5 x 30 minute episodes
MPEG-1 Layer 3
The Great Unravelling
Is the world order that was forged after World War II unravelling? The journalist and former barrister Afua Hirsch talks to a wide range of international lawyers, historians and thinkers and asks if the world order forged after WWII is coming apart.
The Great Unravelling: Human Rights
Episode 1 of 5
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 unbearable strain?
Has the international human rights machinery worked? What about the global human rights movement? Many believe we are now at a crisis point, with populism and the rise of China both challenging the project. Others think the human rights movement is itself partly to blame.
The Great Unravelling: War
Episode 2 of 5
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 will new forms of war present even more of a challenge?
The Great Unravelling: Self Determination
Episode 3 of 5
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 swept the world and countries such as Tunisia, Jamaica, Nigeria and Guyana achieved independence. But it is not the same as a right to separate and form your own country, as the Catalans have recently been reminded. And it has a forgotten dark side as a justification for population transfer, going back to 1923 when Greece and Turkey agreed to uproot two million people in a forced population exchange.
The Great Unravelling: Trade and Trump
Episode 4 of 5
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 WTO. Does he have a point – and can the system survive?
The Great Unravelling: Trade and China
Episode 5 of 5
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, could China break the WTO?
And finally, can the post-war rules and institutions survive in a recognisable form, or are we already witnessing the birth of a very different world?
Journalist and former barrister Afua Hirsch talks to a wide range of international lawyers, historians and thinkers and asks if the world order forged after World War Two is coming apart.
Presenter: Afua Hirsch
Producer: Lucy Bailey