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News & Politics

The Compass

BBC World Service

+1 FAN
The Compass - exploring our world.

27:35 | Aug 28th

India's ruling party the BJP won a landslide victory in the country's May general election. The party bypassed traditional media channels and exploited India's love of social media to deliver their message direct to voters. Andrea Catherwood is a ...Show More

27:21 | Aug 21st

Anna Jones asks young farmers how they plan to feed the world while protecting the land they have inherited. Can we balance commercial food production with the needs of our increasingly fragile natural environment? In New Zealand, dairy farmer Richa...Show More
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26:30 | Aug 14th

From Big Ag and "factory farming" to urban micro farms, Anna Jones explores dramatic differences in the scale of modern agriculture. Looking out across the New York City skyline, Anna hears how food can be produced sustainably, affordably and even a...Show More

27:25 | Aug 7th

Anna Jones looks at how digital and mobile phone technology is changing farming and boosting prosperity in rural communities around the world. Anna goes on a road trip through Ghana with young entrepreneur Peter Awin, transporting animal vaccines fr...Show More

26:31 | Jul 31st

Anna Jones explores the challenges facing family farms in the American Midwest and the outback of Australia, and discovers how Millennial farmers are embracing change to ensure their survival. In Iowa, Anna meets two young corn and soybean growers -...Show More

28:01 | Jun 26th

The sky is hidden by smog in Lanzhou on the Yellow River; this transport and manufacturing hub is pumping Chinese goods out to the world. In this last programme, we find out how the Belt and Road Initiative has brought new people into this growing me...Show More

27:56 | Jun 19th

When it comes to South-East Asia, China’s presence is most felt in Sihanoukville. Cambodia’s once sleepy backpacker resort has been transformed by Chinese investment – the sheer speed of development has divided local opinion. Chatting to everyone fro...Show More

26:29 | Jun 12th

Khorgas in Kazakhstan is going through an economic boom and Chinese trains stop here and their loads are shifted on to the Kazakh trains. This region was the gateway of the ancient Silk Road, a meeting place of cultures and languages. We meet nomads ...Show More

26:29 | Jun 5th

The new Chinese Mombasa–Nairobi railway has finally overturned over 100 years of history by replacing the British-built Uganda Railway - the most strategically important conduit in the scramble for Africa. Cutting the time between Mombasa and Nairobi...Show More

27:32 | May 29th

Dr Vybarr Cregan-Reid looks at how modern living is changing our faces. With the help of professor Saw Seang Mei in Singapore and the UK's top ophthalmologist, professor Chris Hammond, he tells the story of how baffled scientists sought to understand...Show More

28:02 | May 22nd

Dr Vybarr Cregan-Reid investigates what the last 250 years has done to our backs. What is it about modern life that has promoted back pain, especially lower back pain, from a rarity to the number one cause of pain and disability in the world? In the...Show More

28:27 | May 15th

For nearly two million years we evolved in close sync with our environment but 250 years ago the industrial revolution happened and changed everything. The innovation and technology it brought had many benefits but there was a physical cost as progre...Show More

26:31 | May 8th

Medellin used to be one of the world's most dangerous cities, with a sprawling network of slums and a serious crime problem fueled by drug trafficking. During the 1990s, there was a dramatic transformation. By integrating the city's plumbing and tran...Show More

26:54 | May 1st

It is said that by 2050 cities will be home to 6.4 billion people. They stand at the centre of the world’s most pressing challenges. Presenter Fi Glover is joined by Dr Ellie Cosgrave, director of UCL City Leadership Laboratory, and urbanist professo...Show More

26:52 | Apr 24th

Presenter Fi Glover, Dr Ellie Cosgrave, director of UCL City Leadership Laboratory and urbanist professor Greg Clark, analyse and critique the participatory budgeting of Paris, where citizens vote on how to spend part of the city’s budget. They also ...Show More

26:30 | Apr 17th

As investment in the night-time economy rises, we look at how this is working in London. Is anywhere else doing a better job? Presenter Fi Glover returns with two new panellists to analyse and critique the best policies from global cities: Dr Ellie ...Show More

26:29 | Apr 10th

How is data being used to help Seoul run smoothly? And how have 20,000 sensors transformed life in Santander, Spain? Both cities have implemented innovative policies that are solving pressing challenges to city life. Presenter Fi Glover returns wit...Show More

26:30 | Apr 3rd

San Francisco’s mandatory recycling scheme and sustainable public transport come under the spotlight. The panel also consider the town of Kamikatsu in Japan, which aims to be 100% zero-waste by 2020. Are they models other cities should follow? Prese...Show More

26:31 | Jan 23rd

After exploring our wasteful past and the reality of today’s trash challenge, Australian journalist Alexandra Spring asks if we are on the tipping point of a rubbish free future. Alexandra joins blogger Kathryn Kellogg to find out more about San Fra...Show More

26:31 | Jan 16th

Alexandra Spring continues her exploration of how our relationship with rubbish has evolved through time at the foot of Monte Testaccio in Rome - a hill built of 53 million discarded olive oil amphorae, which were thrown away nearly 2000 years ago. S...Show More

