As the conflict in Syria raged after 2011, a wide range of state and non-state actors competed for territory, population control and domination of the country’s resources. One such resource was water, with access to critical infrastructure like dams acting both as a driver of fierce fighting and brittle compromises. Marwa Daoudy has studied the ways in which water was weaponized during the Syrian conflict, revealing how the Assad regime interacted with actors like ISIS and the Kurdish-led rebel forces in complex struggles to control this scarce resource. Ben spoke to Marwa to find out more.
Depression is the predominant mental health problem worldwide - it is estimated that 1 in 6 people in the past week experienced a common mental health problem and major depression is thought to be the second leading cause of disability worldwide. In his new book, Living Better, Alastair Campbell explores his personal struggle with depression and its impact on his political and family life. Agnes spoke to Alastair about his experiences, and how mental health is (or is not) addressed more broadly within UK politics.