary. What will preoccupy the CCP in the years ahead? Producer Simon Coates Editor Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2021-06-21 20:30:00

A New Unionism? (p09lw88l.mp3)

Unionism in Northern Ireland is facing a highly uncertain future. Its divided party politics make the headlines. But beyond that, post-Brexit border rules and talk of a possible vote on Irish reunification is causing much anxiety. Even more profoundly, changes in the province’s population and attitudes among different generations are weakening traditional loyalties. Pessimists fear all this could be seriously destabilising. Others argue that a new kind of unionism, focused on the practical benefits of links to Britain, can revive the cause. Chris Bowlby listens in to a debate with major implications for the UK as a whole. Producer: Jim Frank Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2021-06-07 21:00:00

Funny Money (p09kt05b.mp3)

What is the money in your pocket really worth? Come to think of it now we’re virtually cashless, do you even keep money in your pocket? Maybe you’re worried about the growth of government debt during the pandemic you now store your wealth in commodities such as gold or silver? Or maybe you’re a fan of another asset class: bitcoin. Are cryptocurrencies the future of money or a giant bubble waiting to burst? Why are governments and companies such as Facebook so interested in developing their own digital currencies? Fifty years on from the ‘Nixon Shock’, when President Richard Nixon changed global currencies forever by taking the US off the gold standard, the BBC’s Ben Chu is on a mission to find out what money means to us today. Where does its value come from in this increasingly online world? Are we witnessing a revolution in the transfer of value into the metaverse? And how should make sense of this funny money business? Guests include: Historian Niall Ferguson Economist and academic Stephanie Kelton Investor Daniel Maegaard Investment strategist Raoul Pal Financial commentator Peter Schiff Economist Pavlina Tcherneva Producer Craig Templeton Smith Editor Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2021-05-31 20:40:00

The Zoomshock Metropolis (p09jyw96.mp3)

Our towns and cities are facing an existential crisis. The rise of online shopping has left gaping holes in high streets. And if hybrid working takes off, some economists predict a dramatic 'zoom shock' as workers spend less time and money in city centres. What seems like a crisis could be an opportunity to reinvent our cities and 'Level Up' struggling towns. But are we ready to seize this moment? Helen Grady meets local leaders embracing this moment of change - from the Teesside town bulldozing a shopping centre to create a park to the US community paying remote tech workers to relocate. She hears how big cities like Manchester are enticing people back to the office. And she asks if we're about to see a move away from city-led growth to a model where jobs and prosperity are more evenly spread between towns and cities. Producer and presenter Helen Grady Editor Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2021-05-24 20:00:00

What the Foucault? (p09j88nd.mp3)

Last December Liz Truss made a speech. The Minister for Women and Equalities spoke about her memories of being at school in Leeds. She was taught about sexism and racism, she said, but not enough time was spent on being taught how to read and write. "These ideas," said Truss, "have their roots in post-modernist philosophy - pioneered by Foucault - that put societal power structures and labels ahead of individuals and their endeavours." So do Foucault's ideas pose a real danger to social and cultural life in Britain? Or is he a "bogeyman" deployed by some politicians to divide and distract us from real issues? In this edition of Analysis, writer and academic Shahidha Bari tries to make sense of Foucault's influence in the UK - and asks whether his ideas really do have an effect on Britain today. Producer: Ant Adeane Editor: Jasper Corbett Contributors: Agnes Poirier, journalist and author of Left Bank: Art, Passion, and the Rebirth of Paris, 1940-50 Michael Drolet, Senior Research Fellow in the History of Political Thought, Worcester College, University of Oxford Lisa Downing, Professor of French Discourses of Sexuality at the University of Birmingham Richard Whatmore, Professor of Modern History at the University of St Andrews and Co-Director of the Institute of Intellectual History Matthew Goodwin, Professor of Politics in the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent Clare Chambers, Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Cambridge Charlotte Riley, Lecturer in Twentieth-Century British History at the University of Southampton

From Analysis at 2021-03-29 21:00:00

Global Britain: is there substance behind the slogan? (p09c5gxf.mp3)

Having left the EU, the UK is now re-branding itself as "Global Britain", but what does that actually mean? A key plank of the new foreign policy is a pivot to the "Indo-Pacific". How is this seen in India? And how should Britain deal with China, described as a "challenge" in the government's recently published Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy? And where does all this leave relations with the EU and US? Should "Global Britain" try to reassert itself as a major power on the international stage, or would the UK's interests be better served by acting as a broker between larger, or like-minded, countries instead, to help bring about beneficial agreements? And what effect could the reduction in the overseas development aid budget from 0.7% to 0.5% of Gross National Income have on Britain's "soft power" abroad, with the deep real-terms cuts to humanitarian and other programmes that this will mean for countries such as Yemen or Malawi? Presenter: Chris Morris Producer: Arlene Gregorius Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2021-03-22 20:40:00

Science in the Time of Covid-19 (p09b8mgh.mp3)

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen the best of science and the worst of science. New vaccines have been produced in less than twelve months. But at the same time we’ve seen evidence exaggerated and undermined, falsified, and flawed. Scientists arguing in public over areas of policy that have reached into all of our lives in an unprecedented way. There has never been so much “science”. But the pandemic has seen science politicised and polarised in ways some of us could never imagine. In this episode of Analysis, Sonia Sodha explores what the pandemic has revealed about the practice of science, and our relationship with it. Producer: Gemma Newby Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2021-03-15 20:35:00

The Fine Art of Decision Making (p099jw08.mp3)

Margaret Heffernan explores the fine art of decision making in times of uncertainty. We make decisions all the time which affect our personal lives, but what about the decisions which affect the lives of many others? How do you decide, when the well being of a nation or the success of a company are at stake, but the path is unclear because the risks cannot be quantified? A desire for more data, the temptation to procrastinate, a reluctance to admit mistakes and the outsourcing of decisions to machines can all lead to bad decision making, so what processes and practices, leadership qualities and attitudes of mind can serve as the best guides? Senior politicians, public servants, business people and academics share their insights based on past failures as well as successes, and suggest ways of better decision making in an increasingly uncertain world. Contributors: Professor Gerd Gigerenzer, Director emeritus, Max Planck Institute for Human Development Martin Gilbert, former CEO, Aberdeen Asset Management Sir Oliver Letwin, former Conservative MP and Cabinet Minister Dame Louise Makin, former CEO, BTG plc Baroness Eliza Manningham- Buller, former Director General MI5, Chair of The Wellcome Trust Professor Cathy O'Neill, founder O'Neill Risk Consulting and Algorithmic Auditing Jonathan Powell, former Downing Street Chief of Staff to Tony Blair Producer: Sheila Cook Editor Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2021-03-08 20:30:00

Levelling Up Wakefield (p098vjbs.mp3)

With its low-wage economy, Wakefield is the kind of place the government has promised to help level up. But what kind of help do people there most need? Anand Menon returns to his home city to find out. He meets someone who remembers the days when Wakefield was known for its vibrant nightlife. He hears about the council's plans to entice new people to the district through attractions like the Hepworth Art Gallery and the transformation of the Rutland Mills. He finds out what attracts - and hinders - private sector investment. And he discovers how communities built around mills and mines have lost their economic purpose and been left stranded by poor local transport links. Producer: Helen Grady Data research: Professor Christina Beatty from the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2021-03-01 20:40:00

