Professor David Runciman puts these questions to philosophers, historians, scientists, and political thinkers – with enlightening results – in a weekly podcast series coming from his office in the Department of Politics and International Studies.
#1 – Maurice Glasman on democracy, creative destruction & Wolf Hall
David interviews Lord (Maurice) Glasman – Labour peer, academic, and architect of ‘Blue Labour’ – for his predictions on the outcome of 2015, the future of the Labour Party, and what modern politicians can learn from Wolf Hall. The team then give their forecasts for the Election and scrutinise this week’s political events.
#2 – Martin Rees on surviving this century, scientists in politics & 2015
How can we reconcile short-term politics with the long-term global problems we face? Should scientists wield more political power? Is it fair to criticise politicians for faults in our political system, or is it our failing? Or is democracy itself to blame? David puts these questions to Lord (Martin) Rees – cosmologist, Astronomer Royal, and former President of the Royal Society – and someone who believes that mankind only has a 50% chance of making it through this century without a serious global “setback”. The team then debate this week’s political events.
#3 – Martin Jacques on the global perspective, Britain’s decline & China
David asks Martin Jacques – journalist, academic, and author of the bestseller When China Rules the World – if this election matters in global terms. Will the transformation of China overshadow short-term political events in Britain and Europe? How does China adapt in the absence of democratic elections? Is it possible for our politicians to successfully supervise Britain’s steady decline? The team also discuss the week’s political events.
#4 – John Naughton on Facebook in Politics, Snowden & Surveillance
Could Facebook really decide the outcome of this election? Is the Internet a positive force for democracy? Why is global surveillance, as unveiled by Edward Snowden, not an electoral issue? We put these questions to Prof John Naughton – author of A Brief History of the Future and early advocate of the Internet’s power to change the world – and ask if politicians are tuned-in to the transformative potential of social media. Putting cynicism to one side, the team then give their good-points about the General Election so far.
(The Cambridge Politics Podcasts have been originally published on the POLIS Department website, Cambridge).