show episodes
 
Power Problems is a bi-weekly podcast from the Cato Institute. Host John Glaser offers a skeptical take on U.S. foreign policy, and discusses today’s big questions in international security with distinguished guests from across the political spectrum. Podcast Hashtag: #FPPowerProblems. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
 
Sphere, a collaboration between the Cato Institute and the Brookings Institution, is an online debate series designed to create the gold standard for civil discussions of policy issues and political philosophy based on common values and shared objectives. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
 
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show series
 
Dominic Tierney, associate professor at Swarthmore College, explains how the “negativity bias” affects international relations. Negativity bias causes threat inflation, leads policymakers to maintain failing policies out of loss aversion, and produces misconceptions that make conflict more likely. Biden administration policies towards Iran, Afghani…
 
Why has international war become more uncommon and unpopular since World War II? Sure some states still meddle in others’ civil wars or launch cyber offensives, but overall the world is experiencing an unprecedented era of peace. Some international relations experts claim that U.S. adventurist foreign policy has held off international war. This wee…
 
Immigration policy has become something of a political football. Some are proposing more open pathways to citizenship. While others have been more concerned about protecting people, who are already in the United States. In this episode, Dany Bahar, Senior Fellow, Global Economy and Development, at the Brookings Institution; Alex Nowrasteh, Director…
 
Geopolitical changes in East Asia call for new ideas to inform much needed policy reforms. Jessica J. Lee from the Quincy Institute joins John Glaser to discuss how policymakers can approach a rising China, traditional East Asian allies, and a nuclear North Korea. Show Notes Jessica J. Lee bio Michael D. Swain, Jessica J. Lee and Rachel Esplin Odel…
 
What is the future of conservative foreign policy? The Republican Party is divided on many issues of national security as it searches for a new direction in the post-Trump age. The American Conservative senior editor Daniel Larison joins the show. Show Notes Daniel Larison bio: https://www.theamericanconservative.com/author/daniel-larison/ Daniel L…
 
Is the United States on course for a new Cold War with China? Campbell Craig tells John Glaser that there may be a chance to cooperate and ease tensions with Beijing. They discuss how changes in the U.S. military budget, threat perception, nuclear posturing, alliances, and domestic politics can help the two superpowers avoid a potential standoff. S…
 
Did Russia commit a cyber attack or cyber espionage? What is the difference and how does it affect the U.S. response and future of cybersecurity? Cato Institute’s own Brandon Valeriano and Atlantic Council’s Erica Borghard join host John Glaser to discuss the severity of the SolarWinds hack and its implications for the broader cybersecurity politic…
 
Peter Beinart and host John Glaser discuss the problems of "global leadership" in U.S. foreign policy, why Washington over-spends on the wrong threats, the implications of President-elect Biden's incoming national security team, and how America should approach an increasingly influential China. 1. Peter Beinart bio: https://www.gc.cuny.edu/Page-Ele…
 
After four years of an unpredictable commander-in-chief, it’s time to think about the future of U.S. foreign policy. John and David Hendrickson discuss the Trump to Biden transition, the illiberal nature of the "liberal order," and the impact of domestic politics on foreign policy, among other issues. 1. David C. Hendrickson bio: https://www.colora…
 
What has the election revealed about the country? And what does this say about who Americans really are, what they want and where we are headed? In this episode, Elaine Kamarck, Founding Director of the Center for Effective Public Management at the Brookings Institution; P. J. O’Rourke, bestselling author and H. L. Mencken Research Fellow at the Ca…
 
President Donald Trump has shown excitement about the newly created Space Force division of the military. Is it worth the hype? According to Robert Farley, there is still too much unknown to make that call. 1.Robert M. Farley bio: https://www.uky.edu/~rmfarl2/ 2. There is no link yet to his Cato paper referenced as it has yet to be published. It’s …
 
How will President-elect Biden change US foreign policy? John Glaser talks to Emma Ashford of the Atlantic Council about the transition from Trump to Biden, and from host Emma to host John. Emma Ashford Bio https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/expert/emma-ashford/ https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/joe-biden-just-won-the-presidency-wh…
 
Police are supposed to preserve and protect, but problems in policing have begun to dominate the national debate. And what will the resulting policy changes look like? And will these reforms address what is going on? In this episode, Clark Neily, vice president for criminal justice at the Cato Institute; Arthur Rizer, director of criminal justice a…
 
Is American influence declining? Emma Ashford talks to Ali Wyne and Gabby Tarini of the Rand Corporation about their new report on America in the world.   Ali Wyne Bio: https://www.ducoexperts.com/users/ali-wyne Gabrielle Tarini Bio: https://www.rand.org/about/people/t/tarini_gabrielle.html James Dobbins, Gabrielle Tarini, and Ali Wyne, “The Lost G…
 
Emma Ashford talks with MIT’s Taylor Fravel about ongoing China-India tensions and what China wants from the world. 1. Taylor Fravel bio: https://polisci.mit.edu/people/m-taylor-fravel 2. Taylor Fravel, “Why are India and China Skirmishing at their Border?” Washington Post. 3. Taylor Fravel, “China’s Sovereignty Obsession,” Foreign Affairs. See aca…
 
