Headspace by Prospect Magazine-logo

Headspace by Prospect Magazine

News & Politics Podcasts >

More Information


The Prospect podcast #42—Maestros in miniature

Eight-year-olds playing Chopin is certainly impressive, but is it good for children to develop prodigious skills so early on? Suna Erdem talks to Prospect about maestros in miniature, whether they’ll grow up hating their parents, and why we’re so fixated on the concept of the youthful genius anyway. Erdem wrote on the subject for our August issue. Also: Alex Dean discusses the future of the Brexit departments and Sameer Rahim asks how much first time novelists can expect to be paid.


The Prospect podcast #41—Inside the Obama White House

This week Ben Rhodes speaks to Steve Bloomfield. Rhodes was formerly at the centre of the Obama administration: he started as a speechwriter but quickly became one of Obama’s closest advisors on foreign policy. He was there for some of the most important geopolitical events in recent history. His new book is called The World As It Is: Inside the Obama White House. Bloomfield reviewed it for our July issue.


The Prospect podcast #40—Why everyone should learn a dying language

This week Cal Flyn speaks to Stephanie Boland about Britain’s other languages. Flyn wrote about learning Scottish Gaelic in our July 2018 issue. But what is the place of Gaelic in Scotland—and are dying languages really worth saving? Flyn certainly thinks so, and argues that all of us should be taking lessons.


The Prospect podcast #39—Rock n’ Roll n’ Brexit

Rock music is on the way down, music magazines aren’t what they used to be—but there are still an awful lot of sharp pens around. That’s the opinion of DJ Taylor who expands on his piece in Prospect’s July issue and talks to Sameer Rahim about the rock memoir. It’s a curious genre and we might think of it as unsophisticated, but actually it is at the centre of a new golden age of rock writing. Before that, Alex Dean and Tom Clark do a five minute political round-up on Brexit, Heathrow and...


Will Brexit sink the Tories?

This week, as last, there’s one big story: Brexit and the Conservative Party. Theresa May just about managed to see off Remainer rebellion in the Commons. But is it a hollow victory? Tom Clark asks whether after 300 years, Brexit could be the row that finally sinks the Tories. It’s not just in Britain that the traditionally dominant centre-right is on its knees; Andrew Gamble argues in our new issue that it’s a much broader trend and explains why here. Hephzibah Anderson discusses the fall...


Listen: Headspace #37—The unbridgeable divide in the Tory Party

This week saw a series of crunch votes in the commons on the EU withdrawal bill and the role of parliament in the exit process. The government escaped defeat—just—but only by making dramatic last minute concessions. It promised Tory Remainers that parliament will indeed play a significant role. Antoinette Sandbach was one of the MPs to receive personal assurances from the prime minister and she explains what was said. But over recent days Brexiteers have insisted no such assurance can have...


Listen: Headspace #36—From cold war to hot peace

When Michael McFaul became the United States' ambassador to Russia, he didn't realise what he was letting himself in for. As the architect of Barack Obama's "Reset," he thought he'd be welcomed. But instead Vladimir Putin's cronies orchestrated a campaign of harassment and spread lurid personal allegations. McFaul talks to Sameer Rahim about his new book, From Cold War to Hot Peace, which tells of how US-Russia relations broke down and why Putin's aggressive posture on Crimea and Syria...


Listen: Headspace #35—The end of the World Cup?

This week it’s football. The World Cup is fast approaching and we are preparing for what is usually one of the greatest sporting spectacles on earth. But with a cloud of corruption hanging over the event, could we fall out of love with the World Cup altogether? Jonathan Lieu of the Independent has written an essay on this subject for our June issue. Here he talks the question through with Prospect’s Deputy Editor Steve Bloomfield.


Headspace #34—Fifty Shades of Atheism

Sameer Rahim talks to philosopher John Gray about what atheists get wrong about atheism. Dismissing the "God debate," which as a non-believer Gray has no interest in, instead he focuses on the variety of atheisms on offer in the modern world: from liberalism as a modern day secular religion to the atheism of silence of Spinoza. Gray, as usual, takes no prisoners.


Headspace #33—Planet China

China is the new great global power. But while much has been said about China’s economic and military heft, what about the rise of Chinese ideas? As Beijing grows increasingly dominant we will have to decide how firmly we hold western values of academic freedom and human rights: they will increasingly be challenged. Tom Clark is joined by Isabel Hilton, who has written an essay on China for our new issue, Kerry Brown, who examines how Australia is dealing with China’s rise, and Rana Mitter...


