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Talking Politics: HISTORY OF IDEAS

Talking Politics

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Talking Politics: HISTORY OF IDEAS

Talking Politics: HISTORY OF IDEAS

Talking Politics

83
Followers
495
Plays
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About Us

A new series of talks by David Runciman, in which he explores some of the most important thinkers and prominent ideas lying behind modern politics – from Hobbes to Gandhi, from democracy to patriarchy, from revolution to lock down. Plus, he talks about the crises – revolutions, wars, depressions, pandemics – that generated these new ways of political thinking. From the team that brought you Talking Politics: a history of ideas to help make sense of what’s happening today.

Latest Episodes

Q & A with David

We got lots and lots of excellent questions from listeners about the themes and ideas in this series of talks.In this extra episode David will do his best to answer some of them, from Hobbes to Weber, and from Gandhi to feminism.Plus he talks about what's missing from this series and where we might start next time. Go to https://www.talkingpoliticspodcast.com/history-of-ideas for the full collection of reading lists. Quentin Skinner on the state: (Video) Quentin Skinner, ‘What is the state? The question that will not go away’ Orwell on Gandhi: https://www.orwellfoundation.com/the-orwell-foundation/orwell/essays-and-other-works/reflections-on-gandhi/ See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

48 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Q & A with David

Fukuyama on History

Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History (1992) became associated with the triumph of liberal democracy at the end of the twentieth century.But was Fukuyama really a triumphalist?David explores what Fukuyama had to say about the strengths and weaknesses of liberal democracy and asks whether his analysis still holds true today.What have we learned about the modern state from its history?And can it, and we, really change now? Recommended version to purchase: - https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/133/13399/the-end-of-history-and-the-last-man/9780241960240.html Going Deeper: - Paul Hirst for the LRB on ‘Endism’ - Fukuyama at the 2020 Munich Security Conference - Fukuyama on the 2016 presidential election - Louis Menand, ‘Francis Fukuyama Postpones the End of History,’ The New Yorker. - Talking Politics with Fukuyama See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

46 MINMAY 25
Comments
Fukuyama on History

MacKinnon on Patriarchy

Catharine MacKinnon’s Toward a Feminist Theory of the State (1989) challenges two dominant ways of thinking about politics: liberalism, which wants to protect us from the power of the state, and Marxism, which wants to liberate us through the power of the state.What if neither is good enough to emancipate women?Mackinnon explains why patriarchal power permeates all forms of modern politics.David discusses what she thinks we can do about it. Recommended version to purchase: - Catharine A. MacKinnon, Toward a feminist theory of the state (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989). - Going Deeper: - Lorna Finlayson in the LRB on Catharine MacKinnon, feminism, and the law - Catharine A. MacKinnon, Sexual harassment of working women: a case of sex discrimination (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1979). - Drucilla Cornell, ‘Sexual difference, the feminine, and equivalency: a critique of MacKinnon’s Toward a feminist theory of the state’, Yale Law Journal, vol. 100, no. 7, ar...

44 MINMAY 22
Comments
MacKinnon on Patriarchy

Fanon on Colonialism

Frantz Fanon was a psychiatrist who both experienced and analysed the impact of colonial violence.In The Wretched of the Earth (1961) he developed an account of politics that sought to channel violent resistance to colonialism as a force for change.It is a deliberately shocking book.David explores what Fanon’s argument says about the possibility of moving beyond the power of the modern state. Free online version of the text: - http://abahlali.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Frantz-Fanon-The-Wretched-of-the-Earth-1965.pdf Recommended version to purchase: - https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/573/57385/the-wretched-of-the-earth/9780141186542.html Going Deeper: - Megan Vaughan for the LRB on Fanon and psychiatry in North Africa - Frantz Fanon, Toward the African revolution: political essays - Frantz Fanon, Black skin, white masks (New York, NY: Grove Press, 2008). - (Video) Gillo Pontecorvo, The Battle of Algiers [film] (1966) - Jean-Paul Sartre, ‘Preface’, in Frantz Fanon, The wretched ...

