The Inquiry gets beyond the headlines to explore the trends, forces and ideas shaping the world.


  • Are We Tired Of Talking About Climate Change?

    Are We Tired Of Talking About Climate Change?

    31/03/2015 Duración: 22min

    It seems something is missing from newspapers and TV bulletins - climate change. A story which dominated the news five years ago has dropped steadily down the agenda. One study has found coverage has dropped 36% globally in that time. Why? On The Inquiry this week we hear a tale of chronic political fatigue. We ask whether our hunter-gatherer brains simply aren't wired to think long-term. And we find out why climate change has all the hallmarks of a story likely to make newspaper editors groan. It could be – as one of our expert witnesses tells us – time to "change the narrative". (Image: A man places his hand on the parched soil. Credit: Press Association)

  • Will The Dalai Lama Reincarnate?

    Will The Dalai Lama Reincarnate?

    24/03/2015 Duración: 23min

    Who has authority in Tibet? Many Tibetans revere the Dalai Lama and support his goal of greater autonomy from Beijing. But officials there hold the opposite view. For them, he is a villainous traitor. Both sides agree that the role of Dalai Lama has been filled for centuries through reincarnation. The current one will turn 80 this year and Beijing is keen to control the process of finding his reincarnation. But he has said that the role will one day end. Better to have no Dalai Lama than “a stupid one,” he said. His comments sparked a furious reaction from Beijing this month. So, will the Dalai Lama reincarnate? Guests include a spokesman for His Holiness and a Chinese analyst in Beijing.

  • Has The War On Drugs Been Lost?

    Has The War On Drugs Been Lost?

    17/03/2015 Duración: 23min

    Forty-four years after President Nixon declared “war on drugs”, four US states have now agreed to legalise the sale of marijuana and a majority of Americans supports legalisation. Across the world, drug laws are being relaxed, from Uruguay to Portugal to Jamaica to the Czech Republic. Does this global trend mean the war on drugs has been lost? The Inquiry hears from expert witnesses including an ex-president and a former prosecutor who now defends drug traffickers. (Photo: A person rolling a joint of cannabis. Credit: Press Association)

  • Who Wants What In Libya?

    Who Wants What In Libya?

    10/03/2015 Duración: 23min

    The beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians on a Libyan beach has exposed the lawlessness of the country ruled by Colonel Gaddafi until 2011. The internationally-recognised government is trying, without much success, to run the country from the eastern city of Tobruk. In Tripoli, another body claims to be the legitimate government. But is the real power struggle between the militias associated with each group – and where does the so-called Islamic State fit in? With neighbours near and far getting involved to push their own agendas, we investigates the forces operating in Libya and what they want. (Image: A Libyan man waves his national flag. Credit: Abdullah Doma/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Is Life Getting Worse For Women In Erdogan’s Turkey?

    Is Life Getting Worse For Women In Erdogan’s Turkey?

    03/03/2015 Duración: 23min

    The murder and disfigurement of a 20-year-old woman in southern Turkey has prompted nationwide protests. Demonstrators have chanted the victim’s name, Ozgecan Aslan, and claimed that Turkey is becoming increasingly misogynistic. They point to growing reports of violence against women and restricted access to abortion. Hundreds of thousands of women have tweeted #sendeandat – 'tell your story' in Turkish - to share their experiences of abuse. The powerful president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, says that violence against women is the “bleeding wound” of Turkey. But he has also said that women are “not equal” to men. So, is it life getting worse for woman in Turkey? Expert witnesses include a leading Turkish feminist and a member of the governing AK party. (Image: People hold posters of Ozgecan Aslan. Credit: Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Could Europe Stop Migrants Dying In The Mediterranean?

    Could Europe Stop Migrants Dying In The Mediterranean?

    24/02/2015 Duración: 23min

    More than 3,000 people are estimated to have died in the Mediterranean Sea last year. The Pope has warned that the waters are in danger of becoming "a vast cemetery". So what could European countries do to stop these deaths? The Inquiry hears evidence about the people smugglers described as the most ruthless travel agents on the planet, the Italian Navy rescue mission that’s been dramatically down-sized, and the claims that saving migrants at sea creates a "pull factor". Presenter: Neal Razzell (Image: The coffins of immigrants who died trying to reach the Italian coast arrive from Lampedusa to Porto Empedocle, 11 February 2015. Credit: MARCELLO PATERNOSTRO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • How Strong Is NATO?

    How Strong Is NATO?

