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44 minutes | Nov 18, 2019
Polarised: Good Economics for Hard Times
RSA chief executive Matthew Taylor and journalist Ian Leslie are joined by this year's winner of the Nobel prize for economics (shared with Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer), Esther Duflo.Duflo is co-author of Good Economics for Hard Times: Better Answers to Our Biggest Problems and Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at MIT, where she is co-director of the Poverty Action Lab.In this wide-ranging interview she makes the case for how economics, when done right, can help us solve the thorniest social and political problems of our times.Produced by James Shield.Brought to you by the RSA.
38 minutes | Oct 9, 2019
Polarised: Do you understand public opinion as well as you think you do?
Matthew Taylor and Ian Leslie dissect new (and sometimes controversial) research on the divide between 'anarchists' and 'centrists'; the voters who live for drama; and the real reasons people share misleading news stories online.Plus, the similarities and differences between US and UK public opinion, as Matthew meets two of the top researchers from either side of the pond: director of the Pew Research Center, Michael Dimock; and director of the Policy Institute at King's College London, Bobby Duffy.LinksAnarchy in the UK (and Everywhere Else): The Ideological Roots of PopulismA “Need for Chaos” and the Sharing of Hostile Political Rumors in Advanced DemocraciesMatthew Taylor: Populism is growing because more people than you think want chaosIan Leslie: British voters are divided into anarchists and centrists – but the anarchists are calling the shotsYouTube: King's College London event: The state of trust, facts and democracyYouTube: The RSA: Why We're Wrong About Nearly Everything with Bobby DuffyPolarised: Identity, with Francis Fukuyama (episode 11, December 2018)Matthew Taylor: In tackling polarisation and anger, understanding our opponents is vital. It’s also extremely hardProduced by James Shield.Music by Blue Dot Sessions.Brought to you by the RSA.
29 minutes | Sep 7, 2019
Polarised: The Week Politics Jumped the Shark
The RSA's Matthew Taylor and the author of 'Born Liars' and 'Curious', Ian Leslie, look back on the week in which BBC Parliament had more plot twists than Line of Duty.
38 minutes | Aug 6, 2019
Polarised: Hope vs Fear, Live from Wilderness Festival
Matthew Taylor is joined by a live Wilderness Festival audience and John Harris from The Guardian to explore the battle between the politics of hope and the politics of fear. Hope can be a great motivating force in politics. And so can fear. In January, the teenage climate campaigner Greta Thunberg told the grown-ups at Davos: “I don’t want your hope. I want you to panic. And then I want you to act.” But on climate change and many other issues, fear can turn into fatalism. So how can we remain hopeful without losing a sense of reality? Recorded live at Wilderness Festival on Saturday 3rd August 2019. Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA.
41 minutes | Jul 18, 2019
Polarised: The Four Deadly Sins of Modern Politics
Ian Leslie and Matthew Taylor analyse Theresa May’s final major speech as prime minister and Donald Trump’s latest racist statements, and try to predict what might happen in the first weeks of a new PM. Everything is unlikely, but something has to happen. So we grade some previous predictions and have a go at making some new ones. Plus, a new theory: the four paths to polarisation. Twitter: Matthew Taylor Ian Leslie Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA.
45 minutes | Jun 22, 2019
Polarised: Utopia and Reality
Just as our reality has seemed to take a dystopian turn, there’s been a resurgence of political imagination. Utopian dreams have returned to the forefront of our politics. How achievable are these utopias, especially when they collide with the realities of power and government? And what can we learn from past attempts to make dreams into reality? Guests: James Meadway, former economic policy adviser to shadow chancellor John McDonnell Gregory Claeys, professor of the history of political thought at Royal Holloway, University of London Presented by Matthew Taylor. Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA.
44 minutes | May 31, 2019
Elections, Fatalism, and Twitter Storms
Matthew Taylor speaks to French political journalist Marie Le Conte about the European elections, French politics and being in the eye of a Twitter storm; and Paul Mason sets out the dual threats of fascism and fatalism. Share this episode Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).
47 minutes | May 18, 2019
Extinction Rebellion: what next?