40 MINMAY 18
Comments
Fanon on Colonialism

Arendt on Action

Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition (1958) is a remarkably prophetic book.At its heart is an analysis of the relationship between labour, work and action, set against a time of rapid technological change.Arendt worried about the power of computers, believed in the capacity of people to reinvent themselves through politics and despaired of the influence of Thomas Hobbes.Was she right? Recommended version to purchase: - https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/H/bo29137972.html Going Deeper: - James Miller in the LRB on Hannah Arendt - Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism - Hannah Arendt, Eichman in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil - In Our Time on Hannah Arendt - Matthew Beard for the Guardian, ‘With Robots, is a life without work one we’d want to live?’ See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

44 MINMAY 15
Comments
Arendt on Action

Hayek on the Market

Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom (1944) was written during the Second World War but Hayek was really worried about what would come next.He feared that wartime planning would spill over into the peacetime economy and destroy hard won freedoms.David explores where Hayek’s fears came from and asks why he worried that democracy would only make the problem worse.He also considers what makes Hayek such a politically influential and divisive figure to this day. Free online version of the text: - https://archive.org/details/TheRoadToSerfdom/page/n7/mode/2up Recommended version to purchase: - https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-road-to-serfdom/f-a-hayek/9780415253895 Going Deeper: - Geoffrey Hawthorn on Hayek and his overcoat for the LRB - F.A. Hayek, ‘Individualism: True and False’ - Andrew Gamble, Hayek: The iron cage of liberty (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1996) - Stephen Metcalf in The Guardian, ‘Neoliberalism: The Idea that Swallowed the World’ - Hayek vs. Keynes - Matt Ridley,...

43 MINMAY 11
Comments
Hayek on the Market

Weber on Leadership

Max Weber’s The Profession and Vocation of Politics (1919) was a lecture that became one of the defining texts of twentieth century political thought.In it, Weber explores the perils and paradoxes of leadership in a modern state.Is it possible to do bad in order to do good?Can violence ever be virtuous?Does political responsibility send politicians mad?David discusses the legacy of Weber’s ideas and asks: who is the true Weberian politician? Free online version of the text: - http://fs2.american.edu/dfagel/www/class%20readings/weber/politicsasavocation.pdf Recommended version to purchase: - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Weber-Political-Writings-Cambridge-History/dp/0521397197 Going Deeper: - Geoffrey Hawthorn on Max Weber for the LRB - Joachim Radkau, Max Weber (Polity, 2009) - Talking Politics on ‘Politics as a Vocation’ with Jonathan Powell - Jan-Werner Müller, Contesting democracy: political ideas in twentieth century Europe (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2013) - David fo...

44 MINMAY 8
Comments
Weber on Leadership

Gandhi on self-rule

Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj (1909) was a defining text of the movement for Indian independence from British colonial rule.It also articulated a radical new idea of politics in a modern context – peaceful protest or non-violent resistance.David explores the wider legacy of Gandhi’s ideas and asks what Gandhi’s withering attack on ‘machine’ politics means for the politics we have today. Free online version of the text: - https://www.mkgandhi.org/ebks/hind_swaraj.pdf Recommended version to purchase: - https://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/subjects/politics-international-relations/texts-political-thought/gandhi-hind-swaraj-and-other-writings-2nd-edition?format=PB Going Deeper: - Stephen Haggard on Gandhi for the LRB - M.K. Gandhi, An autobiography: or the story with my experiments of truth (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2001). - Ramachandra Guha, Gandhi: The Years that Changed the World 1915-1948 - Talking Politics with Ramachandra Guha on Gandhi’s politics - Bhikhu Parekh,...

44 MINMAY 4
Comments
Gandhi on self-rule

Marx and Engels on Revolution

The Communist Manifesto (1848) remains the most famous revolutionary text of all.But what was the problem with politics that only a revolution could solve? And why were the working class the only people who could solve it?David explores what Marx and Engels really had to say about capitalism, crisis and class and he asks what still resonates from that message today. Free online version of the text: - http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/61/pg61-images.html Recommended version to purchase: - https://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/subjects/politics-international-relations/texts-political-thought/marx-later-political-writings?format=PB Going Deeper: - Karl Marx, ‘The eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte’ - Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The German ideology - Jonathan Wolff, Why read Marx today? (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003) - Gareth Stedman Jones, Karl Marx: greatness and illusion (London: Allen Lane, 2016) - In Our Time on Marx See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-ou...

43 MINMAY 1
Comments
Marx and Engels on Revolution

Tocqueville on Democracy

Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America (1835/40) can claim to be the best book ever written about democracy and the best book ever written about America.David discusses what Tocqueville was expecting when he went to see American democracy for himself and what he actually found.Tocqueville was amazed and impressed by the American way of doing politics, but his fears about how its democracy might go wrong remain as prescient as ever. Free online version of the text: - Volume 1 and Volume 2 Recommended version to purchase: - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Democracy-America-Essays-Penguin-Classics/dp/0140447601 Going Deeper: - In Our Time on Tocqueville’s Democracy in America - Harvey C. Mansfield, Jr, Tocqueville: a very short introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010) - Annette Gordon Reed, ‘America’s Original Sin: Slavery and the Legacy of White Supremacy’ - Hugh Brogan, Alexis de Tocqueville: prophet of democracy in the age of revolution (New Haven, CT: Yale Universit...