27:44 | Jan 9th

For three series, My Perfect Country has sought to build the perfect country. Inspired by positive thinking, it takes policies from around the world that actually work and have solved global problems. We ask why they work, and whether they could work...Show More

26:31 | Jan 9th

Alexandra Spring explores how our relationship with rubbish has evolved over time, beginning on a boat, sailing across the Pacific, with Ocean Conservancy’s Chief Scientist George Leonard. Together, they discuss how trillions of micro plastic particl...Show More

26:31 | Jan 2nd

The Sun’s light defines what we mean by day and night, how we tell time and how we apportion our time, both consciously and unconsciously. The turning of the Earth that wheels us in and out of the Sun every 24 hours seeps into every aspect of our bio...Show More

26:31 | Dec 26th, 2018

At any moment, the predictions of your local weather forecaster might be suddenly superseded by space weather, a special breed of storms fomented on the Sun and launched toward Earth with potentially devastating consequences. Most of the time, the ...Show More

26:31 | Dec 19th, 2018

Inspired by the Chariot of the Sun, a beautiful artefact of sun worship, Dava Sobel island hops in Denmark to explore the cult of the Sun, before science, during the Nordic Bronze Age. Ancient people would not have needed an eclipse to make them see ...Show More

26:31 | Dec 12th, 2018

The Sun, our star, produces its prodigious energy by a process of nuclear fusion at its core. We are unable to mimic that trick here on Earth: our nuclear reactors work by splitting atoms, not fusing them, and generate a lot of toxic waste. With a fr...Show More

26:31 | Dec 5th, 2018

The Sun, our star, the source and sustainer of all life on Earth, is also a death star in the making. To know the Sun is an age-old dream of humankind. For centuries, astronomers contented themselves with analysing small sips of sunlight collected th...Show More

26:31 | Nov 28th, 2018

China has been described as the greatest threat to the World Trade Organisation, and its biggest champion. The WTO wasn’t designed to handle China, and its entry has had seismic consequences. If China won’t change, can the WTO adapt? Without reform, ...Show More

26:30 | Nov 21st, 2018

The World Trade Organisation was established in 1995, building on earlier global trade mechanisms. Did this represent a capture of the systems by neoliberals after the Cold War? Now President Trump is waging a trade war on China and sidelining the WT...Show More

26:30 | Nov 14th, 2018

Afua Hirsch examines the principle of self-determination, which Franklin Roosevelt insisted on including in the Atlantic Charter. It was a powerful force behind the liberation struggles which peaked in the 1950s and '60s as a wave of decolonisation s...Show More

26:30 | Nov 7th, 2018

The UN Charter and Security Council were supposed to prevent aggressive wars. Who has broken the rules, and how much damage has that done? It is often said that the great powers have always done what they wanted and ignored international law. But wil...Show More

26:30 | Oct 31st, 2018

In early August 1941 Franklin D Roosevelt and Winston Churchill met on a US flagship off Newfoundland and drew up The Atlantic Charter. It laid the foundations of an international system that has been in place ever since. But is it now under unbearab...Show More

26:31 | Oct 24th, 2018

Ten years ago the world financial system had a heart attack. Gripped by panic, banks stopped lending, cash ran out and the world came to the edge of a financial precipice. Professor Ian Goldin questions whether lessons have really been learned from ...Show More

26:29 | Oct 17th, 2018

As the world dealt with the fallout of the 2008 financial crash the hunt began for someone to blame. One group of people was suddenly thrust into the spotlight - economists. If they could not see such a catastrophe coming, had the world’s economists ...Show More

26:29 | Oct 10th, 2018

In 2008 when the financial systems of the world’s richest countries crashed, others did not. Asian nations, especially China, bounced back quickly from the crisis, and were able to capitalise on their financial power to build up their reputation as g...Show More

26:30 | Oct 3rd, 2018

Did Governments’ handling of the 2008 financial crisis – when some chose to implement austerity and some didn’t - make things better or worse? Ian Goldin, professor of Globalisation and Development at Oxford University, visits Illinois in the US to f...Show More

26:31 | Sep 26th, 2018

In 2008 the world financial system had a heart attack. Gripped by panic, banks stopped lending, cash ran out and the world came to the edge of a financial precipice. As millions of people lost their jobs and as the shock that started in Wall Street r...Show More

26:30 | Aug 15th, 2018

Nobody ever forgets the first time that they hear or see a tiger. But as Chris Watson discovers when he travels to Corbett National Park in India this is far from easy. What he uncovers is a fascinating relationship between the people and the forest...Show More

27:02 | Aug 8th, 2018

Wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson accompanies Sami Joiker, Andé Sombe, on a journey up a mountain on the Lofoten islands in Norway to explore the relationship between the sounds of the mountain, the people and the wildlife. As Chris discovers...Show More

26:30 | Aug 1st, 2018

Beginning with a few solo notes from a group of birds (including sparrow doves and finches) before the first light of day and ending with the sounds of the wind in the darkness of the night, wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson presents a journey in...Show More