Magic Weapons (p0985v1j.mp3)

There used to be a romantic notion of globalisation that all countries would simply have to get along as we were all so interconnected. Why fight when your interests are aligned? It’s an idea that has made direct military engagement less likely. But something very different has emerged in its place. We live in a new era of conflict, where states try to achieve their aims through aggressive measures that stay below the threshold of war. This is a strategy of statecraft with a long history, but which has a new inflection in our technologically charged, globalised world. Now a mix of cyber, corruption and disinformation is employed to mess with adversaries. China’s president, Xi Jinping, has referred to political influence activities as being one of the Chinese Communist Party's 'magic weapons'. In this edition of Analysis, Peter Pomerantsev looks at how political warfare works in a world where we’re all economically entangled - and what Britain could and should do to adapt. Producer: Ant Adeane Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2021-02-22 21:00:00

Boiled Rabbits of the Left? (p097r0wz.mp3)

George Orwell chastised the "boiled rabbits of the Left" for disliking what he called "the spiritual need for patriotism". He was writing in 1940 during Hitler's Blitz of London and other British cities. But Orwell also poses a challenge to those on the Left today who find patriotism redolent of flag-waving chauvinism, uncomfortably at odds with their cherished internationalism and an unwelcome diversion from other priorities. Since he was elected leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer has spoken of his love of country, determined to make a break with the legacy of his predecessor. Polling suggested Jeremy Corbyn was perceived to be cool in his patriotic sympathies. That view among electors in northern England and the Midlands was indeed so strong it was one of the main reasons former Labour supporters gave for switching to the Conservatives at the 2019 general election. In this edition of "Analysis", Edward Stourton asks how Labour can turn the page on its seemingly conflicted stance on patriotism. What would a distinctive Labour patriotism consist of? Could it appeal to different people in different parts of Britain when the Union now seems more fragile than ever? Is the task even so fraught with difficulty that Labour should simply leave this subject to its opponents? In short, what is Labour's answer today to the awkward challenge posed by Orwell eighty years ago and which stubbornly refuses to go away? Those taking part: Deborah Mattinson of BritainThinks; former Labour leader, Lord Kinnock; singer and author, Billy Bragg; Shadow Scottish Secretary, Ian Murray MP; New Labour loyalist, Lord Adonis; Labour MP, Florence Eshalomi; and Jon Cruddas, Labour thinker and MP for Dagenham & Rainham. Producer Simon Coates Editor Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2021-02-15 21:00:00

Flying Blind (p096vc66.mp3)

What do we really know about the policy choices confronting us? Covid-19 has been a brutal lesson in the extent of our ignorance. We face hard decisions, and argue about them ferociously, when in truth we’re often in the dark about their full consequences. But Covid is not unusual in this respect - and we could learn from it. Other areas of life and policy are similarly obscured. Not that we like to admit it. How well, for example, do we know what the economy is up to? Quite possibly not nearly as well as you might think - even to the extent that it’s recently been suggested the first estimates of GDP can’t be sure of telling the difference between boom and bust - the problem really can be that extreme. Some recessions have turned out to be illusions. In this programme Michael Blastland examines our collective ignorance and how it affects policy and debate, asking if public argument needs a lot more humility. Producer Caroline Bayley Editor Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2021-02-08 20:30:00

Rogue Cops (p095qq4b.mp3)

Is it possible to identify rogue cops before they commit offences? Can we change police culture to improve police interactions with the public? The brutal killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis shone a spotlight on how police treat suspects, particularly black suspects. In this Analysis, David Edmonds asks what the science of criminology has discovered about how such tragedies can be stopped. Producer Bethan Head. Editor Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2021-02-01 21:00:00

Personality Politics (p0958zx8.mp3)

Are we predisposed by our personality to be drawn to certain political policies or certain ideologies? And if so, should we take account of this when our views differ from other people? James Tilley, a professor of politics at Oxford University, talks to leading academics in the field about how this might help explain the current political polarisation seen in countries like the UK and the US. Producer: Bob Howard Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2020-11-16 20:40:00

Chasing Unicorns (p08yd93t.mp3)

We live in a world of unicorns. From hailing taxis to ordering pizza to renting a holiday home, the world has come to rely on huge tech startups known in Silicon Valley as unicorns. But in a post-pandemic world, can these mythical beasts survive? In tech lingo, a unicorn is a rare start-up company valued at $1 billion dollars or more in private markets. Five years ago there were fewer than 50. Today there are over 400, including Airbnb, Uber and Deliveroo. Often created by eccentric founders and funded by evangelical venture capital backers with deep pockets, these companies have come to define our digital age while creating unimaginable riches for their investors. But with many enduring eye-watering losses even before the pandemic, and with big question marks hanging over their long term viability, is the magic dust finally coming off? Elaine Moore is a tech columnist at the Financial Times based in San Francisco - home of the tech unicorn. She's on a mission to find out what the future holds for the industry and what it could mean for us next time we take a taxi or order in a Friday night curry. Presenter: Elaine Moore Producer: Craig Templeton Smith Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2020-11-09 20:30:00

Who Runs that Place? (p08xwt91.mp3)

Increasingly, Western governments see China as a problem to deal with because, as it has grown more powerful, it has re-committed to being a Leninist state. But under President Xi Jinping, how far does it still conform to the Leninist model and how far does it reflect much more traditional forms of Chinese statecraft? Is a country with a massive bureaucracy run by its nominal leaders or by other actors? And why do senior government figures - who in Russia and Western countries carry clout and influence - seem in China to have little to say about the policies Beijing is following? As the rest of the world continues to grapple with the consequences of Covid-19, these questions have never been more pertinent or more urgent. In this timely edition of "Analysis", Isabel Hilton, the eminent student of Chinese politics, considers who makes the decisions in Beijing and how they are reached. Speaking to China-watchers both internationally and in the UK, she explodes some myths about Chinese politics - including that it is a seamless polity with a single unchanging party line - and explores how power struggles take place and what happens to the losers of them. With the 14th Five Year Programme finally due to be unveiled next year, she assesses how far state planning still drives decision-making. And she considers how and when Xi Jinping's successor is likely to emerge - and what lessons that figure may draw from Xi's leadership since 2012. Presenter Isabel Hilton Producer Simon Coates Editor Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2020-11-02 21:00:00

This Fractured Isle (p08x61wl.mp3)

On February 1st this year nearly every news bulletin began with the words 'the UK has officially left the European Union'. Boris Johnson could have been forgiven for congratulating himself for fulfilling his constitutional promise to 'get Brexit done'. But there was another story in the news that day too - health officials were trying to find anyone who’d had close contact with two Chinese tourists being treated in Newcastle for coronavirus. No one at the time could have predicted then that a virus which began thousands of miles away in China would shake the foundations of Britain’s system of government; ten months on all the nations of the United Kingdom are living under different social regimes, internal borders divide the country as never before, and even parts of England have been in open revolt against Westminster. In this programme Edward Stourton will explore how Covid19 is rewriting the rules Britain’s leaders live by and ask where it could take the UK. Producer: Ben Carter Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2020-10-26 20:40:00

The Future of Welfare (p08w5nny.mp3)

