The Fifth Estate
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Elections Across Europe
In 2017, Europe is in a period of heightened uncertainty: the rise of populist politics, the biggest refugee crisis since World War II, the prospect of a weakened European Union and an increasingly assertive Russia on its doorstep.
French voters recently rejected both major parties to elect an unknown quantity in Emmanuel Macron, who has never before held elected office. The UK’s new Prime Minister Theresa May has made a virtue of being an ‘unclubbable’ Conservative, but after riding high in the lead-up to the June election on a manifesto of 'country and community', her campaign has begun to falter in the wake of two terrorist attacks and the resulting debates about security and rights.
What will happen when Germany goes to the polls in September? Angela Merkel's popularity has been waning since 2015, but 21st-century Europe has become hard to imagine without her steady, predictable presence.
To discuss the state of play in the UK and Europe – and for the 100th edition of this long-running Wheeler Centre series – Fifth Estate host Sally Warhaft is joined by Mary Gearin and Georgina Downer.
Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians' lives in the fog of the Covid-19 pandemic. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.
Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.
Georgina Downer is an Adjunct Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs. Georgina has extensive experience in foreign policy, most recently as the Director of Asialink Diplomacy at the University of Melbourne. Previously, she was a diplomat at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo, Japan, and occupied various positions at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra.
Mary Gearin is the ABC’s National Sport Correspondent.
A former Europe Correspondent, based in the London bureau, Mary led the ABC's coverage of major breaking world news events, such as the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks, the Germanwings disaster, Greece's 2015 elections and financial crisis, and the birth of Prince George. Mary also covered the Ukraine crisis, the 2013 papal elections and the Cyprus financial crisis. Her versatility and love of sport came to the fore as the face of the ABC's coverage of the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
The Fifth Estate
The important stories of the day – off the front pages.
Sally Warhaft hosts a dizzying array of guests from the worlds of politics, culture, international relations and beyond, in a witty and revealing analysis of current affairs.