26:30 | Jul 27th, 2018

From the moment “you wake up in the morning become aware of sounds, the sounds of Africa“ says Saba Douglas Hamilton, a conservationist who was born and brought up in the Great Rift Valley. In the first of four programmes, wildlife sound r...Show More

26:31 | Jul 18th, 2018

What do we do when antibiotics don’t work? Since the discovery of Penicillin antibiotics have come to underpin all of modern medicine – birth by Cesarean section, hip replacements, organ transplantation, caring for wounds on diabetic patients. None o...Show More

26:29 | Jul 18th, 2018

We all only get one body, and that has to see us through our entire lives. The idea of failing health is a very visceral fear for the majority of people in the world. It is inevitable, is it not? But with advances in medicine and technology the futur...Show More

26:30 | Jul 11th, 2018

Big Data has been called the new crude oil, a seemingly inexhaustible resource that can use this data to make our lives better. Data can be used to create smart cities that make life easier for all of us, or to spur on new discoveries in medical scie...Show More

26:31 | Jul 4th, 2018

What humans do to earn a living has always evolved to suit the needs of society, and the capabilities of the technology at our disposal. But thanks to the rapid development of artificial intelligence and automation we are on the cusp of a whole new I...Show More

27:15 | Jun 21st, 2018

Aleks Krotoski and Ben Hammersley discover how to prepare for the social, economic and technological changes that are coming in the next few decades so we can all thrive in the future. In the past the only places you were likely to see robots was ...Show More

27:02 | Jun 13th, 2018

The series ends with Robin Lustig asking if you can have too much English. From India he hears how English can divide people as powerfully as it brings them together. In the US he meets speakers of Native American languages who want to keep their lin...Show More

26:58 | Jun 6th, 2018

Have you used the words antwacky, jarg and squinny recently? Presenter Robin Lustig examines linguistic change and continuity in British English. He visits the Oxford English Dictionary, he gets a lesson in regional slang. In Portsmouth, on the ...Show More

27:05 | May 30th, 2018

Robin Lustig explores language change and diversity, as he asks whether English is fragmenting into multiple dialects or becoming increasingly uniform. In Kampala Robin polishes up his Uglish and he finds out how Hinglish, Tamglish and Spanglish are ...Show More

27:05 | May 23rd, 2018

Whether you learnt it at your mother's knee, at school or from a smartphone app, more than one and a half billion of us are speakers or students of English. It is the world's most widely used language but in the 21st Century English is being transfor...Show More

26:31 | May 16th, 2018

Could abortion be banned in the United States? Since the election of President Trump the question has taken on a new urgency, for both sides of America’s abortion wars. Philippa Thomas travels to two states which perfectly capture the debate – Texas ...Show More

26:30 | May 9th, 2018

Could abortion be banned in the United States? Since the election of President Trump the question has taken on a new urgency, for both sides of America’s abortion wars. Philippa Thomas travels to Kentucky, where a legal case is under way aimed at clo...Show More

26:30 | May 2nd, 2018

Could abortion be banned in the United States? Since the election of President Trump the question has taken on a new urgency, for both sides of America’s abortion wars. Philippa Thomas travels to two states which perfectly capture the debate – Texas ...Show More

27:41 | Apr 25th, 2018

Half of the world’s river systems host hydro-electric dams. They offer reliable electricity but their construction forces people from their homes and disrupts the natural life of the river. Scores of dams already span the Mekong River, the great ...Show More

27:34 | Apr 18th, 2018

Life in the Himalayas is tough at the best of times. Crops are dependent on the seasonal melt-water from the mountain glaciers. If climate change wipes out the glaciers then the people will be forced to move. As the global population increases an...Show More

27:21 | Apr 11th, 2018

An arranged marriage brought Yin Yuzhen to Inner Mongolia’s Ordos desert. Depressed by the sandstorms and poor productivity of the region, Yuzhen began to plant trees. Over 30 years she has planted a million trees in 70,000 hectares of desert. Those...Show More

27:09 | Apr 4th, 2018

Five of the Solomon Islands have disappeared, many more are becoming uninhabitable. For Kerry and Sally, climate change is not a theory - it is what has made them abandon their island and the graves of their ancestors. They see themselves as lucky - ...Show More

27:09 | Feb 21st, 2018

Fi Glover, Martha Lane Fox and Henrietta Moore are on the hunt for solutions to the world’s problems. Their aim is to create the perfect country made up of the best global policies that actually work. In this episode, the panel hear the voices, opini...Show More

27:20 | Feb 14th, 2018

Fi Glover, Martha Lane Fox and Henrietta Moore from the Institute for Global Prosperity at University College London are building an imagined utopia made up of the best solutions to the world’s problems. They look at a sustainable fishing scheme in B...Show More

27:17 | Feb 7th, 2018

Nepal has managed a record achievement for its maternal mortality rates. Between 1991 and 2011, it has seen an 80% decline in the number of women dying in pregnancy, during labour and after childbirth - meaning it is one of the few countries on track...Show More