At long last, for a few weeks in April, climate breakdown finally seemed to be at the top of the political agenda. Extinction Rebellion shut down the streets. School children walked out of classes in protest at inaction from the grown-ups. Politicians – some of them, anyway – declared a climate emergency. Does this surge of interest mark a real shift in public opinion and political will? Can the energy behind it be harnessed? And can our politicians unite against climate change in time to stop the worst of it? This week, Matthew Taylor and Ian Leslie ask where the climate movement goes next. Share this episode Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Guests Claire Farrell, Extinction Rebellion Dr Alice Bell, 10:10 Climate Action Links Video of Extinction Rebellion meeting with Michael Gove 10:10 Climate Action Matthew Taylor discussing citizens' assemblies on the Extinction Rebellion podcast Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).
38 minutes | May 3, 2019
Is religion still shaping our politics? And has its decline led to a wider search for meaning in public life? Matthew Taylor and Ian Leslie are joined by Elizabeth Oldfield, director of the think tank Theos. Plus, reflections on the one of the hardest questions in European politics right now: 'what's happening?' Links The Times, 16 April 2019: Americans lose their taste for going to church Theos think tank European Council on Foreign Relations: What Europeans Really Want: Five Myths Debunked Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).
38 minutes | Apr 19, 2019
Polarised: How Change Happens
Insights from three of the world's leading thinkers on how political and societal change happens: presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, 'Nudge' author Cass Sunstein, and philosopher Roberto Unger. Plus, the story of how a bar fight in the House of Commons may have inadvertently changed the course of British political history… Presented by Matthew Taylor. Featuring: Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and America’s pre-eminent presidential historian. Author of Leadership: Lessons from the Presidents from Turbulent Times. Cass Sunstein, co-author of Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness, on the use of behavioural economics in shaping social policy, author of How Change Happens, and Robert Walmsley Professor at Harvard. Roberto Mangabeira Unger, philosopher and author of The Knowledge Economy. Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).
55 minutes | Apr 5, 2019
Polarised: Capitalism and Conservatism, with Iain Dale and Jacob Field
We’re living through the biggest backlash against neoliberalism for 40 years, and the biggest crisis over Britain’s relationship with Europe since the Second World War. Climate breakdown and new technologies present major threats to the way we live and work. So against that backdrop, where does the politics of conservatism – and its relationship with capitalism – go next? Presented by Matthew Taylor. Guests Economic historian Jacob Field, author of Is Capitalism Working? Commentator and LBC broadcaster Iain Dale Share this episode on Twitter Music by Blue Dot Sessions. Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).
41 minutes | Mar 21, 2019
Polarised: Denialism, with Caroline Lucas MP & Keith Kahn-Harris
From climate change to vaccines, there’s a worrying tendency in our culture to bury our heads in the sand, and for a growing number of people to turn their backs on the truth. At its most dangerous, denialism can shade into extremism. Denialism is fundamentally a rejection of reality, but what drives it? What does it say about our psychology that sometimes we need to protect ourselves from what’s really going on? And what should we do about the malign online forces that are driving more people to construct their own truth? Guests Caroline Lucas MP Keith Kahn-Harris, author of Denial: The Unspeakable Truth Links Watch on YouTube: We Need to Talk About Climate | Caroline Lucas MP | RSA Replay Matthew Taylor on Twitter Ian Leslie on Twitter Caroline Lucas on Twitter Keith Kahn-Harris on Twitter Share this episode on Twitter Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).
36 minutes | Mar 11, 2019
Polarised: Is the centre ground dead?
Commentators say the financial crisis and its aftermath sounded the death knell for centrist parties. Is the centre ground of British politics really dead, or could it make a comeback? And what does the ‘centre’ even mean these days? This week, Ian Leslie and Matthew Taylor discuss the Independent Group, before talking to the political sociologist Paula Surridge from the University of Bristol about public opinion and the centre. Plus: what is Tom Watson up to? Links Which values clan do you belong to? ‘Values clans’: how clusters of the electorate have shaped the political landscape The ‘cross-pressured clans’ of British politics: a quarter of the electorate and their values Share this episode on Twitter Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).
34 minutes | Feb 24, 2019
Polarised: Responsible Parties
Has the opening up of political parties been a vital force for change, or bad for democracy as a whole? How can politicians represent both their party members and the voters? Is it game over for the old party politics of left vs right, and for the old party establishment? This week Matthew Taylor and Ian Leslie are putting political parties in the spotlight. Guests: Ian Shapiro, co-author of Responsible Parties: Saving Democracy from Itself and professor of political science at Yale Isra Allison, executive director of Brand New Congress Nasim Thompson, co-founder of Justice Democrats Share this episode on Twitter Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).
