Crossing Channels

Who pays the price of colonialism today?

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Episode notes

In this episode, Rory Cellan-Jones discusses the enduring legacies of colonialism on global economic inequalities, the climate crisis, and the digital space with experts Dr Stephanie Diepeveen and Prof Jordanna Matlon.

Experts, Dr Stephanie Diepeveen and Prof Jordanna Matlon share tangible examples and critical insights into a nuanced understanding of how colonial legacies continue to shape global power relations. They debate actionable perspectives on how policymakers can address these challenges and the ongoing effects of colonialism. 

This episode is hosted by Rory Cellan-Jones (former technology correspondent for the BBC), and features guest experts Dr Stephanie Diepeveen (Bennett Institute for Public Policy) and Prof Jordanna Matlon (IAST). 

For more information about the podcast and the work of the institutes, visit our websites at and

Tweet us with your thoughts at @BennettInst and @IASToulouse.

With thanks to:

  • Audio production by Steve Hankey
  • Associate production by Stella Erker
  • Visuals by Tiffany Naylor and Kevin Sortino 

More information about our host and guests:

Rory Cellan-Jones was a technology correspondent for the BBC. His 40 years in journalism have seen him take a particular interest in the impact of the internet and digital technology on society and business. He has also written multiple books, including “Always On” (2021) and his latest “Ruskin Park: Sylvia, Me and the BBC” which was published in 2023. @ruskin147

Stephanie Diepeveen is a Senior Research Associate at the University of Cambridge and a Senior Research Fellow (Digital) in the Politics and Governance Team at ODI (formerly the Overseas Development Institute). With an interdisciplinary background in politics, digital media and monitoring and evaluation, her research is focused on how digital technologies and the use of data transform democratic politics, inclusion and inequalities. Stephanie’s work brings a global perspective, having explored the nature and effects of digitalisation across diverse political and linguistic contexts, including around pressing issues of mis/disinformation, algorithmic bias and harmful content. Her book Searching for a New Kenya: Politics and Social Media on the Streets of Mombasa (CUP, 2021) looks in-depth into the politics and possibilities of discussion in the streets and online. @sdiep

Jordanna Matlon is an urban sociologist interested in questions of race and belonging in Africa and the African diaspor. She looks at the ways “Blackness” operates as a signifier, intersects with gender norms, manifests in popular culture, and illuminates our understanding of political economy. Her multiple award-winning book, A Man among Other Men: The Crisis of Black Masculinity in Racial Capitalism (Cornell University Press) investigates the relationship between masculinity, coloniality, and work in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Her new book, Blackness as Being: Black Survival in the Age of Climate Catastrophe (under contract, Polity Press), bridges literatures on surplus populations, climate change, and racial capitalism to theorize the possibilities and precariousness of species survival in the anthropocene. It offers Blackness as an analytic to think with the paradox of precarious possibility – of