27:27 | Jan 31st, 2018

How has Norway managed to have the lowest rate of prisoners reoffending in Europe, and one of the lowest in the world? Their policy revolves around the fact that the justice system see taking their citizen’s freedom away as punishment enough, and pri...Show More

27:20 | Jan 24th, 2018

Is the way Germany has handled refugee integration a model other countries could follow? In September 2015 the German chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to take in one million mainly Syrian refugees, and over the past three years more refugees have arri...Show More

27:23 | Jan 17th, 2018

After 2017 brought a string of hyper-active and destructive hurricanes in the so-called Atlantic Hurricane Season, it is said that Cuba is a world leader in both hurricane preparedness and recovery, as it has one of the lowest fatality rates. It ...Show More

27:26 | Jan 10th, 2018

Rwanda has closed its gender gap by 80% since the 1994 genocide. How has the country done it, and should others be following its lead? Under the leadership of President Paul Kagame, the 2003 Rwandan constitution states that at least 30% of all dec...Show More

26:40 | Jan 3rd, 2018

In Sierra Leone, the Ebola outbreak in 2014-16 caught everyone, including the World Health Organisation, completely unprepared. Award-winning reporter Umaru Fofana talks to Tulip Mazumdar about his own experience of the outbreak; plus we hear from bo...Show More

27:05 | Dec 27th, 2017

When the Rana Plaza building collapsed in 2013, it drew worldwide attention to the horrific conditions for workers in the garment industry. Over a thousand people were killed one day after the building’s owners ignored warnings about cracks. Four yea...Show More

27:22 | Dec 20th, 2017

In the most earthquake ready country on earth – Japan - a massive tsunami in 2011 hit two schools in Kamaishi and Okawa. At one everyone survived; at the other 74 children were killed. What went wrong? We hear gripping contributions from pupils a...Show More

27:14 | Dec 13th, 2017

4/4 The shores of the Pacific are irresistible to tourists. From the coral wonders of Australia’s Gold Coast to the loneliest South Pacific atoll, local people make their living from the beauty of their surroundings. In the final edition of our serie...Show More

27:17 | Dec 6th, 2017

3/4 As the ice of the Arctic and Southern Oceans melts, its composition changes completely. Ships can now sail through the Arctic from China to Europe; seals, walrus and polar bears have to move further north and find different prey. In the thir...Show More

26:52 | Nov 29th, 2017

2/4 Only now is deep sea exploration beginning in remote parts of the Indian Ocean to reveal what lies on the ocean floor, what treasures can be found that could be used for scientific and technological development. Underwater mining for minerals is ...Show More

27:17 | Nov 22nd, 2017

1/4 In this first episode we cross the ocean from the Grand Banks to the tip of South Africa via Reykjavik in Iceland meeting those involved in fishing and working along the shores of the Atlantic. Beneath the waves, oceanographer Jon Copley from ...Show More

26:30 | Nov 15th, 2017

4/4 American democracy can easily frustrate change. The country’s Constitution is almost impossible to amend. The many interest groups swirling through Congress often paralyse or colonise it; and corralling 50 states is often beyond the capacity of t...Show More

27:01 | Nov 8th, 2017

3/4 One of the most fascinating, and least understood, features of American democracy is that individual states possessed a scope of power much greater than what was given to the central government in Washington. On so many issues, the states went th...Show More

26:31 | Nov 1st, 2017

2/4 The usual way to tell the story of money and democracy in America is in terms of a fall from grace. Once upon a time, democracy was pure, with little corruption, and rich Americans had no influence upon policymakers. The truth is more complicated...Show More

26:30 | Oct 25th, 2017

1/4 America has the world’s oldest continuously operating democracy. Its political institutions have long been a model for democrats everywhere. Yet, American democracy is also troubled. In this four-part series, American historian Gary Gerstle takes...Show More

26:35 | Oct 18th, 2017

4/4 Angela Saini is on a farm in a rural corner of Karnataka in south India, meeting the team behind Akshayakalpa – a kind of Farm in a Box. When you are on a low income, how can you possibly find a way to raise the funds you need to get into farming...Show More

26:36 | Oct 11th, 2017

3/4 OkHi is a new navigation device which runs on your mobile phone and allows you to find an address, however remote, with GPS coordinates and a photo. It should be accurate to within ten metres and copes without the usual massive infrastructure cha...Show More

26:36 | Oct 4th, 2017

2/4 A Kenyan company is planning to bring reliable stable internet and rugged tablets to remote schools with the help of BRCK, a solution to internet problems in the shape of a brick. Part two of four. In the northern Indian state of Assam, peop...Show More

26:34 | Sep 27th, 2017

1/4 Exploring the reality of being an entrepreneur serving the “bottom billion” – a new mini-series from The Compass. In India around a fifth of people still live below the poverty line, according to the most recent World Bank estimates. Business...Show More

26:31 | Sep 20th, 2017

The scientist running the Square Kilometre Array, the world's biggest telescope. Episode five of five. The telescope's antennae spiral across the African continent. In the remote North Karoo town of Carnarvon in South Africa, the next generation ...Show More

