Axis Of Power20170103

Gideon Rachman examines the changing balance of power in today's global politics.

The world is witnessing a long-term and emphatic shift of wealth and influence towards China and the rest of Asia. The USA's role as the one true superpower is under threat. In this programme Gideon explores the implications of changing international geo-politics and asks how world leaders, including President Trump, will respond.

Gideon Rachman is chief foreign affairs commentator of the Financial Times and author of "Easternisation: War and Peace in the Asian Century".

Producer: Martin Rosenbaum.

Fixing Globalisation20170106

Jim O'Neill asks if new challenges mean an end to the era of globalisation? As chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Lord O'Neill was seen as one of the high priests of globalisation - coining the term BRICs to describe the economic rise of Brazil, Russia, India and China. Now, many see the UK's vote to leave the EU, alongside the election of Donald Trump as indications that the world is turning away from globalisation. A stalling in the increase in global trade is seen as another significant indicator. Lord O'Neill believes that globalisation can be a positive force, lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. But can this economic engine take care of those left behind by rapid, wrenching change?

Producer: Helen Grady.

Jim O'Neill asks if new challenges mean an end to the era of globalisation?

It's The Demography, Stupid!20170105

How is population change transforming our world? Think of a python swallowing a pig: a big bulge makes its way slowly down the snake from the head end to the other end. That's a bit like what's happened to the UK demographically. The baby boom generation - which has changed Britain politically, culturally and economically - is now retiring. That means a large bulge of pensioners with big implications for the generations that come behind them. Other advanced economies face a similar challenge and emerging economies - most notably China - will be dealing with an ageing bulge themselves soon. But in Africa, the bulge is at the other end. A very young generation is about to make its way through the snake. Former government minister David Willetts, now executive chair of the Resolution Foundation, wrestles with this python of population change. What will these challenges of both ageing and very young populations mean for the world? What are the implications for future migration patterns, for geopolitics and for global economic growth? This programme is part of a special week of programmes for the first week of 2017, examining major forces which are changing the world around us.

Producer: Rob Walker.

How is population change transforming our world? David Willetts investigates.

Nothing But The Truth20170102

Are we really living in a post-truth world? Jo Fidgen investigates.

Are we really living in a post-truth world? It has been an extraordinary year for the concept of veracity. Brexit. Trump. Experts have taken a beating, facts have apparently taken second place to emotion and feeling. And what about truth? It seems like fewer and fewer people, whether voters or politicians, care what's true anymore. Step forward the Oxford English Dictionary's word of 2016: "post-truth". Is this just shorthand to help liberals make sense of a world they don't like? Or does it mark something more meaningful? Are we really no longer interested in truth or is our toxic political climate clouding our ability to agree on what the facts are? In a series of special programmes as 2017 begins, Radio 4 examines inflection points in the world around us. In the first programme, Jo Fidgen explores how our brains process facts when they become polluted by politics.

Producer: Gemma Newby.

Us Versus Them20170104

Political movements which proclaim themselves as anti-elitist challengers to the mainstream establishment have been achieving success, from Brexit campaigners to Donald Trump and various European parties. John Harris explores the reasons behind this international phenomenon, examines the motivating forces for the anxiety and anger of voters, and considers the response of the political establishment in this new era.

Producer: Martin Rosenbaum.

John Harris examines the international rise of anti-elitist or 'populist' politics.