The furlough scheme, introduced in response to Covid-19, has raised a question: should Britain’s social insurance be a bit more German? Germany has what’s known as an earnings-related contributory system – individuals pay quite a lot in, and if they lose their job, they receive quite a lot out - around 60% of their previous salary, for at least a year. Critics of the German system say it’s costly and puts too little emphasis on redistribution. But advocates claim it commands far wider support than the British system. So does the pandemic and the calls it has provoked for a fresh look at the shape and scope of our welfare state provide an opportunity? Should Britain move towards a system that is more like Germany’s? Presenter Ben Chu Producer David Edmonds Editor Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2020-10-19 20:35:00

The Rise and Fall of the Bond Market Traders (p08vdfj9.mp3)

In the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher famously said that 'You can’t buck the markets' and Governments back then feared that, if they borrowed too much, they'd pay a terrible price in the markets in terms of higher borrowing costs. But now governments around the world are borrowing record amounts but paying record-low rates. In this programme Philip Coggan examines how the markets were tamed. Philip talks to Don Kohn, former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, economist and author Eric Lonergan, Andrew Balls, Chief Investment Officer at Pimco and economist and author Stephanie Kelton. Producer: Ben Carter Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2020-10-12 20:30:00

Trouble on the backbenches? Tory Leaders and their MPs (p08tv4jh.mp3)

Despite winning a large majority at the last election, Prime Minister Johnson’s relationship with his party is an uneasy one. Just a few months after achieving its long term aim of leaving the EU, the Conservative Party seems ill at ease with itself and the sound of tribal Tory strife can be seen and heard. Is this just the way it’s always been: a cultural and historical norm for Tory leaders and their backbenchers? Or is there something else going on? In this edition of Analysis, Professor Rosie Campbell assesses Boris Johnson’s relationship with his own party and asks why Conservative backbenchers can be such a thorn in the flesh of their leaders. Will this Prime Minister go the same way, or can he buck the trend? Presenter: Rosie Campbell Producer: Jim Frank Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2020-10-05 21:00:00

Planning for the Worst (p08swhws.mp3)

How ready are we for the next pandemic, cyber attack, volcanic eruption, or solar storm? Our world, ever more interconnected and dependent on technology, is vulnerable to a head-spinning array of disasters. Emergency preparedness is supposed to help protect us and the UK has been pioneering in its approach. But does it actually work? In this edition of Analysis, Simon Maybin interrogates official predictions past and present, hearing from the advisers and the advised. Are we any good at anticipating catastrophic events? Should we have been better prepared for the one we’ve been living through? And - now that coronavirus has shown us the worst really can happen - what else should we be worrying about? Presenter/producer: Simon Maybin Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2020-09-28 21:00:00

Is the Internet Broken? (p08rrhdr.mp3)

The internet is a cornerstone of our society. It is vital to our economy, to our global communications, and to many of our personal and professional lives. But have the processes that govern how the internet works kept pace with its rapid evolution? James Ball, author of 'The System - Who Owns the Internet, and How It Owns Us', examines whether the infrastructure of the internet is up to scratch. If it's not, then what does that mean for us? Producer: Ant Adeane Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2020-07-20 21:00:00

Behavioural Science and the Pandemic (p08kz6fk.mp3)

There were two narratives that emerged in the week before we locked down on 23rd March that could go some way to explaining why the UK was relatively slow to lockdown. One was the idea of “herd immunity” - that the virus was always going to spread throughout the population to some extent, and that should be allowed to happen to build up immunity. That theory may have been based on a misunderstanding of how this particular virus behaved. The second narrative was based on the idea of “behavioural fatigue”. This centred around the notion that the public will only tolerate a lockdown for so long so it was crucial to wait for the right moment to initiate it. Go too soon, and you might find that people would not comply later on. It turns out that this theory was also wrong. And based on a fundamental misunderstanding of human behaviour. Despite photos of packed parks, crammed beaches and VE day conga lines, on the whole the British public complied beyond most people’s expectations. So what informed the government’s decision making?In this programme we ask, what is “behavioural fatigue”, where did it come from, how much influence did it have on the UK’s late lockdown, and where does Nudge theory fit into the narrative? Presenter: Sonia Sodha Producer: Gemma Newby Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2020-07-13 20:35:00

Humans vs the Planet (p08kmy7p.mp3)

As Covid-19 forced humans into lockdown, memes emerged showing the earth was healing thanks to our absence. These were false claims – but their popularity revealed how seductive the dangerous idea that ‘we are the virus’ can be. At its most extreme, this way of thinking leads to eco-fascism, the belief the harm humans do to Earth can be reduced by cutting the number of non-white people. But the mainstream green movement is also challenged by a less hateful form of this mentality known as ‘doomism’ – a creeping sense that humans will inevitably cause ecological disaster, that it’s too late to act and that technological solutions only offer more environmental degradation through mining and habitat loss. What vision can environmentalists offer as an antidote to these depressing ideas? And how can green politics encourage radical thinking without opening the door to hateful ideologies? Producer/Presenter: Lucy Proctor Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2020-07-06 21:00:00

Thinking for the Long Term (p08jrmc6.mp3)

"The origin of civil government," wrote the Scottish philosopher David Hume in 1739, is that "men are not able radically to cure, either in themselves or others, that narrowness of soul, which makes them prefer the present to the remote." Today, Hume's view that governments can help societies abandon rampant short-termism and adopt a more long term approach, feels little more than wishful thinking. The "now" commands more and more of our attention - quick fixes are the order of the day. But could that be about to change? Margaret Heffernan asks whether the current pandemic might be the moment we are forced to rediscover our ability to think long term. Could our ability to emerge well from the current health crisis be dependent, in fact, on our ability to improve our long-term thinking? Among those taking part: Paul Polman (Co-founder of Imagine and former CEO of Unilever), General Sir Nick Carter (Chief of the Defence Staff), Justine Greening (former Conservative minister and founder of the Social Mobility Pledge), Lord Gus O'Donnell (former head of the Civil Service), Chris Llewellyn Smith (former Director General of CERN), and Sophie Howe (Future Generations Commissioner for Wales). Producer: Adele Armstrong Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2020-06-29 21:00:00

The Post-Pandemic State (p08jcvcn.mp3)

Government intervention on an unprecedented scale has propped up the British economy - and society at large - during the pandemic. But what should be the state's role from now on? Can Conservatives successfully embrace an enduring central role for government in the economy given their small-state, Thatcherite heritage championing the role of the individual, lower spending and lower taxes? And can Labour, instinctively keener on a more active state, discipline its impulses towards more generous government so that they don't end up thwarting its ambitions for greater equality and fairness? Four eminent political thinkers join Edward Stourton to debate the lessons of political pivot points in Britain's postwar history and how these should guide us in deciding what the borders of the state should be in the post-pandemic world - and who's going to pay. Those taking part: Andrew Harrop of the Fabian Society, who draws inspiration from Labour's 1945 landslide victory to advocate a highly active and determined state to promote opportunity, fairness and equality; former Conservative minister David Willetts of the Resolution Foundation, who sees the lessons of the Conservative revolution in 1979 as relevant as ever about the limits of the state but also argues core Conservative beliefs are consistent with bigger government; former Blairite thinker, Geoff Mulgan, who, drawing on the lessons of 1997, resists notions of a catch-all politics in the face of the multi-faceted demands on today's state; and Dean Godson of Policy Exchange, influential with the Conservative modernisers of the Cameron era, who insists a Thatcherite view of the state shouldn't rigidly define how the centre-right responds to our new circumstances. Producer Simon Coates Editor Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2020-06-22 21:00:00