26:31 | Sep 13th, 2017

Science writer and author Dava Sobell travels to Hawaii to ascend mount Mauna Kea. Among the observatories on the summit is the proposed Thirty Metre Telescope. Episode four of five. Dava discovers the plans are creating a rift between astronomers a...Show More

26:31 | Sep 6th, 2017

Dava Sobel travels to Edinburgh, to catch sight of the most ambitious telescope being made. Episode three of five. This time next year, the James Webb Space Telescope will begin its long journey to a stable orbit at a place called L-2, one millio...Show More

26:29 | Aug 30th, 2017

Dava Sobel hears from telescope operators at ALMA, the remote observatory high in the Atacama Desert in Chile, talking to us with their oxygen tanks at the ready. Episode two of five. As we hear, the ‘radio sky’ presents an alternate universe, in wh...Show More

26:32 | Aug 23rd, 2017

Dava Sobel uncovers the brilliance of her hero, the 16th century Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, who revealed the true model of the universe by putting the Sun, rather than the Earth, at its hub. Episode one of five. In the Cathedral town ...Show More

27:32 | Aug 16th, 2017

The Crimean coast is so important that Russia seized it from Ukraine. But what have been the costs of gaining this valuable prize? The final leg of our five-episode journey across and around the Black Sea takes us to the port of Sevastopol. And w...Show More

27:11 | Aug 9th, 2017

Ghost states like Abkhazia have the trappings of independence, but are unrecognised by most of the world. On the far north-east shore of the Black Sea, the region is determined to preserve its independence and ancient culture, including a pagan relig...Show More

27:13 | Aug 2nd, 2017

Black Sea truckers are a tough bunch. Driving thousands of miles through Europe, the Caucasus and eastwards to China, they transport everything from biscuits to fridges to pigs. Tim Whewell joins them on board the huge Black Sea ferry that connects t...Show More

27:05 | Jul 24th, 2017

The unique properties of the Black Sea make it an archaeologist’s dream but an ecologist’s nightmare. Most of its water is almost devoid of life, so medieval shipwrecks are perfectly preserved. But wildlife is under threat. On his journey across the ...Show More

27:51 | Jul 19th, 2017

A voyage across a mysterious sea where empires have clashed for centuries and tensions are rising again. By ferry, rowing-boat, horse-drawn wagon, the BBC World Service travels over, around, and under the Black Sea, to discover its ancient and modern...Show More

26:52 | Jul 5th, 2017

In Kuala Lumpur the regeneration of the city’s Klang River is seen as a key element in the modernisation of the whole country. The capital city is keen to attract talent workers and tourists from all over Asia and beyond. But the historic downtown he...Show More

26:52 | Jun 28th, 2017

In Los Angeles Susan Marling speaks to Frank Gehry. The famous architect has been charged with creating a master plan for the improvement of the Los Angeles River. It is a tough job. Since the 1930s when the river was straightened and lined with conc...Show More
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

26:51 | Jun 21st, 2017

In a city where East meets West and old meets new, Catherine randomly approaches a man in a taxi queue to ask him about where he is going. A funny conversation about the parcel he is taking to a friend soon leads to a riveting account of his near-dea...Show More
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

26:50 | Jun 14th, 2017

In the world’s northernmost capital, Reykjavik, Catherine Carr talks to a swimmer bequeathed a poignant request from a friend, to the shopkeeper who makes beautiful handbags out of fish skin; from the sister who makes an apology to a sibling with fre...Show More
ARCHIVED: The podcast creator has made this episode no longer available for listening.

26:50 | Jun 7th, 2017

An interrupted journey is like a portal into somebody else’s life. Catherine Carr interrupts strangers on everyday journeys asks them where they are going. The encounters which follow reveal funny, poignant and sometimes astonishing details about the...Show More

26:28 | May 17th, 2017

How do young people in Sierra Leone cope faced with staggering rates of youth unemployment of over 50%? Umaru Fofana talks to young people in the capital, Freetown, as they struggle to make a living. He meets the young men who look after graves in th...Show More

26:50 | May 10th, 2017

The struggle to get a good education, in an overpopulated school system. With a median age of under 16 years old, Uganda is one of the most youthful countries in the world, but the sheer number of young people means that many struggle to get a go...Show More

26:51 | Apr 6th, 2017

The future of employment is certain to change – and change fast – as robotics and artificial intelligence replace human workers. For many, it’s a future to be feared. But the global economy has continually been revolutionised by technological innovat...Show More

26:49 | Mar 29th, 2017

Without the most basic resources – water, food and energy – the global economy could not function. Much of the world has grown used the ready supply of all three. But that might be changing. Demographics and climate change are likely to transform how...Show More

26:49 | Mar 23rd, 2017

Trillions of dollars flow through the global economic system every day and intermediaries in the finance sector take a cut on every dollar, euro and yen. But financial technology – “fintech” – is fast-changing how the system works. Philip Coggan of T...Show More

