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Anthill 30: Extremes

Anthill 30: Extremes.

We’ve taken our cue for this episode of The Anthill podcast from the Cambridge Festival of Ideas – the theme for which in 2018 is extremes. As the organisers point out, it really does feel like we’re living in an age where the world is growing more and more extreme.

Far-right political extremism is on the rise around the world, with extreme, populist views gaining support everywhere from Brazil and the US to the Philippines. And Europe has not been immune, where elections have featured far-right parties making plays for power. How have these new parties managed to move into the mainstream of European politics?

In the first segment of this episode, we hear from Sofia Tipaldou, a research fellow at the University of Manchester, on the rise of Golden Dawn in Greece. Anna Bull, professor of Italian history and politics at the University of Bath, explains the context of the Lega’s ascent to the heart of government in Italy, and Stijn van Kessel, lecturer in European politics at Queen Mary University of London, talks about the effect these far-right forces are having on other political parties across Europe.

And what is it like to live in an extreme situation, particularly one of conflict and war? We hear from two academics from the University of Cambridge who also spoke at the Festival of Ideas about what happens to people who choose not to flee during war situations in the Middle East. Palestinian academic Mona Jebril talked about her school life and work as a university lecturer in Gaza, and Sophie Roborgh, talked about her research on the medics who stay on to treat those affected by conflict.

Finally, we turn to extremes of the climate. Australia has just had its driest September on record, and the second driest month ever: the only drier month was April 1902. In a clip from Trust Me I’m an Expert, the monthly podcast from our colleagues at The Conversation Australia, we feature their interview with climate scientist Joelle Gergis from the University of Melbourne, whose latest book maps Australia’s climate over thousands of years. While is has always been a land of extremes, rapid warming since 1950 is starting to alter Australia’s weather patterns.

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Thank you to City, University of London’s Department of Journalism for letting us use their studios to record The Anthill.

Picture source: Double Brain via Shutterstock.

The Anthill theme music is by Alex Grey for Melody Loops.

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