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The Forum
24 Jan
Listen to the programme

A conceptual meeting point for this week's three ideas, by Emily Kasriel
The Forum, the BBC World Service programme which boldly crosses boundaries: scientific, creative and geographic, presented by Bridget Kendall.


American historian and foreign policy commentator Robert Kagan believes that after a brief historic hiatus, it's back to the great power struggles that characterised the 19th century - a continuation of the dual between revolutionary liberalism and autocracy. Time, he suggests, for democracies to league together and reinforce their belief in shared values.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge and anthropologist Alison Richard, the 'grandmother' of the world's longest-running primate studies, reviews her findings over thirty years and their role in substantiating the theory that climate variability plays a significant role in the evolution of social complexity.

Curator and cultural historian Augustus Casely-Hayford looks at how the world appears to be entering an epoch of moral questioning and political and economic uncertainty not unlike that which characterised the opening years of the twentieth century.

Listen to the 60 Second Idea To Change The World

Each week one guest presents an idea to enhance the world. This week it's the turn of Augustus Casely-Hayford.

To find out more visit BBC News Online: creating a world class gallery.

Your comments...

The current financial failure in western society is not so much a failure of the banking system and the financial industry. It is a failure to recognise and construct our society in an intelligent and constructive way. The big liberal lie of the moment is that the financial meltdown was not foreseen. This is basically not true. There were many warnings from many different segments of society, apart from the obvious 'common sense'. It was just that these people were 'not in media vogue.'
Vernon Moat

This time Barack Obama was the icon of transformation of politics and the world. Democracy was given an airing in a new way, which is corrective for minds which see it as the only way forward.Then the visual arts approach was new to me.
Harold Naylor
Wah Yan College

What a pity with this week's forum speakers, that there was no discussion on the role of religion, and particularly the role of the patriarchal religions, the brotherhood of man, has had on sustaining elitist and authoritarian government, subjugating women and not least in encouraging competitiveness, in comparison with the equally advantage innate tendencies of altruism and co-operation.

As I write, I hear Alison Richards geting very close, but not bringing in religion!
Sue Mayer
London UK

Saying that the democracies of the EU display huge amounts of dissent and wrangling and therefore not a model for a Club of Democracies is fallacious. The fact that the EU governments argue is precisely what democracy is about and is a wonderful model of how dissent and debate can be integrated into a process of peaceful coexistence, mutual support, and cultural and economic growth.
Dominik Wujastyk

In your discussion about how Obama might change world politics, a phrase he (Obama) has employed surfaced - which has unconsciously bothered me - until now. When Obama talks about 'leading the world' again, one sincerely hopes he is aware that no country will ever again create an Empire. I'm sure he doesn't think along those lines. But it's still there, isn't it, the notion of an Empire os some kind?
Mark Walker.

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