26:49 | Mar 16th, 2017

Who we are, how many of us there are and where we live will change the economies of the future. Africa’s population will boom spectacularly, creating a huge new workforce in countries like Nigeria. That’s a great opportunity, but one with serious ris...Show More

26:49 | Mar 10th, 2017

Ten years ago a Harvard economist suggested that it might not be possible to combine democracy, national sovereignty and economic integration forever. Something would have to give. 2016 might just have proved him right. In this edition of Economic Te...Show More

26:51 | Mar 2nd, 2017

Shanghai aims to become a global capital of finance and technology by 2020, but it’s also becoming a city of culture - a cosmopolitan draw for young people seeking a lifestyle mixing the ideas of East and West. The newly-regenerated waterfront ar...Show More

26:52 | Feb 23rd, 2017

Haining Liu explores the pressure on China's one-child generation to marry and start a family. At the ‘marriage market’ in central Shanghai she meets the anxious parents desperate to find a suitable match for their single offspring and drops in on a ...Show More

26:52 | Feb 16th, 2017

Haining Liu visits Shanghai to discover its growing allure for young people. Home to over 25 million people Shanghai is China's most populous city. Haining Liu discovers what draws those in their 20s and 30s to live, work and study in the city, and a...Show More

26:48 | Feb 2nd, 2017

Fi Glover, Martha Lane Fox and Henrietta Moore are on the hunt for solutions to the world’s problems. Their aim is to create the perfect country made up of the best global policies that actually work. In this episode, the panel hear the voices, opini...Show More

26:49 | Jan 26th, 2017

Today, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death. It leads to around six million deaths per year, and trends show that will rise to more than eight million by 2030. Australians are ditching cigarettes at record levels, and it is down to the ...Show More

26:49 | Jan 19th, 2017

In Shanghai, students are better at maths than anywhere else in the world. According to the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment, Shanghai maths students are three years ahead of the PISA average. That means a 15-year-old in Shanghai...Show More

26:49 | Jan 12th, 2017

Tunisia comes under the spotlight, because it is rewriting the rules about what women can and can’t do in an Islamic country. Should it be a role model for its Muslim neighbours? Women have more rights in Tunisia than in any other Islamic country. ...Show More

26:51 | Jan 5th, 2017

Gun control is a policy that fiercely divides nations – on the one hand there are the countries that enshrine the use of guns - while a host of others seek to eliminate them from society. One country that has dramatically reduced gun violence is Jap...Show More

26:48 | Jan 3rd, 2017

How has Peru cut its poverty rate in half in just ten years? Building on decades of economic growth, a policy of inclusive economics has meant many of the poorest in the country have shared in the prosperity created by the boom. Government schemes to...Show More

26:51 | Dec 22nd, 2016

The solution to the world’s water scarcity problem could lie in the tiny, remote island of Bermuda. The island has battled water saving problems since its colonisation as it has no natural water resources – and therefore no natural pure water. It rel...Show More

27:00 | Dec 9th, 2016

Presenter Safa al Ahmad is joined by a panel of experts to reflect on the issues raised in her documentary series 'Islam People and Power'. Her guests in the studio are: Dr Maha Azzam, former Associate Fellow of Chatham House, now Head of the E...Show More

26:32 | Dec 8th, 2016

Within Shi’ism there is a high level disagreement about the role of Islam in government. Shia-dominated Iran is an Islamic republic, led by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a senior Islamic cleric. But the Iranian model of government - a theocratic state - is...Show More

26:34 | Dec 1st, 2016

What should the relationship be between Islam and the state? This is the question which dominates political debate in the Arab world. Many traditional Islamic scholars believe in the separation of religion and politics. For the Muslim Brotherhood tho...Show More

26:46 | Nov 24th, 2016

Wahhabism is the most misunderstood brand of Islam. It is more correctly called Salafism and is a fundamentalist interpretation of the faith, often associated with Saudi Arabia. The salafis have long been split between jihadists who justify violently...Show More

26:28 | Nov 17th, 2016

The anti-government protests that began in the Arab world in 2010 triggered division between the religious scholars of Islam’s largest branch – the traditional Sunnis. Some of the most senior Sunni scholars in the world held fast to the idea that rev...Show More

26:49 | Nov 10th, 2016

Russia’s actions in the Crimea and Ukraine, and the modernising of its armed forces at home, are causing anxiety in the High North. Current tensions in East-West relations threaten to jeopardise the fragile stability of the region. In Oslo, defe...Show More

26:51 | Nov 3rd, 2016

Russia’s actions in the Crimea and Ukraine, and the modernising of its armed forces at home, are causing anxiety in the High North. Here Norwegian (as well as broader Western) security and economic interests converge with those of Russia, and can con...Show More

26:50 | Oct 20th, 2016

What will the United Kingdom vote to leave the EU mean for Northern Ireland – and the rest of Ireland? BBC correspondent Edward Stourton revisits the city of Londonderry - or Derry - an area where people voted strongly to remain in the European Unio...Show More