38 minutes | Feb 13, 2019
Polarised: Talking to the Enemy, with Michael Sandel & Maria Exner
This week Ian Leslie and Matthew Taylor are asking: what's the best way to talk to people we disagree with? If we want to understand the other side – to bridge divides, or even persuade people we disagree with to think differently – what’s the best way to do that? With Harvard philosopher Michael Sandel, and Maria Exner, deputy editor of German news website Zeit Online. Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce).
28 minutes | Jan 17, 2019
Polarised: Could a citizens' jury help break the Brexit deadlock?
Two days after the biggest government defeat in the history of the British parliament, Matthew Taylor makes the case for another form of democracy that might help sort out the mess. With James Fishkin and David Runciman. Links The RSA's campaign for deliberative democracy James Fishkin's talk at the RSA Amazon: 'Democracy When the People Are Thinking: Revitalizing Our Politics Through Public Deliberation' by James S. Fishkin David Runciman's talk at the RSA Talking Politics podcast Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce). www.thersa.org
37 minutes | Dec 23, 2018
Polarised: Francis Fukuyama on Identity
The phrase ‘identity politics’ has come to be used as a sort of political insult. It’s a short way of accusing someone of pandering to voters – based on race, religion or gender. From white nationalists and Donald Trump, to the politics of liberation and demands for equal rights, it feels like everyone is playing identity politics these days. Conflicts between identity groups now dominate our politics. How did we get here? Is the rise of identity politics really that big a problem? And if it is, what should we do about it? Francis Fukuyama, author of 'The End of History and the Last Man' and more recently 'Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment', joins Matthew Taylor and Ian Leslie to give his take on the rise of identity politics. Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce). www.thersa.org
34 minutes | Dec 6, 2018
Polarised: The psychology of tribalism, with Jonathan Haidt
Is tribalism an indelible part of human nature? And if it is, can we overcome it? Matthew Taylor speaks to moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt, author of The Righteous Mind and The Coddling of the American Mind. Plus, Ian and Matthew discuss the recent protests in France, and we ask why the British people have claimed responsibility for 55% of all world history… Links Washington Post: The top 10 reasons American politics are so broken, by Jonathan Haidt and Sam Abrams, January 2015 The Coddling of the American Mind by Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff YouTube: Why a 21st Century Enlightenment Needs Walls | Jonathan Haidt | RSA Replay Twilight of the Elite: The Prosperous, the Periphery, and the Future of France by Christophe Guilluy We Made History: Citizens of 35 Countries Overestimate Their Nation's Role in World History Ian's newsletter, The Ruffian - TinyLetter Twitter: Matthew Taylor Ian Leslie Jonathan Haidt Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce). www.thersa.org
32 minutes | Nov 21, 2018
Polarised: Stories, Myths and Belonging
It's been a turbulent week in UK politics. What could possibly happen next? Matthew Taylor and Ian Leslie talk Brexit predictions, and whether constant news updates are doing us any good. That brings us on to a discussion about the stories we tell ourselves – fake news, and the importance of myths – before Matthew tests out his new 'theory of everything', and we ask whether all of our society's problems stem from a yearning for solidarity and belonging. Links Ian Leslie on fake news – New Statesman The problem for democracies isn't "fake news" but pathological consumerism – Thomas Wells for ABC Matthew Taylor: Reprogramming the future – on hierarchy, solidarity, individualism, and fatalism Netflix: The Vietnam War Bodyguard (BBC) Produced by James Shield. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce). www.thersa.org
28 minutes | Oct 31, 2018
Polarised: Is democracy failing?
Is democracy falling apart? How worried should we be? And how can we fix it? With Niheer Dasandi, author of 'Is Democracy Failing?', and Eliane Glaser, author of 'Anti-Politics: On the Demonisation of Ideology, Authority and the State'. Links Matthew Taylor's blog: Could politics ever be a source of wisdom rather than anxiety? Is Democracy Failing? by Niheer Dasandi Anti-Politics: On the Demonisation of Ideology, Authority and the State Ian Leslie in the New Statesman: Why the invention of the fridge could be responsible for our love of fake news Produced by James Shield. With thanks to Thames & Hudson. Brought to you by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce). www.thersa.org
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