44 MINAPR 30
Comments
Tocqueville on Democracy

Latest Episodes

Q & A with David

We got lots and lots of excellent questions from listeners about the themes and ideas in this series of talks.In this extra episode David will do his best to answer some of them, from Hobbes to Weber, and from Gandhi to feminism.Plus he talks about what's missing from this series and where we might start next time. Go to https://www.talkingpoliticspodcast.com/history-of-ideas for the full collection of reading lists. Quentin Skinner on the state: (Video) Quentin Skinner, ‘What is the state? The question that will not go away’ Orwell on Gandhi: https://www.orwellfoundation.com/the-orwell-foundation/orwell/essays-and-other-works/reflections-on-gandhi/ See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

48 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Q & A with David

Fukuyama on History

Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History (1992) became associated with the triumph of liberal democracy at the end of the twentieth century.But was Fukuyama really a triumphalist?David explores what Fukuyama had to say about the strengths and weaknesses of liberal democracy and asks whether his analysis still holds true today.What have we learned about the modern state from its history?And can it, and we, really change now? Recommended version to purchase: - https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/133/13399/the-end-of-history-and-the-last-man/9780241960240.html Going Deeper: - Paul Hirst for the LRB on ‘Endism’ - Fukuyama at the 2020 Munich Security Conference - Fukuyama on the 2016 presidential election - Louis Menand, ‘Francis Fukuyama Postpones the End of History,’ The New Yorker. - Talking Politics with Fukuyama See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

46 MINMAY 25
Comments
Fukuyama on History

MacKinnon on Patriarchy

Catharine MacKinnon’s Toward a Feminist Theory of the State (1989) challenges two dominant ways of thinking about politics: liberalism, which wants to protect us from the power of the state, and Marxism, which wants to liberate us through the power of the state.What if neither is good enough to emancipate women?Mackinnon explains why patriarchal power permeates all forms of modern politics.David discusses what she thinks we can do about it. Recommended version to purchase: - Catharine A. MacKinnon, Toward a feminist theory of the state (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989). - Going Deeper: - Lorna Finlayson in the LRB on Catharine MacKinnon, feminism, and the law - Catharine A. MacKinnon, Sexual harassment of working women: a case of sex discrimination (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1979). - Drucilla Cornell, ‘Sexual difference, the feminine, and equivalency: a critique of MacKinnon’s Toward a feminist theory of the state’, Yale Law Journal, vol. 100, no. 7, ar...

44 MINMAY 22
Comments
MacKinnon on Patriarchy

Fanon on Colonialism

Frantz Fanon was a psychiatrist who both experienced and analysed the impact of colonial violence.In The Wretched of the Earth (1961) he developed an account of politics that sought to channel violent resistance to colonialism as a force for change.It is a deliberately shocking book.David explores what Fanon’s argument says about the possibility of moving beyond the power of the modern state. Free online version of the text: - http://abahlali.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Frantz-Fanon-The-Wretched-of-the-Earth-1965.pdf Recommended version to purchase: - https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/573/57385/the-wretched-of-the-earth/9780141186542.html Going Deeper: - Megan Vaughan for the LRB on Fanon and psychiatry in North Africa - Frantz Fanon, Toward the African revolution: political essays - Frantz Fanon, Black skin, white masks (New York, NY: Grove Press, 2008). - (Video) Gillo Pontecorvo, The Battle of Algiers [film] (1966) - Jean-Paul Sartre, ‘Preface’, in Frantz Fanon, The wretched ...

40 MINMAY 18
Comments
Fanon on Colonialism

Arendt on Action

Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition (1958) is a remarkably prophetic book.At its heart is an analysis of the relationship between labour, work and action, set against a time of rapid technological change.Arendt worried about the power of computers, believed in the capacity of people to reinvent themselves through politics and despaired of the influence of Thomas Hobbes.Was she right? Recommended version to purchase: - https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/H/bo29137972.html Going Deeper: - James Miller in the LRB on Hannah Arendt - Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism - Hannah Arendt, Eichman in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil - In Our Time on Hannah Arendt - Matthew Beard for the Guardian, ‘With Robots, is a life without work one we’d want to live?’ See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