22:54 | Oct 13th, 2016

The BBC’s Imogen Foulkes returns to Stirling in central Scotland, where she grew up and went to school. In an area where people voted strongly to remain in the European Union, against the tide of the rest of the United Kingdom, what effect has this h...Show More

27:00 | Oct 6th, 2016

The people of Wales received hundreds of millions in EU grants to regenerate areas depressed by de-industrialisation. Yet Wales, like England, voted to leave the EU. In many cases, the areas voting most strongly for leave were those receiving the mos...Show More

26:49 | Oct 3rd, 2016

What has the European Union referendum vote revealed about the divisions within the UK? And what might this mean for the cohesion of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland? Birmingham in the West Midlands, one of the biggest ci...Show More

26:29 | Sep 8th, 2016

Christopher Harding is joined by a panel of experts to discuss the influence that culture has on mental illness and mental health treatment. The questions being answered are a culmination of the series in which he explored depression in Japan, adoles...Show More

26:28 | Sep 1st, 2016

What options do people in Ghana have when a person suffers mental illness? In this religious country, most people seek out spiritual interpretations or traditional methods of healing. Despite there being only 18 trained psychiatrists in the whole of ...Show More

26:51 | Aug 28th, 2016

For years, hearing voices served as a symbol of a fear we all share - losing our minds. But voice hearing is now known to be an experience of almost limitless range, from cruel distress to creativity and meaning. The UK is at the forefront of a movem...Show More

26:29 | Aug 18th, 2016

Despite Sweden's reputation as an ideal place to grow up, the mental health of its adolescents has become a public health concern, with more young people reporting problems and seeking psychiatric help. Is it down to a tougher economic climate, schoo...Show More

26:28 | Aug 11th, 2016

Up until the late 1990s, depression was all but unknown in Japanese society and pharmaceutical companies had given up on trying to sell anti-depressants there. Fast forward to today and court cases alleging overwork depression and overwork suicide, r...Show More

26:50 | Aug 4th, 2016

The migration experience across Europe has demanded resilience, spirit and endless patience from the millions on the move from the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Those tasked with finding solutions whether government or volunteer would probably say th...Show More

26:28 | Jul 28th, 2016

Germany was where hundreds of thousands of migrants arrived last year. But the atmosphere is now very different from the ‘welcome culture’ that greeted them. The German government has been accused of losing control. And huge numbers are still waiting...Show More

26:28 | Jul 21st, 2016

As part of the World Service ‘Destination Europe’ series, the BBC’s Owen Bennett-Jones is finding out how Syrian refugees are settling in the northern English city of Bradford in Yorkshire. They were flown directly to Britain as part of a scheme to h...Show More

26:28 | Jul 14th, 2016

It’s become much harder for migrants from Asia and Africa to reach Europe via the Greek route, but the numbers of those reaching Italy have not declined. Those rescued at sea are mostly taken to Sicily, and also to Calabria, the toe of Italy. Calabri...Show More

49:47 | Jul 9th, 2016

In a radio first, the World Service programme which analyses ground-breaking global policies, is part of a sitting session of the UN’s Economic and Social Council and includes contributions from some of the 58 delegate countries. The programme is i...Show More

26:29 | Jul 7th, 2016

The Balkan route is closed, the fragile EU-Turkey deal is in effect, the Pope has been and gone, the traffickers are turning their attention to Italy & so is much of the media. But Greece continues to be the epicentre of a slow emergency. In a countr...Show More

26:49 | Jun 30th, 2016

There as many as half a million Syrian refugee children who are not attending school, leaving them open to exploitation in sweatshops and other forms of abuse. Aid workers call them the "lost generation" and warn that unless they return to the classr...Show More

26:48 | Jun 3rd, 2016

The European Union is at a critical moment in its history, with Britain preparing to vote on whether to leave. In the third of a three-part series, the BBC’s Europe correspondent Chris Morris examines the multiple crises facing the EU. The economic c...Show More

27:03 | May 26th, 2016

The European Union is at critical moment in its history, with Britain preparing to vote on whether to leave. In the second of a three-part series, the BBC’s former Europe Correspondent Allan Little tells the story of how a club that started with just...Show More

27:06 | May 19th, 2016

The European Union emerged in the 1950s from a vision of a bright future for a war-ravaged continent – free from conflict, with nations living in harmony, their citizens free to trade and travel without restriction. In the first programme of a three-...Show More

27:03 | May 12th, 2016

If we think of William Shakespeare as exclusively English, we should think again. People around the world have adopted his work and made it something that speaks to their own culture. Writer and academic Nadia Davids takes us to Cape Town and Johanne...Show More

27:03 | May 5th, 2016

Nikki Bedi explores how India has taken the works of an Englishman brought to them by British colonists in the 18th Century and adapted them for modern audiences everywhere. From the Bollywood screen to storytellers in remote villages, Nikki looks at...Show More

27:04 | Apr 28th, 2016

Robert McCrum travels to the United States in search of Shakespeare and the American Dream and hears how he became part of the very fabric of early American life soon after the colonists arrived in New England and has remained an important cultural r...Show More

