Demetri Kofinas & Helen Thompson , Hidden Forces

Energy Geopolitics & the Remaking of the Modern World | Helen Thompson

11 Jul 2022 • 60 min • EN
60 min
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In Episode 257 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Helen Thompson, author and Professor of Political Economy at the University of Cambridge. Thompson’s current research concentrates on the political economy of energy and the long history of the democratic, economic, and geopolitical disruptions of the twenty-first century, which she explores magisterially in her new book “Disorder: Hard Times in the 21st Century.”  For those of us who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, the nature of the world as we knew it to be only seemed to be getting better and better. The price of energy and the cost of capital kept getting cheaper, the world kept getting safer and more interconnected, and liberal democracy and free-market capitalism were seen as inevitable outcomes of the end of history. Today, all of that feels like it was almost a dream. The last two decades have brought a powerful tide of geopolitical, economic, and democratic shocks onto the world. Their fallout has led central banks to create over twenty-five trillion dollars of new money, brought about a new age of geopolitical competition, destabilized the Middle East, ruptured the European Union, and exposed old political fault lines in the United States--fault lines that seem to challenge even those of the tumultuous 1960s and 1970s when the specter of nuclear war and the trauma of violent riots and political assassinations cast a long shadow over the future of the Republic. This conversation between Helen Thompson and Demetri Kofinas endeavors to draw a line of continuity between those turbulent years and the present political moment as we try to imagine how a future situated in the long arch of human history with all its political challenges, economic imperatives, and destructive wars might unfold. It recounts three histories. One about geopolitics, one about the world economy, and one about western democracies, and explains how in the years of political disorder prior to the pandemic, the disruption in each became part of one big story, much of which originates in problems generated by fossil-fuel energies and our efforts to control them. And it explains why, as the green transition takes place, the longstanding predicaments that energy invariably shapes will remain firmly in place. You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts & Spotify Subscribe to our mailing list at Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Follow Demetri on Twitter at @Kofinas Episode Recorded on 07/06/2022

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