Peter Frankopan

Peter Frankopan is professor of global history at Oxford University and author of The Earth Transformed: An Untold History

Is Putin winning?

37 min listen

This week: Is Putin winning? In his cover piece for the magazine, historian and author Peter Frankopan says that Russia is reshaping the world in its favour by cultivating an anti-Western alliance of nations. He is joined by Ukrainian journalist – and author of The Spectator’s Ukraine In Focus newsletter – Svitlana Morenets, to discuss whether this

Is Putin winning? The world order is changing in his favour

‘This is not about Ukraine at all, but the world order,’ said Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, a month after the invasion. ‘The unipolar world is irretrievably receding into the past … A multi-polar world is being born.’ The US is no longer the world’s policeman, in other words – a message that resonates in

What, if anything, unites Asia as a continent?

‘Asia is one’, wrote Okakura Kakuzo, the Japanese art historian, at the start of his The Ideals of the East in 1901. Nile Green disagrees in this sparky and impressive book. There is no reason why ‘Buddhism, Confucianism or Shinto should be more intelligible to a “fellow Asian” from the Middle East or India than

A tale of two addictions

China, wrote Adam Smith, is ‘one of the richest, that is, one of the most fertile, best cultivated, most industrious and most populous countries in the world’. It was an obvious exemplar for a man who was trying to write An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. In the late

A devilish instrument of war

‘China is a sleeping lion,’ Napoleon reportedly remarked. ‘When it wakes, the world will tremble.’ There is no need to fear China, its current leaders are quick to stress — with President Xi Jinping claiming that the country’s rise will be ‘peaceful, pleasant and civilised’. Such words are of little comfort to hawks in the