27:05 | Apr 21st, 2016

Robert McCrum travels to the United States in search of Shakespeare and the American Dream and hears how he became part of the very fabric of early American life soon after the colonists arrived in New England and has remained an important cultural r...Show More

27:03 | Mar 31st, 2016

Written by Joaquin Rodrigo in 1939, the Concierto de Aranjuez is a guitar classic. It was written amid the chaos of the Spanish Civil War, and in circumstances of poverty and personal tragedy. Soul Music explores how the piece touches and changes peo...Show More

27:02 | Mar 24th, 2016

Kevin Connolly travels to Morocco, which sees itself as a beacon of moderate Islam, to visit the institute for training imams, which has been set up to create a new generation of Islamic teachers and leaders from the West African states of Nigeria, M...Show More

27:04 | Mar 17th, 2016

Kevin Connolly travels through the Middle East to look at different ways in which the Arab states in the region are confronting the ideas of the so-called Islamic State and how well-equipped they are to fight them. Through social media sites, a n...Show More

27:01 | Mar 10th, 2016

Fi Glover looks at how communities in Uganda have revolutionised the justice system by taking matters into their own hands. The complexity of the law system in Uganda can be a tough one to follow – and causes particular difficulties for its resident...Show More

27:02 | Mar 3rd, 2016

Fi Glover examines India’s pioneering work on sanitation for women. With stories from the workers who are inventing simple systems alongside active campaigning, she follows the changing attitudes towards women’s rights and their wellbeing. Our local ...Show More

27:03 | Feb 25th, 2016

In 2001, the American state of Michigan had a suicide rate of 89 per 100,000 amongst mental health patients. By 2013 this had dropped to just 16 per 100,000 and shines against the US national average of 230. One network of hospitals in particular – T...Show More

27:03 | Feb 18th, 2016

In 2001 the use of all drugs was decriminalised meaning possession of drugs was now identified as a public health issue rather than a criminal offence. Today, whilst drugs remain illegal, users do not receive a criminal record and are instead referre...Show More

27:02 | Feb 11th, 2016

Costa Rica has implemented a progressive energy policy that is leading the way in the race to be carbon neutral. Although the country covers only 0.1% of the world’s landmass, it is home to 5% of its biodiversity, and has the greatest density of spec...Show More

27:00 | Feb 4th, 2016

Fi Glover and digital guru Martha Lane Fox look at the digital revolution pioneered by the government in Estonia – where people vote, get their medical prescriptions even pay for their parking, online. With the help of Professor Henrietta Moore from ...Show More

27:00 | Jan 25th, 2016

How are black Americans represented and what does it mean to be black in America today? Rajini Vaidyanathan discusses with those involved in politics, culture and activism. Travelling widely across the country she hears from families in Atlanta, a...Show More

27:02 | Jan 14th, 2016

Rajini Vaidyanathan examines segregation. The Brown versus the Board of Education case and the civil rights movement were supposed to have brought Americans together, but in Kansas City Rajini sees for herself the much more complicated legacy of dese...Show More

27:01 | Jan 14th, 2016

Rajini Vaidyanathan explores economic opportunity – or lack of it - amongst black Americans. She speaks to the academic whose study suggests employers think being black is as bad as having a criminal record but that they weren’t trying to be racist, ...Show More

27:01 | Jan 7th, 2016

Rajini investigates the criminal justice system. In Nebraska she visits the conservative politician promoting laws to reduce the number of people behind bars. Will that help black Americans? “I hope so” he answers. Elsewhere she hears from critics...Show More

27:00 | Dec 3rd, 2015

During the last four years California has been ravaged by drought and wildfire that has left people without homes and farmers without crops. Unlike a lot of American states most Californians acknowledge climate change is contributing to serious envir...Show More

26:59 | Nov 26th, 2015

Extreme weather has claimed many lives in the Philippines. The archipelago has been battered by so-called ‘Super Typhoons’ and only last month, Super Typhoon Koppu wreaked havoc in the northern island of Luzon, killing 60 and leaving hundreds of thou...Show More

27:03 | Nov 19th, 2015

The first episode focuses on Nigeria, where migration caused by desertification is leading to bloodshed as cattle herders move south from their traditional routes and into conflict with settled farmers. Meanwhile, increasingly intense rainfall in sou...Show More

27:05 | Nov 12th, 2015

Is prolonged adolescence actually a good thing? Jake Wallis Simons explores whether life choices offered up by delaying financial independence, marriage and forming a family are actually better for you. We hear how the transition to adulthood in the ...Show More

27:04 | Nov 5th, 2015

A trip to Italy where one of Ghana’s most respected hip-hop artists, Sarkodie, is set to perform in Modena. It is home to a large Ghanaian diaspora but what is life like for young Ghanaians who have moved abroad? We also hear from young people in Ita...Show More

27:27 | Oct 29th, 2015

What does it mean to be a grown-up in the 21st Century? If the path to maturity is about stable work, marriage and a home for your family where does that leave those who haven't achieved these goals? In the first of three programmes Jake Wallis S...Show More