Radical Self-Care (p08hftc2.mp3)

Wellness is easy to lampoon. A vast, trillion-dollar industry, at its worst it offers bogus cures, prescribing over-priced paraphernalia and dubious advice for ailments that might be treated elsewhere. But there is a forgotten political and philosophical history of self-care, taking in the Black Panthers and feminist activism, that is all too often erased from our understanding of wellness. Shahidha Bari looks at the radical roots of self-care and what it tells us about how we are looking after ourselves during the current crisis. Producer: Ant Adeane Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2020-06-15 21:00:00

Modern Parenting (p08gpnt2.mp3)

More time and money is being spent on children than ever before. And it's a global trend. Professor Tina Miller, who has studied how parenting styles have changed over several decades, considers what this investment in our sons and daughters tells us about the modern world. She considers whether the gold standard of educational achievement goes hand in hand with rising inequality and individualism. What might the unintended consequences be and how difficult is it for parents to opt out? Contribuors: Professor Rebecca Ryan, Professor Matthias Doepke, Frederick De Moll and Jan Macvarish. Producer: Rosamund Jones Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2020-06-08 21:00:00

The Smack of Firm Leadership (p08gbndc.mp3)

What does the way in which rival political systems around the world have managed the Covid-19 pandemic tell us about the global political future? Writer and broadcaster, John Kampfner, considers what has made a "good leader" during the months of the outbreak and how that is likely to affect the vitality and long-term future of individual regimes. Are today's authoritarians - often savvier and subtler than their twentieth century counterparts - becoming more confident and optimistic? Is this a good time for the world's populist leaders from the Americas to Europe to East Asia? And has democracy, already tainted by its response to the global financial crisis and enduring questions over its popular legitimacy, continued with its woes or might there be a glimmer of light after the years of darkness? Among those taking part: Francis Fukuyama (author of "The End of History and the Last Man"); Anne Applebaum (soon to publish "The Twilight of Democracy"); Singaporean former top diplomat and President of the UN Security Council, Kishore Mahbubani; writer and broadcaster, Misha Glenny; eminent international affairs analyst, Constanze Stelzenmüller; Bulgarian political thinker, Ivan Krastev (joint author of "The Light that Failed") and Lionel Barber, former editor of the "Financial Times". Producer Simon Coates Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2020-06-01 21:00:00

The Return of Reality? (p08dy4tk.mp3)

Before Covid-19 hit, the latest research showed we were more polarised than ever. We broadly agree on the issues - it's the emotions where things get tricky. If someone is part of the other tribe then we want little to do with them. And the more polarised we are, the more prone we are to what philosophers call 'knowledge resistance' - rejecting information that doesn't fit our worldview. If we're in a situation where identity trumps truth, is there anything that can pull us back to reality? Peter Pomerantsev, author of This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality, looks at whether Covid-19 could bring us back towards a sense of shared reality - or whether it might push us further apart. Presenter: Peter Pomerantsev Producer: Ant Adeane Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2020-05-25 21:00:00

Identity Wars: lessons from the Dreyfus Affair and Brexit Britain (p08dsl56.mp3)

The episode "tore society apart, divided families, and split the country into two enemy camps, which then attacked each other …”   A description by some future historian looking back at Britain after Brexit? No - it is how the late French President Jacques Chirac described the so-called “Dreyfus Affair”, which shook France from top to bottom a century ago.   Alfred Dreyfus was a Jewish army officer who was convicted on false charges of passing military secrets to the Germans. He spent several years in prison on Devil's Island, and was only released and exonerated after a long campaign led by eminent figures such Emile Zola.   Although the circumstances of the Dreyfus affair are very different to those surrounding Brexit, there are certain parallels – for example, the way that people came to identify themselves as either Dreyfusards or anti-Dreyfusards.   The Dreyfus affair and its aftermath convulsed France for decades, with French society split down the middle about whether Dreyfus was guilty or innocent.   How important are societal divides like these?  Should they be allowed to run their natural course - or should steps be taken to encourage “healing”, as Boris Johnson recently urged?   In this edition of Analysis, Professor Anand Menon, Director of the UK in a Changing Europe, looks back at the Dreyfus affair, and asks what lessons we can learn - and whether they can help us better understand what is happening in Britain as the country faces up to the reality of Brexit, and the coronavirus crisis.   Contributors: Alastair Campbell, former Downing Street press secretary to Tony Blair Ruth Harris, Professor of Modern European History, University of Oxford Margaret MacMillan, emeritus Professor of International History, University of Oxford Philippe Oriol, historian and author of “The False Friend of Captain Dreyfus” Paula Surridge, Senior Lecturer in the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies at Bristol University Nick Timothy, former joint chief of staff at 10 Downing Street Anthony Wells, Head of Research, YouGov Translation of extract from “J’Accuse…!” by Emile Zola, by Shelley Temchin and Jean-Max Guieu, Georgetown University. Presenter: Professor Anand Menon Producer: Neil Koenig Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2020-03-28 11:00:00

Command and Control? (p087y6sy.mp3)

When Sajid Javid resigned as Chancellor of the Exchequer in February rather than accept Boris Johnson's reported demand that he dismiss his own team of special advisers and accept a new one drawn up in 10 Downing Street, many saw the episode as a crude attempt by the Prime Minister to wrest control of economic policy from the Treasury. But would such a reform necessarily be a bad thing? Edward Stourton considers the case for economic policy being driven from the very top of government. If decision-making, in arguably the most important government department, took place on the prime minister's terms rather than having to be negotiated with a powerful colleague leading a vast bureaucracy, would that make for quicker and more streamlined decision-making that gave clearer direction to the government overall? And has in any case the time come to clip the wings of the Treasury which too often determines policy on narrowly financial grounds rather than properly allowing for the potential benefits of government spending - and which has recently signed off such alarmingly over-budget projects as HS2 and London's Crossrail? In seeking answers to those questions, Edward speaks to the former Chancellors, Alistair Darling and Norman Lamont; to former Chief of Staff to Tony Blair in Downing Street, Jonathan Powell; to former Treasury minister, David Gauke; and and to ex-officials, including former top Treasury civil servant, Nic Macpherson. Producer Simon Coates

From Analysis at 2020-03-23 21:00:00

The Roots of 'Woke' Culture (p08756kw.mp3)

Barack Obama condemned it. Black American activists championed it. Meghan Markle brought it to the Royal Family. “Wokeness” has become a shorthand for one side of the culture wars, popularising concepts like “white privilege” and “trigger warnings” - and the idea that “language is violence”. Journalist Helen Lewis is on a mission to uncover the roots of this social phenomenon. On her way she meets three authors who in 2017 hoaxed a series of academic journals with fake papers on dog rape, fat bodybuilding and feminist astrology. They claimed to have exposed the jargon-loving, post-modern absurdity of politically correct university departments - whose theories drive “woke” online political movements. But is there really a link between the contemporary language of social justice warriors and the continental philosophy of the 1960s and 70s? And are critics of wokeness just reactionaries, left uneasy by a changing world? Producer Craig Templeton Smith Editor Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2020-03-09 21:00:00

Unequal England (p085rrrb.mp3)

Paul Johnson of the Institute for Fiscal Studies explores what the world of work can tells us about inequality and why some towns and cities feel left behind. He finds England is one of the most regionally unequal economies in the developed world. He looks at the differences in wages and opportunities across the county and seeks to understand why this has created areas where people struggle to find well paid work. This edition of the programme includes interviews with: Professor Steve Machin - The Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics Helen Barnard - Joseph Rowntree Foundation Tom Forth - Open Data Institute Leeds Henry Overman - Director, The What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth James Bloodworth - Author "Hired - Six months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain" Richard Hagan - MD, Crystal Doors Tony Lloyd MP for Rochdale Jade & Billy - workers Producer - Smita Patel Editor - Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2020-03-02 21:00:00

China's Captured "Princess" (p084vs4q.mp3)

If you want to understand the global reach of a rising China, visit Vancouver. Canada has been sucked in to an intractable dispute between the US and China after the arrest on an American warrant of Meng Wanzhou, an executive with the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei. Beijing’s furious response caught Canada off guard. Two Canadians have been detained in China – seemingly in response, precipitating an acute foreign policy crisis. Canadian journalist Neal Razzell examines what could be the first of many tests both for Canada and other nations, forced to choose between old allies like America and the new Asian economic giant.

