Podcast of Ideas: elections in the UK and France

April 28, 2017

In the first of a series of podcasts in the run-up to June's general election in the UK, Adam Rawcliffe introduces a discussion with Claire Fox, Alastair Donald and Geoff Kidder.

What do the team think about the decision to call an election? What are the key debates in Election 2017? Are traditional party political considerations relevant at the moment? Indeed, as suggested by the first round of voting in the French presidential election, are the old parties in terminal decline?


The limits of free will

April 12, 2017

Does free will exist? If so, what is it? How does it relate to our ideas about causation? Are we in fact just the product of a kind of 'fate', where the events of our lives were pre-determined from the Big Bang itself?

Philosopher Julian Baggini, author of 'Freedom Regained: The Possibility of Free Will', talks to Rob Lyons about how we might tread a realistic middle way between absolute freedom of action and fatalism. Yes, in a sense we are 'determined' by what has gone before, but there is still room for choice and responsibility.


Creative Destruction: how to start an economic renaissance

April 7, 2017

Phil Mullan discusses his latest book, Creative Destruction: How to Start an Economic Renaissance (Policy Press), with Austin Williams, director of the Future Cities Project. This was the official launch of the book.

While governments talk of rebalancing the economy, Mullan talks about a fourth industrial revolution - a revolution that doesn't prioritise holding onto jobs, but "lets the low-productivity parts of the economy go". Discuss.

As Mullan puts it, we have "a zombie economy that is being propped up to ensure the semblance of life". So is it time to turn off the life support, or continue CPR?