    17/02/2015 Duración: 23min

    War in Ukraine and the threat of conflict in the Baltics raise fundamental questions about the West’s military alliance. What is NATO for? And is it up to the job? More countries have been joining the club, but those who foot the bill seem to be becoming less keen to do so. Do would-be aggressors still believe that an attack on one NATO member would be treated as an attack on all? Our witnesses include a former senior commander and the man who, until a few months ago, led the alliance. (Photo: Romanian army soldiers from the guard regiment hold NATO membership countries' flags at NATO flag raising ceremony in Bucharest, 2004. Credit: Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Will The New King Change Saudi Arabia?

    Will The New King Change Saudi Arabia?

    10/02/2015 Duración: 23min

    79-year-old King Salman has taken the Saudi throne, promising security and stability. But what do his past and his first acts as king tell us about how the country might change under his rule and beyond? Our Inquiry hears from a newspaper editor and an ex-spy who have both met him and from Saudis who hope for change. Presenter: Helena Merriman Photo: New Saudi King Salman attends a ceremony following the death of the late Saudi King at the Diwan royal palace in Riyadh (Credit: Reuters)

  • Is Nigeria’s Army Failing?

    Is Nigeria’s Army Failing?

    03/02/2015 Duración: 23min

    Most of the nearly 300 girls kidnapped from a school in northern Nigeria last year are still missing. Their plight temporarily brought global focus to a hideous insurgency that seems to produce new horrors every day. More than 17,000 people have died and a million have been displaced in the Nigerian army’s six-year fight with Boko Haram. The army has been rocked by mutinies – including in the division created to fight the militants - and soldiers in other parts of the country have been dismissed for refusing orders to fight in the north. Meanwhile, human rights groups say the army can be nearly as brutal to civilians as the militants are. And in a sign of apparent growing impatience, Nigeria's neighbours have begun sending their own armies against Boko Haram. So this week we ask, Is the Nigerian Army Failing? (Photo: Some of the 59 Nigerian soldiers facing trial on charges of mutiny and conspiracy to commit mutiny over claims that they refused to fight Boko Haram militants sit handcuffed on October 15, 20

  • What Does Kim Jong Un Want?

    What Does Kim Jong Un Want?

    27/01/2015 Duración: 23min

    After the recent high-profile spat with the US over The Interview – a Hollywood film that mocks North Korea’s enigmatic leader – what do we know about his ambitions? Our expert witnesses include the first Western journalist to open an office in Pyongyang, a businessman who trains North Koreans and an admirer of Kim Jong Un who says he will succeed where his father and grandfather failed. (Photo: Kim Jong Un. Credit: Associated Press)

  • Is Pakistan Serious About Tackling Militants?

    Is Pakistan Serious About Tackling Militants?

    20/01/2015 Duración: 23min

    The murder of more than 130 students at an Army school in Pakistan last month shocked the world. In the following days, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif promised a comprehensive campaign to defeat the Taliban. More than 50,000 Pakistanis have died in militant attacks since 9/11. Pakistani presidents and prime ministers have previously vowed to crack down on militants. But the United States and others have said Pakistan has long harboured "snakes in the back yard" – militants who sometimes benefit the state's interests. Prime Minister Sharif says no longer will there be a distinction between "good" and "bad" Taliban. "We have resolved to continue the war against terrorism till the last terrorist is eliminated," he said. Is he right? Will this time be different? As we'll hear, the stakes extend beyond Pakistan's borders. Experts include a man who has negotiated with the Taliban, a historian on the rise of militancy and a retired Pakistani Army brigadier general. (Image: Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Credi

  • Should we Fear Artificial Intelligence?

    Should we Fear Artificial Intelligence?

    13/01/2015 Duración: 23min

    Billions of dollars are pouring into the latest investor craze - artificial intelligence. But serious scientists like Stephen Hawking have warned that full AI could spell the end of the human race. How seriously should we take the warnings that ever-smarter computers could turn on us? Our expert witnesses explain the threat, the opportunities and how we might avoid being turned into paperclips. (Photo: An artificial intelligence concept illustration. Credit: Shutterstock)

  • Can The Internet Be Policed?

    Can The Internet Be Policed?

    06/01/2015 Duración: 23min

    On 8 December at a summit in London Britain’s prime minister David Cameron told delegates from 50 countries and 26 tech firms that online child exploitation “existed on an almost industrial scale" around the world. He announced an “unprecedented package of global action” to hunt paedophiles who use the internet. And just weeks before that a committee of British politicians revealed their belief that the intelligence services could have stopped a May 2013 terror attack in London if Facebook had alerted the authorities to an online exchange between one of the attackers and another extremist. In this edition of The Inquiry we ask: Can the internet be policed? Presenter: Jo Fidgen (Photo: Big Data. Credit: Carlos Amarillo)

  • Is American Democracy Broken?

    Is American Democracy Broken?