From Analysis at 2020-02-24 21:00:00

It's Not Easy Being Green (p0841zhp.mp3)

If the future of politics must include tackling climate change, it holds that the future should be bright for the Greens. In parts of Europe, their influence is growing. In Germany the Green Party is enjoying unprecedented support. But in the UK there’s only ever been one Green MP and the party won just 2.7 per cent of the vote in last year's election. In this edition of Analysis, Rosie Campbell, Professor of Politics and Director of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at Kings College London, goes in search of the Green vote. Who are they? If the Parliamentary path is blocked due to the voting system, how do they make an impact? And can they persuade more people not only to vote Green but also to become “Greener”? Producer: Jim Frank Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2020-02-17 21:00:00

Do voters need therapy? (p083h89v.mp3)

In a poll last year, two thirds of people suggested that Britain’s exit from the EU was negatively affecting the nation’s mental health. But is that really about customs unions and widget regulations, or is it a more a product of how we think about politics? James Tilley, a professor of politics at Oxford, finds out how our distorted ways of thinking create emotional reactions to politics and how those emotions affect what we do politically.

From Analysis at 2020-02-10 21:00:00

The Early Years Miracle? (p082crtl.mp3)

The government spends billions on free early years education. The theory goes that this is good for children, their parents and society as a whole. But does the evidence stack up? Despite the policy's lofty intentions, Professor Alison Wolf discovers that the results aren’t at all what anyone expected. Contributors include: Steven Barnett - National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University Christine Farquharson - Institute for Fiscal Studies Liz Roberts - Nursery World Magazine Torsten Bell - Resolution Foundation Lynne Burnham - Mothers at Home Matter Neil Leitch - Early Years Alliance Presenter: Professor Alison Wolf Producer: Beth Sagar Fenton Editor: Jasper Corbett With thanks to N Family Club

From Analysis at 2020-02-03 21:00:00

The NHS, AI and Our Data (p0816cyr.mp3)

The NHS has a unique resource - data. David Edmonds asks whether a combination of data and Artificial Intelligence will transform the future of the NHS. The programme features among others Sir John Bell, who leads the government’s life-sciences industrial strategy and Matthew Gould chief executive of NHSx, the unit set up to lead the NHS's digital transformation. As the NHS tries to make use of its data, the programme raises the danger that data may be flogged off to the private sector at bargain basement prices. Producer Sheila Cook Editor Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2020-01-27 21:00:00

Get woke or go broke? (p081646q.mp3)

When you buy your trainers, do you want to make a political statement? Businesses want to attract consumers by advertising their commitment to liberal causes like diversity and tackling climate change. It is a phenomenon known as woke capitalism. But is it a welcome sign that multinationals are becoming socially responsible? Or is it just the latest trick by business to persuade us to part with our cash, and a smokescreen to disguise the reluctance of many companies to pay their fair share of taxes? The Economist's Philip Coggan asks whether it's a case of getting woke or going broke. Contributors: Dr Eliane Glaser - author of Get Real: How to See Through the Hype, Spin and Lies in Modern Life Dan Mobley - Corporate Relations Director, Diageo Saker Nusseibeh - Chief Executive at Hermes Investment Anand Giridharadas - author of Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World Kris Brown - president of Brady United, a gun violence prevention organisation Abas Mirzaei - Professor of Marketing at Macquarie Business School Doug Stewart - Chief Executive of Green Energy UK Producer: Ben Carter Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2019-11-18 21:00:00

NATO at 70 (p07v2ldf.mp3)

NATO’s military strength and unswerving trans-Atlantic solidarity enabled it to contain and ultimately defeat the Soviet Union. But with Vladimir Putin’s Russia resurgent, and eager to restore some of its past glory, people speak of a new “Cold War”. But this one is very different from the first. It is being fought out on the internet; through propaganda; and by shadowy, deniable operations. It is not the kind of struggle that plays to the Alliance’s traditional strengths. Worse still, NATO – currently marking its seventieth anniversary - is more divided than ever; its member states having very different priorities. President Trump has added additional strains, raising a question-mark over Washington’s fundamental commitment to its European partners. So can NATO hold together and adapt to the new challenges it faces or will it sink into a less relevant old age? Producer: Stuart Hughes Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2019-11-11 21:00:00

The uses and misuses of history in politics (p07tf8wc.mp3)

Barely a day passes when an MP doesn’t reach for an historical analogy to help explain contemporary events. But to what extent do the Battle of Agincourt and World War II really help us better understand what’s happening now? Edward Stourton asks if there is a danger that some politicians might have misunderstood some of the best known moments in Britain’s history? Guests: Professor David Abulafia (Emeritus, University of Cambridge) Professor Anne Curry (Emeritus, University of Southampton) Professor Neil Gregor (University of Southampton) Professor Ruth Harris (University of Oxford) Professor Andrew Knapp (Emeritus, University of Reading) Professor Andrew Roberts (Visiting, King’s College London) Professor Robert Tombs (University of Cambridge) Producer: Ben Cooper Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2019-11-04 21:00:00

Can I Change Your Mind? (p07sqkrh.mp3)

There’s a widespread belief that there’s no point talking to people you disagree with because they will never change their minds. Everyone is too polarized and attempts to discuss will merely result in greater polarization. But the history of the world is defined by changes of mind –that’s how progress (or even regress) is made: shifts in political, cultural, scientific beliefs and paradigms. So how do we ever change our minds about something? What are the perspectives that foster constructive discussion and what conditions destroy it? Margaret Heffernan talks to international academics at the forefront of research into new forms of democratic discourse, to journalists involved in facilitating national conversations and to members of the public who seized the opportunity to talk to a stranger with opposing political views: Eileen Carroll, QC Hon, Principal Mediator and Co-founder, Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution Jon Connor-Lyons, participant, Britain Talks James S. Fishkin, Janet M. Peck Professor of International Communication and Director, Centre for Deliberative Democracy, Stanford University Danielle Lawson, Post Doctoral Research Scholar, North Carolina State University Ada Pratt, participant, Britain Talks Mariano Sigman. Associate Professor, Torcuato Di Tella University, Buenos Aires Cass R. Sunstein, Robert Walmsley University Professor, Harvard Law School Jochen Wegner, Editor, Zeit Online Ros Wynne-Jones, columnist, Daily Mirror Presenter: Margaret Heffernan Producer: Sheila Cook Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2019-10-28 21:00:00