Listen: Headspace #32—Why globalism has failed

The unipolar world of a dominant United States is falling away as other nations—most prominently China—come to the fore. Ian Bremmer, the American political scientist, speaks to Prospect Deputy Editor Steve Bloomfield about his new book Us and Them. The average citizen across the west is not a believer in "globalism," he says. Executive Editor Jay Elwes speaks to David Omand, former head of GCHQ about how the internet is shaping and shifting politics around the world.


Headspace #31—Local election special

We’ve all read the local election headlines by now: disappointment for Labour, relief for the Conservatives. But what are the deeper trends at play? For this week’s edition of Headspace the Prospect team tunnels deeper into the results with help from psephology great David Butler and Jade Azim, head of Women in Political Data. We ask why Labour failed to deliver on expectations and what it all means for the shifting contours of the British political landscape.


Headspace #29: Will Self on drugs

The novelist Will Self talks to Prospect's Tom Clark and Sameer Rahim about his experiences with drugs, and how they’ve shaped his view of the world. He discusses his recent essay for Prospect which examines the new book by Michael Pollan and also offers some useful advice for those who’ve accidentally taken too much acid.


Headspace #28: Brexit and the economy—time to change direction

If modern economic theory led to the Financial Crisis of 2008, some of its basic ideas need to change—but how? In this podcast, Howard Reed describes how the discipline went wrong, and how it must be reformed and Linda Yueh asks how the great economists of the nineteenth century might have reacted to modern times. And if we do develop a new economic outlook, who will be in No 10 to implement it? Jacob Rees-Mogg? Perhaps, says Sonia Purnell, who describes the Tory MP’s continuing allure for...


Headspace #27: Saudi, Trump And Putin—"With Friends Like These..."

Britain’s international relationships are in a highly sensitive moment, not only with adversaries such as Russia but with more traditionally friendly states such as the United States. And with Vladimir Putin playing the poison-handed joker on the world stage, how should Britain approach these crucial diplomatic challenges? What can Britain offer and what do we want? This podcast features interviews with Jane Kinninmont of Chatham House, an expert on Saudi Arabian politics and Luke Harding...


What is Putin’s game? Headspace #26 with Jonathan Eyal, Pauline Neville-Jones and Anatol Lieven

Jay Elwes takes a deep dive into the aftermath of the attempted assassination in Salisbury of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. Why has this happened? Can we be certain Russia is behind it? What is Putin’s game? Featuring comment from Jonathan Eyal, one of Britain’s most experienced Russia experts, Pauline Neville-Jones, the former head of the UK Joint Intelligence Committee, and Anatol Lieven of Georgetown University, this edition goes deep into the world of espionage, disinformation and the...


The great gender injustices of our time—Headspace #24 with Shami Chakrabarti

This week, Prospect’s Editor Tom Clark sits down with Shami Chakrabarti, the lawyer and Labour peer whose new book, "Of Women," takes a close look at the place of women in society and reveals in uncomfortable detail the gross unfairness that they still face. But then the Labour Party is not immune from sexism in its own ranks—and unlike the Conservative Party has never had a female leader. Chakrabarti thinks that record is set to change. Anne Perkins of the Guardian and Sameer Rahim,...


The world is getting better all the time: Headspace #23 with Steven Pinker, Philip Ball

Prospect Editor Tom Clark sits down with Steven Pinker, the Harvard scientist, to discuss his new book on the Enlightenment and how that period in the development of human thought continues to shape our world. The ideals of reason and tolerance are winning out, he says, and the result is immense material progress. Things are quite simply getting better all the time—contrary to popular belief. That’s the argument. But is the division of history into pre- and post-Enlightenment as clear-cut...


Headspace #22: the Free Speech wars

Lionel Shriver, Afua Hirsch and Mary Beard talk freedom of speech, power and the new culture wars.


Listen: Headspace #20—Crunch time on Brexit

The immense political, constitutional and legal challenge posed by Brexit becomes clearer by the day. With talks now stepping up a gear and turning to the future relationship, Prospect Editor Tom Clark and Deputy Digital Editor Alex Dean sat down with representatives from either side of the debate. Gisela Stuart, the Labour politician who chaired Vote Leave, clashed with Ian Dunt, Remainer and editor of politics.co.uk. Prospect’s Executive Editor Jay Elwes spoke to polling extraordinaire...