    30/12/2014 Duración: 23min

    In November President Obama stepped onto a plush red carpet at the end of a White House corridor. “My fellow Americans,” he said, “tonight I want to talk to you about immigration.” He promised to bring change through executive action. “And to those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better,” he said, “or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer - pass a bill.” That was a dig at his Republican opponents who control the House of Representatives. They failed to pass a bill last year to reform immigration. But that night, after Mr Obama finished speaking, the Republican leader in the House had his own harsh words for the president: “That’s just not how our democracy works,” he said, “the president has said before that he’s not king. And he’s not an emperor. But he’s sure acting like one." With Republicans now in control of both the House and the Senate, the risk of continued political paralysis in Washington is very real. Many

  • What Are The Consequences Of Cheap Oil?

    What Are The Consequences Of Cheap Oil?

    23/12/2014 Duración: 23min

    In the last six months the price of oil has collapsed dramatically. It has been called an oil shock. Previous oil shocks have had profound and long-lasting effects. No single commodity is more important to the global economy – and therefore to global politics. What are the political consequences of cheap oil? Contributors include an ex-president of Shell Oil, a former US energy secretary and one of the world’s leading thinkers on the subject. (Image: Oil rig in the North Sea. Credit: Press Association)

  • Can Europe Resist The Rise Of Radical Politics?

    Can Europe Resist The Rise Of Radical Politics?

    16/12/2014 Duración: 23min

    Swedish politics has for decades been the very model of stability. Not any longer. Earlier this month a far-right party which holds the balance of power in Sweden’s parliament sided with the opposition to defeat the government. A snap election has been called, just months after the government was formed. In Greece, where EU-imposed austerity has fuelled extreme politics, the radical left Syriza party could soon have a shot at gaining power. It is already the main opposition. Elsewhere in Europe – in France, Spain, Hungary, Italy and elsewhere – far right and hard left parties have gained popular support and parliamentary seats, threatening the political centre. Can Europe resist the rise of radical politics? (Photo: Shadow of Marine Le Pen. Credit: Jeff Pachoud/AFP/Getty Images)

  • The US And Iran: How Close Could They Get?

    The US And Iran: How Close Could They Get?

    09/12/2014 Duración: 23min

    How much do the Great Satan and the Axis of Evil have in common? Quite a bit, it turns out. They share a mutual antipathy towards Islamic State militants and a mutual desire for a stable Afghanistan. There has been cautious optimism in Washington and Tehran about the talks over Iran’s nuclear programme. And yet there is a legacy of hate and mistrust on both sides that goes back decades. How far can today’s leaders overcome the past to work together on common goals? We have answers from experts who travel back and forth between the two countries, including a former ayatollah. (Image: U.S. Secretary of State Kerry and Iranian FM Zarif shake hands - Reuters Wires)

  • Why Arent More Dishonest Bankers In Jail?

    Why Aren't More Dishonest Bankers In Jail?

    02/12/2014 Duración: 23min

    Perhaps the most striking feature of the global financial crisis has been that no top banking executive has been successfully prosecuted for their role in bringing it about in the first place. The period covered by the statute of limitations is running out so it is conceivable none ever will. Yet the word 'fraud' appears 157 times in the final report of the US Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. So why are we not seeing prosecutions and prison terms, as in previous financial scandals? Guests include a former prosecutor, a law professor, an economist and a recently-retired US Senator. (Image: Shutterstock - Val Lawless)

  • Who Runs Mexico?

    Who Runs Mexico?

    25/11/2014 Duración: 23min

    Mexico is gripped with the story of 43 student protesters who vanished in September. They were allegedly killed on the orders of a mayor who wanted to prevent them from attending a rally where his wife was due to speak. The mayor and his wife have been arrested but no case has been proven against them in court. The story has fuelled nationwide demonstrations about the relationship between government and organised crime. The government says it is taking the problem seriously and points to falling murder rates and the arrest of a number of drug barons in recent years, as evidence that Mexico is winning the war against the cartels. Guests include an investigative journalist who has had run-ins with the cartels, a former Mexican intelligence analyst who says he is obsessed with stopping the violence and a prominent public intellectual with a long view of the patterns of power in Mexico.

  • Are Sanctions Hurting Putin?

    Are Sanctions Hurting Putin?

    18/11/2014 Duración: 23min

    Vladimir Putin certainly knows how the West views his actions in Ukraine. Sanctions have been in place against Russia for months. There is talk of toughening them. At the G20 meeting in Australia he was rebuked by Angela Merkel, Stephen Harper and other leaders, before flying home early. But are sanctions having any real effect on the Russian president? Are they likely to force him to change course in Ukraine? We hear from a top Moscow economist Natalia Orlova, a Putin loyalist in Vladivostok, veteran European diplomat Sir Robert Cooper and Fyodor Lukyanov, editor of Russia in Global Affairs and a close Putin-watcher. (Photo: President Vladimir Putin. Credit: AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

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