State Aid: Brexit, Bailouts and Corporate Bonanzas (p07s99dp.mp3)

When the steelworks at Redcar went bust in 2015 the government said it couldn’t bail out the company that ran the plant because of the EU’s state aid rules, which regulate how much money the government can give to businesses and industry. 1700 jobs were lost in the North East of England, which has the highest unemployment rate in the UK. Voices on the left and right say the state aid rules are holding Britain back from supporting its industry. Are they right? Does Brexit give Britain the chance to take back control of how it manages its industrial policy? Or do the state aid rules protect taxpayers from governments handing out large subsidies to big corporations? In this edition of Analysis, James Ball, global editor of the Bureau for Investigative Journalism, explores the EU’s state aid rules, how they affect our livelihoods, and what might happen if the UK decides to stop playing by the rules after Brexit. Producer: Xavier Zapata Editor: Jasper Corbett Interviewees: Brian Dennis, former Labour Councillor Mariana Mazzucato , Professor of Innovation and Public Value at University College London, author of the Entrepreneurial State and Founding Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose Usha Haley, the W. Frank Barton Distinguished Chair in International Business at Wichita State University Nicole Robins, head of the state aid unit at Oxera Corri Hess , reporter for Wisconsin Public Radio Kenneth Thomas, Emeritus Professor of Political Science at The University of Missouri, St Louis George Peretz QC, Barrister at Monckton Chambers and co-chair of the UK State Aid Law Association Nicholas Crafts, Professor of Economic Historian at Sussex University

From Analysis at 2019-10-21 21:00:00

The New Censorship (p07rn52t.mp3)

Democracy flourishes where information is free flowing and abundant, so the logic goes. In the West the choice of information is limitless in a marketplace of ideas. While authoritarian regimes censor by constricting the flow of information. But even in the West a new pattern of control is emerging. And this free flow of information, rather than liberate us, is used to crowd out dissent and subvert the marketplace of ideas. Peter Pomerantsev examines how the assumptions that underpinned many of the struggles for rights and freedoms in the last century - between citizens armed with truth and information and regimes with their censors and secret police - have been turned upside down. Producer: Ant Adeane Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2019-10-14 21:00:00

A question of artefacts (p07qtfpl.mp3)

How should museums deal with contentious legacies? Two years since the French President, Emmanuel Macron, called for the restitution of objects taken at the height of Europe’s empires, some French and Dutch museums have started the process to hand back some artefacts. However, most of the UK’s main institutions remain reluctant. Should we empty our museums to make amends for our colonial past? In this edition of Analysis, David Baker speaks to people on all sides of the argument to get to the bottom of a topic that is pitching the art world up against global politics. Producer: Matt Russell Editor: Jasper Corbett Picture Credit: Crown, gold and gilded copper with glass beads, pigment and fabric, made in Ethiopia, 1600-1850 (c) Victoria and Albert Museum

From Analysis at 2019-10-07 21:00:00

The Problem with Boys (p07qc0ry.mp3)

The data is indisputable: in developed countries boys now lag behind girls in several significant areas of education. For years, women lagged behind men in educational attainment. More boys went to university, and twice as many men as women got degrees in 1960. Forty years later and, fifty seven percent of university students are women. By almost any measure of school related performance girls are doing better than boys. Everyone agrees there is a problem but there is little consensus over what is causing it. Are boys doing worse or girls doing better? Is the education system biased against boys? Are boys just wired differently when it comes to learning? The roots of the new gender gap are complex and nuanced, but if we can't agree on what's causing it, how can we solve it? In the meantime more and more boys will fall behind. In this Analysis on The Problem with Boys, BBC journalist and father of three boys, David Grossman, looks at the evidence and tries to find a way forward. Producer: Gemma Newby Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2019-09-30 21:00:00

Whiteness (p07pqx3h.mp3)

For many white people their race is not part of their identity. Race, racial inequality and racism are things that people of colour are expected to talk about and organise around. Not anymore. Anti-racist activists and academics are now urging white people to recognise that they are just as racialised as minorities. The way to successfully tackle structural racism, they say, is to get white people to start taking responsibility for the racially unjust status quo. Bristol-based journalist Neil Maggs, who is white, takes a deep dive into the canon of books, Instagram challenges and workshops that seek to educate people like him on their white privilege and internalised white supremacy. He gets advice from anti-racism trainer Robin DiAngelo, learns about the growing field of whiteness studies in the UK, and visits the white working class estate of Hartcliffe to see how these ideas play out there. He also talks to Eric Kaufmann about the inevitable decline of white majorities by the end of the century and how to prevent white people falling for far-right conspiracy theories about being wiped out. Presenter: Neil Maggs Producer: Lucy Proctor

From Analysis at 2019-07-22 21:00:00

A shorter working week (p07hjjjk.mp3)

Throughout the first half of the 20th century, the working week gradually got shorter and shorter. As technological advances powered economic growth, workers reaped the gains not just in the form of higher pay, but more leisure time. The economist John Maynard Keynes predicted we'd eventually all be working a 15-hour week. Even in the 1970s the expectation that 8 hour days would be reduced to 6 was widely held across the political spectrum. But this all ground to a halt in the 1980s. In this edition of Analysis Sonia Sodha explores the great leisure mystery: whatever happened to this dream of working less? And why is the idea of a 4-day working week gaining traction on the political left in Britain? What would a society that ditches the long-hours culture, and re-embraces the leisure dream look like, and is it really possible to achieve this without increasing inequality between the haves and have-nots of the labour market?

From Analysis at 2019-07-15 21:00:00

Going the way of the dodo? The decline of Britain's two main parties. (p07grkz4.mp3)

Recent polling data and election results paint a picture of woe for Britain's two main political parties. Of course both Labour and the Conservatives have suffered periods of decline throughout their history. But arguably never before have both parties been so riven by internal divides and suffered such a loss of public confidence at the same time. Edward Stourton looks to historical precedents for guidance on today's political turmoil and asks if the two parties' decline is now terminal. With Tim Bale of Queen Mary University of London; Lord Lexden, official historian of the Conservative Party; Deborah Mattinson of Britain Thinks; Charlotte Lydia Riley of the University of Southampton; John Sergeant, former BBC Chief Political Correspondent; and Adrian Wooldrige, author of the "Bagehot" column at The Economist.

