Talking Constitutions podcast

The Talking Constitutions podcasts explore the constitutional arrangements that frame the day-to-day affairs of politics and that affect our lives. For more on the project, see here. 

The podcast is available via PodBean and Apple Podcasts

Details of each episode below: 

Episode 1: Constitutional Thinking

The subject of this first episode is ‘Constitutional thinking’, establishing what we mean by ‘Constitution’ and ‘Constitutional’, and considering how the nature of the United Kingdom constitution differs from that of other countries and affects broad issues of democracy.

Episode 2: Constitutions and emergencies

The subject of this topical episode is ‘Constitutions and emergencies’, considering how constitutions affect responses to emergencies and how emergencies lead to constitutional change. 

Episode 3: Second chambers and the House of Lords

This episode considers the role – ideal and actual – of second chambers, and in particular the House of Lords, within constitutional arrangements. 

Episode 4: Courts and Constitutions

The subject of this episode is ‘Courts and Constitutions’, considering the roles – past, present, and potential – of courts and the judiciary within constitutional arrangements in the UK and beyond. 

Episode 5: Constitutions and the Brexit Trade negotiations

The subject of this episode is ‘Trade’, and in particular the constitutional issues involved in the ongoing trade-negotiations between Britain and the European Union.

Episode 6: Written Constitutions

The subject of this episode is Written Constitutions, examining the advantages and disadvantages of written and unwritten constitutions, in theory and in practice.

Episode 7: Constitutional Futures

The subject of this special episode, recorded live on the day after the 2020 USA elections, is the urgent question of ‘Constitutional Futures?’. Are we inevitably facing a series of – national, global – constitutional crises? Or can we turn our constitutional futures into something to look forward to? Join our panelists, drawn from the worlds of politics, law, business and academia, in thinking through the future of constitutionalism from the local to the global, via nation-state structures and beyond.

Episode 8: The U.S. Electoral College

The subject of this special episode of ‘Talking Constitutions’ is the United States Electoral College, recorded to coincide with the meeting of its presidential electors on December 14th 2020.

Discussants are Colin Kidd (Professor of Modern History at the University of St Andrews and frequent contributor to the New Statesman, London Review of Books, and many other publications) and John Hudson (Professor of Legal History at the University of St Andrews).

Episode 9: Advisors and Constitutions

The subject of this episode is ‘Advisors and Constitutions’, considering why rulers – past & present – have advisors and whether special advisors pose a threat to constitutional rule.

Episode 10: Justiciability

The subject of this episode is ‘Justiciability’, examining the point at which the law and law-courts, political affairs, and the constitution meet. The discussants are Lorna Drummond QC and Aidan O’Neill QC, who argued the Miller/Cherry ‘Prorogation’ case before the UK Supreme Court in 2019