44 MINMAY 15
Comments
Arendt on Action

Hayek on the Market

Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom (1944) was written during the Second World War but Hayek was really worried about what would come next.He feared that wartime planning would spill over into the peacetime economy and destroy hard won freedoms.David explores where Hayek’s fears came from and asks why he worried that democracy would only make the problem worse.He also considers what makes Hayek such a politically influential and divisive figure to this day. Free online version of the text: - https://archive.org/details/TheRoadToSerfdom/page/n7/mode/2up Recommended version to purchase: - https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-road-to-serfdom/f-a-hayek/9780415253895 Going Deeper: - Geoffrey Hawthorn on Hayek and his overcoat for the LRB - F.A. Hayek, ‘Individualism: True and False’ - Andrew Gamble, Hayek: The iron cage of liberty (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1996) - Stephen Metcalf in The Guardian, ‘Neoliberalism: The Idea that Swallowed the World’ - Hayek vs. Keynes - Matt Ridley,...

43 MINMAY 11
Comments
Hayek on the Market

Weber on Leadership

Max Weber’s The Profession and Vocation of Politics (1919) was a lecture that became one of the defining texts of twentieth century political thought.In it, Weber explores the perils and paradoxes of leadership in a modern state.Is it possible to do bad in order to do good?Can violence ever be virtuous?Does political responsibility send politicians mad?David discusses the legacy of Weber’s ideas and asks: who is the true Weberian politician? Free online version of the text: - http://fs2.american.edu/dfagel/www/class%20readings/weber/politicsasavocation.pdf Recommended version to purchase: - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Weber-Political-Writings-Cambridge-History/dp/0521397197 Going Deeper: - Geoffrey Hawthorn on Max Weber for the LRB - Joachim Radkau, Max Weber (Polity, 2009) - Talking Politics on ‘Politics as a Vocation’ with Jonathan Powell - Jan-Werner Müller, Contesting democracy: political ideas in twentieth century Europe (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2013) - David fo...

44 MINMAY 8
Comments
Weber on Leadership

Gandhi on self-rule

Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj (1909) was a defining text of the movement for Indian independence from British colonial rule.It also articulated a radical new idea of politics in a modern context – peaceful protest or non-violent resistance.David explores the wider legacy of Gandhi’s ideas and asks what Gandhi’s withering attack on ‘machine’ politics means for the politics we have today. Free online version of the text: - https://www.mkgandhi.org/ebks/hind_swaraj.pdf Recommended version to purchase: - https://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/subjects/politics-international-relations/texts-political-thought/gandhi-hind-swaraj-and-other-writings-2nd-edition?format=PB Going Deeper: - Stephen Haggard on Gandhi for the LRB - M.K. Gandhi, An autobiography: or the story with my experiments of truth (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2001). - Ramachandra Guha, Gandhi: The Years that Changed the World 1915-1948 - Talking Politics with Ramachandra Guha on Gandhi’s politics - Bhikhu Parekh,...

44 MINMAY 4
Comments
Gandhi on self-rule

Marx and Engels on Revolution

The Communist Manifesto (1848) remains the most famous revolutionary text of all.But what was the problem with politics that only a revolution could solve? And why were the working class the only people who could solve it?David explores what Marx and Engels really had to say about capitalism, crisis and class and he asks what still resonates from that message today. Free online version of the text: - http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/61/pg61-images.html Recommended version to purchase: - https://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/subjects/politics-international-relations/texts-political-thought/marx-later-political-writings?format=PB Going Deeper: - Karl Marx, ‘The eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte’ - Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The German ideology - Jonathan Wolff, Why read Marx today? (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003) - Gareth Stedman Jones, Karl Marx: greatness and illusion (London: Allen Lane, 2016) - In Our Time on Marx See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-ou...

43 MINMAY 1
Comments
Marx and Engels on Revolution

Tocqueville on Democracy

Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America (1835/40) can claim to be the best book ever written about democracy and the best book ever written about America.David discusses what Tocqueville was expecting when he went to see American democracy for himself and what he actually found.Tocqueville was amazed and impressed by the American way of doing politics, but his fears about how its democracy might go wrong remain as prescient as ever. Free online version of the text: - Volume 1 and Volume 2 Recommended version to purchase: - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Democracy-America-Essays-Penguin-Classics/dp/0140447601 Going Deeper: - In Our Time on Tocqueville’s Democracy in America - Harvey C. Mansfield, Jr, Tocqueville: a very short introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010) - Annette Gordon Reed, ‘America’s Original Sin: Slavery and the Legacy of White Supremacy’ - Hugh Brogan, Alexis de Tocqueville: prophet of democracy in the age of revolution (New Haven, CT: Yale Universit...

44 MINAPR 30
Comments
Tocqueville on Democracy
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