From Analysis at 2019-07-08 21:00:00

The Forgotten Half (p07g4c9j.mp3)

More and more young people now go to university. But what's on offer for those who don't? Public and political attention is far more focused on the university route. Paul Johnson discovers why other kinds of further education and training have been neglected, leaving many young people facing much more difficult choices. Yet the needs of the economy and the choices of many shrewd young people suggest non-university education may be heading for revival. Producer: Chris Bowlby Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2019-07-01 21:00:00

Understanding the risks of terrorism (p07fp9q8.mp3)

How do the authorities, business and the public perceive and respond to the risk of violent terrorism? With unprecedented access to the work of an active MI5 officer, home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani discovers the depth of the challenge facing the security services. Just how do MI5 operatives go about filtering hundreds of weekly tip-offs into a few key leads? In a world of online radicalisation and increasing hate crime, how can they prioritise those that pose a real and immediate threat to the public, and avoid wasting resources on red herrings and keyboard warriors? He also hears from: - Paul Martin, who led security preparations for the London 2012 Olympics - Nicola Benyahia, whose son was radicalised and killed fighting in Iraq - Dr Julia Pearce, expert on communication and terrorism at King's College London - Brigadier Ed Butler, Head of Risk Analysis at Pool Re - Rizwaan Sabir, expert on counter-terrorism and political Islam at Liverpool John Moores University Would we be safer if we knew more about the threats that face us, or should we be kept in the dark? Presented by Dominic Casciani Produced by Beth Sagar-Fenton

From Analysis at 2019-06-24 21:00:00

Can computer profiles cut crime? (p07dpvy5.mp3)

David Edmonds examines how algorithms are used in our criminal justice system, from predicting future crime to helping decide who does and doesn’t go to prison. While police forces hope computer software will help them to assess risk and reduce crime, civil rights groups fear that it could entrench bias and discrimination. Analysis asks if these new computer tools will transform policing - and whether we need new laws to regulate them. Contributors Archive from Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network Jonathan Dowey, business intelligence manager, Avon and Somerset Police Hannah Couchman, Advocacy and Policy Officer, Liberty Professor Lawrence Sherman, Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge Bryanna Fox, Associate Professor of Criminology University of South Florida Dame Glenys Stacey, The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation Jamie Grace, Senior Lecturer in Law, Sheffield Hallam University Producer: Diane Richardson Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2019-06-17 21:00:00

Green technology and early adoption (p07d4btg.mp3)

Climate change has shot up the current political agenda in part due to the Extinction Rebellion protests. An urgent question now facing UK policymakers is whether they should accelerate the adoption of cutting-edge green energy technology to curb the country's carbon emissions. But are there dangers of being an early adopter of new technology? What happens if it doesn't work or if it's outpaced by newer technologies which are cheaper and more efficient? The BBC's Business Editor, Simon Jack, investigates.

From Analysis at 2019-06-10 21:00:00

The Real Gender Pay Gap (p07cb8vf.mp3)

Women are paid less than men and do more unpaid work. The gender pay gap doubles after women become mothers. Female-dominated professions tend to be lower-paid than male-dominated ones. What's going on and can we fix it? Reporter: Mary Ann Sieghart Producer: Arlene Gregorius Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2019-06-03 21:00:00

Maintenance (p07bngph.mp3)

Maintenance is an unfashionable word. But as Chris Bowlby discovers, keeping our infrastructure in good condition is one of the most crucial and creative challenges we face. Key assets such as concrete bridges built in the early post-war decades are crumbling, and may be what one expert calls 'ticking time bombs'. And all kinds of systems, even in the digital world, still need maintaining well. But all the focus for politicians and many engineers is on brand new infrastructure, not sustaining the vital assets we already have. So how can we learn to value maintenance in a radical new way? Producer: Chris Bowlby Editor: Jasper Corbett

From Analysis at 2019-05-27 21:00:00

Love Island, dating apps and the politics of desire (p07b4y4k.mp3)

For centuries we have met our other halves through family, friends, work, or religious institutions. But they have all now been outstripped: meeting online is now the most common way to meet. Not long ago, finding love online was considered unconventional. Now the ping of dating apps is the soundtrack to many people's lives. But what does this change mean for how we choose whom to date? Shahidha Bari, author and academic at Queen Mary University of London, examines the changing landscape of modern love - its dating apps, its politics of sexual preference - and ultimately tries to answer the age-old question: what does Love Island tell us about love? Producer: Ant Adeane

From Analysis at 2019-03-25 21:00:00

Will China and America go to war? (p073nkh8.mp3)

Will the growing competition between China and the United States inevitably lead to military conflict? One leading American academic created huge attention when in 2017 he posed the idea of what he called a "Thucydides Trap". Drawing on the work of the ancient Greek historian, he warned that when a rising power (Sparta) threatens an existing power (Athens) they are destined to clash, unless both countries change their policies. He warned that the same pattern could play out with the US and China. Since then, President Trump has engaged in combative rhetoric over trade, while China has fast been modernising and upgrading its military. BBC Diplomatic Correspondent Jonathan Marcus considers whether Washington and Beijing can escape the trap - or whether the growing economic, strategic and technological rivalry between the two nations will inevitably end in conflict. Producer: Stuart Hughes

From Analysis at 2019-03-18 21:00:00

Are we heading for a mass extinction? (p073njj6.mp3)

Will human actions result in the demise of huge numbers of other species - in a mass die-off, comparable to the end of the era of the dinosaurs? Neal Razzell assesses the evidence that species are dying off at a rapid rate, and looks at some of the surprising things we might do to slow or reverse this process. Producers: Beth Sagar-Fenton and Josephine Casserley

From Analysis at 2019-03-11 21:00:00

Will humans survive the century? (p0736sym.mp3)

What is the chance of the human race surviving the 21st century? There are many dangers – climate change for example, or nuclear war, or a pandemic, or planet Earth being hit by a giant asteroid. Around the world a number of research centres have sprung up to investigate and mitigate what’s called existential risk. How precarious is our civilisation and can we all play a part in preventing global catastrophe? Contributors Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute. Phil Torres, Future of Life Institute. Karin Kuhlemann, University College London. Simon Beard, Centre for Existential Risk. Lalitha Sundaram, Centre for Existential Risk. Seth Baum, Global Catastrophic Risk Institute. Film clip: Armageddon, Touchstone Pictures (1998), Directed by Michael Bay. Presented (cheerily) by David Edmonds. Producer: Diane Richardson

From Analysis at 2019-03-04 21:00:00

Deliberative Democracy (p0729ztn.mp3)

Is there a better way to heal political divides - through panels of ordinary citizens? Sonia Sodha asks if the idea of citizens' assemblies, which have been used around the world to come up with solutions to polarising issues. Proponents argue that they avoid the risks of knee-jerk legislation, winner-takes-all outcomes or the pull of populism. Many in the Republic of Ireland believe that deliberative democracy was crucial in reforming the law on abortion without causing major political upheavals. Could this method still come up with a better way forward for Brexit? Producer: Maire Devine

From Analysis at 2019-02-25 21:00:00

Irish Questions (p071xpgn.mp3)

Voters and politicians in Britain claim to be perplexed that economic and political relations between the UK and the Republic of Ireland seem to be decisive in determining the course of Brexit. They shouldn't be, argues Edward Stourton. A glance at the history of the countries' relations since the Acts of Union in 1800 helps to explain the situation. From at least the time of Catholic Emancipation in the 1820s, political, social, cultural and economic issues on the island of Ireland have influenced and shaped politics at Westminster. The point is that MPs and others at Westminster have seldom appreciated this and therefore underestimated the power of that history to affect the course of a contemporary issue like Brexit. Looking at a range of issues from Emancipation, the 1840s Irish potato famine, Catholic clerical education, the campaign for Home Rule leading ultimately to the War of Irish Independence in the twentieth century and the bloody establishment of the Irish Free State, as well as the Troubles and the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, Edward Stourton explores the way in which issues in Ireland have determined British politics. He considers especially what lessons these episodes may hold for today's Westminster politicians and how to imagine the Anglo-Irish future. Among those taking part: Lady Antonia Fraser, Professor The Lord Bew, Professor Sir David Cannadine, Professor Roy Foster, Professor Marianne Elliott, Fintan O'Toole and Declan Kiberd. Producer: Simon Coates

From Analysis at 2019-02-18 21:00:00

Fair Exchange? (p070bkhc.mp3)

Does a falling currency help or harm the economy? It's an urgent question for the UK, as the pound fell sharply in value against other major currencies after the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union in June 2016. Market commentators put this down to foreign investors becoming intensely gloomy about the prospects for the UK economy after Brexit. Others have welcomed the drop, saying it will benefit British exporters. But is it really such a simple, binary question? Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies investigates. Contributors: Richard Barkey, CEO, Imparta Roger Bootle, chairman, Capital Economics Meredith Crowley, reader in international economics at Cambridge university Jane Foley, head of foreign exchange strategy, Rabobank Rain Newton-Smith, chief economist, Conferdation of British Industry Mick Ventola, managing director, Ventola Projects Producer: Neil Koenig

From Analysis at 2019-02-11 21:00:00

Conspiracy Politics (p0704s73.mp3)

Are we living in a ‘golden age’ of political conspiracy theories and what does belief in them tell us about voters and politicians? James Tilley, a professor of politics at the University of Oxford, talks to historians, psychologists and political scientists to ask why conspiracy theories are so common and who are the people spreading them. Why are so many of us drawn to the notion of shadowy forces controlling political events? And are conspiracy theories, in which things always happen for a reason and where good is always pitted against evil, simply an exaggerated version of our everyday political thinking? Producer: Bob Howard

From Analysis at 2019-02-04 21:00:00

Do children of married parents do better? (p06zykkb.mp3)

Does being born to non-married parents affect a child's prospects? It is a question that is notoriously hard to answer. BBC Education Editor Branwen Jeffreys investigates research from Princeton's landmark Fragile Families study, which has gathered data from 5,000 births over the last 18 years. She speaks to principal investigator Professor Sara McLanahan to find out how much we know about the differing outcomes of children raised by married, cohabiting or single parents. Branwen asks how applicable the results of the study are to British society, where very soon, a minority of births will be to married parents. Professor Emla Fitzsimons has been following the lives of 19,000 children, born across the UK in 2000-01. She reveals what the project, know as The Millennium Cohort Study has found. Producer: Diane Richardson

From Analysis at 2019-01-28 21:00:00

The War for Normal (p06ywlk7.mp3)

We live in a world where everyone is trying to manipulate everyone else, where social media has opened up the floodgates for a mayhem of influence. And the one thing all the new propagandists have in common is the idea that to really get to someone you have to not just spin or nudge or persuade them, but transform the way they think about the world, the language and concepts they have to make sense of things. Peter Pomerantsev, author of an acclaimed book on the media in Putin's Russia, examines where this strategy began, how it is being exploited, the people caught in the middle, and the researchers trying to combat it. Because it is no longer just at the ‘fringes’ where this is happening – it is now a part of mainstream political life. Producer: Ant Adeane

From Analysis at 2019-01-14 18:00:00

America's Friends (p06y2bgh.mp3)

From a US president who is turning the world upside down – with a relish for dismantling global agreements – the message is clear: it’s America first. But where does that leave old European allies? Few expect the transatlantic relationship to go back to where it was before Trump. Europe, says Angela Merkel, now has to shape its own destiny. James Naughtie explores the uncertain future for America's friends. Producer: Kate Collins

From Analysis at 2019-01-08 20:40:00

The Trumped Republicans (p06x7ll0.mp3)

Republican insider Ron Christie discovers how Donald Trump's presidency is changing his party. Trump arrived in the White House offering a populist revolt in America, promising to drain what he calls "the swamp that is Washington D.C". So what does his own Republican Party - traditionally a bastion of the nation’s establishment - really make of him? Where is he taking them and what will he leave behind? Christie, a long-time Republican who has served in the West Wing under George W Bush, takes us on a journey behind the scenes to meet Trump’s inner circle - including figures like Mercedes Schlapp, White House director of strategic communications, and to influential conservative broadcaster Sean Hannity. He talks to the supporters and the sceptics alike who watch in amazement as one of the most controversial presidents of all time takes his country and his party by storm. Producer: Kirsty Mackenzie

From Analysis at 2018-11-19 21:00:00

The Next Crash (p06qt0g0.mp3)

What could cause a future financial crash? Ian Goldin, professor of globalisation and development at Oxford University, talks to some of the world's leading economists about whether we have learnt lessons from the 2008 financial crash and whether countries are now better prepared to meet the next crisis. Or are we condemned to another economic meltdown, perhaps even more severe, which would provide new fuel to the fires of populism? A decade ago, the world was taken by surprise. Will it be again? Featuring contributions from the IMF's Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, Lord Nick Stern, Professor Peter Piot, Pascal Lamy and Jeffrey Sachs. Producer: Ben Carter

From Analysis at 2018-11-12 21:00:00

The Replication Crisis (p06qjqjl.mp3)

Many key findings in psychological research are under question, as the results of some of its most well-known experiments – such as the marshmallow effect, ego depletion, stereotype threat and the Zimbardo Stanford Prison Experiment – have proved difficult or impossible to reproduce. This has affected numerous careers and led to bitter recriminations in the academic community. So can the insights of academic psychology be trusted and what are the implications for us all? Featuring contributions from John Bargh, Susan Fiske, John Ioannidis, Brian Nosek, Stephen Reicher, Diederik Stapel and Simine Vazire. Presenter David Edmonds Producer Ben Cooper

From Analysis at 2018-11-05 21:00:00

How to kill a democracy (p06qt008.mp3)

How many democracies around the world are gradually being dismantled. Democracies today are less and less likely to be overthrown in violent coups. Today’s methods of establishing one party rule are much more subtle and insidious. Political scientist Professor Matt Qvortrup explores how the modern authoritarian leader takes control of his or her country. High on their list will be subtly manipulating elections to win with a comfortable but credible majority: appointing their own supporters to the judiciary whilst watering down their powers: silencing critics in the press while garnering positive coverage from their media supporters: punishing opponents by denying them employment while rewarding lackeys with key positions. And using technology to help rig votes and spread propaganda. Matt traces these methods back to Roman times while looking at their contemporary relevance in countries as diverse as Kenya, Poland, Hungary, and Venezuela. Producer: Bob Howard

From Analysis at 2018-11-02 18:35:00

Do Assassinations Work? (p06qn4jl.mp3)

Poison, exploding cigars and shooting down planes: tales of espionage and statesmanship. Government-ordered assassinations may seem the stuff of spy novels and movie scripts, but they seem to have entered the realm of reality of late. Why do states choose to take this action and can we measure their success? Edward Stourton assesses how various governments -including Israel, Russia, America and the UK - have dabbled in assassination and asks whether it works as a tool of foreign policy. Producer: Phoebe Keane

From Analysis at 2018-10-22 21:00:00

The Pupil Premium (p06p9zhd.mp3)

How do you increase the attainment of disadvantaged children? Poorer children consistently perform worse at school by not reaching higher grades at age 16, compared to richer children. There is broad agreement, across party lines that they require more money to help them succeed and reduce inequality. Therefore, schools in England adopted the pupil premium policy in 2011 where extra funding was attached to each child in receipt of free school meals. Professor of Education at University College London, Dr Rebecca Allen assesses how well the policy has been working. Producer: Nina Robinson Editor: Hugh Levinson