Paul Staniland of the University of Chicago joins Emma Ashford to discuss current events in India, Pakistan, and South Asia. Show Notes Paul Staniland bio: https://paulstaniland.com/ Paul Staniland, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, “Political Violence in South Asia: The Triumph of the State?” See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out…
 
Some say in this election the very soul of the country is at stake. Others want to make law and order the primary issue. But what about debt, spending and war? Henry Olsen, Washington Post columnist and senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center; Jonathan Rauch, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution; and Emily Ekins, research fellow …
 
Donald Trump has taken America’s relationship with Europe from bad to worse. Emma Ashford chats with Rachel Rizzo of the Truman Project about the prospects for transatlantic relations. 1. Rachel Rizzo Bio. 2. Tom McTague, "Remember the 90s, Don't Long for a Return," The Atlantic. 3. Emma Ashford, "Biden Wants to Go Back to a Normal Foreign Policy. …
 
In a special crossover episode, Emma sits down with the hosts of the Pop & Locke podcast and members of the Cato Foreign Policy team to explore how pop culture interacts with nuclear weapons, and why we should stop worrying and learn to love the bomb. Pop and Locke Podcast: https://www.libertarianism.org/podcasts/pop-and-locke Eric Schlosser, The N…
 
In the third of our series on the world after the coronavirus, we talk about great power politics and U.S.-China relations, with returning guest Joshua Shifrinson of Boston University. 1. Joshua Shifrinson Bio: https://www.bu.edu/pardeeschool/profile/joshua-shifrinson/ 2. Joshua Shifrinson, International Security, “Partnership or Predation? How Ris…
 
In the second of our series on the world after the coronavirus, we look at the impact on Pentagon spending. Will the coronavirus prompt us to reconsider the defense budget? Sen. Bernie Sanders, "Defund the Pentagon: The Liberal Case," Politico Andrew Lautz and Jonathan Bydlak, "Defund the Pentagon: The Conservative Case," Politico Eric Gomez, Laure…
 
How concerned should we be with wealth or income inequality in the United States? Are there other concerns (like burdensome regulations) that ought to take precedence? And how much of the economic inequality we see in the United States is driven by differences in opportunities? And, in all of these cases, what’s the proper response in the form of p…
 
In the first of a three-part series, Emma Ashford and Trevor Thrall explore what international relations might look like after coronavirus. Today’s guest is Dan Drezner, a professor at Tufts University, who joins them to talk about global economic relations. Daniel Drezner bio: https://fletcher.tufts.edu/people/daniel-drezner Daniel Drezner, “There…
 
Emma Ashford and Trevor Thrall chat with Peter Singer of New America about his new novel Burn In, and why fiction can be useful for our understanding of national security policy. Peter Singer bio, https://www.newamerica.org/our-people/peter-warren-singer/ Burn In: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution, https://www.burninbook.com/ Surveillance Take…
 
The federal government already provides a great number of programs to help people attend college. Are the rising costs of higher education due, in part, to the federal government’s credit availability to students? Is affordability the leading barrier to college, or is it actually college completion? In this podcast, Neal McCluskey, the Director of …
 
Mark Hannah of the Eurasia Group Foundation joins Emma Ashford and Trevor Thrall to talk about how the world views America and American-style democracy in the age of COVID-19. Mark Hannah bio: https://egfound.org/about/our-team Eurasia Group Foundation, Global Views of American Democracy (2020) Mark Hannah, “Stop Declaring War on a Virus,” War on t…
 
As families try to balance work and childcare, a popular answer is to have government mandate paid family leave. Will mandating paid leave help families or could a law hurt the very workers it is meant to help? Veronique de Rugy, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center and adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute; Rachel Greszler, research fello…
 
War has long been the subject of vigorous debate. The United States Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war and appoints the president as commander-in-chief of the military. When it comes to war, who holds the power to ultimately decide the actions of the United States? Gene Healy, vice president at the Cato Institute; David B. Rivkin …
 
Alice Hunt Friend of the Center for Strategic and International Studies joins Emma Ashford and Trevor Thrall to talk about the increasingly strained relations between civilian and military leaders in the Trump administration. Alice Hunt Friend bio: https://www.csis.org/people/alice-hunt-friend This is What Was So Unusual About Making Capt. Bret Cro…
 
Greg Koblentz of George Mason University joins Emma Ashford and Trevor Thrall to talk about the international security implications of the coronavirus pandemic. Greg Koblentz bio Greg Koblentz and Mike Hunzeker, "National Security in the Age of Pandemics," Defense One, April 3, 2020 Gregory Koblentz, "Biosecurity Reconsidered: Calibrating Biologica…
 
Emma Ashford and Trevor Thrall are joined by Brandon Valeriano to discuss the Cyberspace Solarium Commission’s official report. Brandon Valeriano bio Cyberspace Solarium Commission Brandon Valeriano and Benjamin Jensen, "The Myth of the Cyber Offense: The Case for Restraint," Cato Institute Policy Analysis 862, January 15, 2019. Brandon Valeriano, …
 
Join Trevor Thrall and Emma Ashford as we discuss public engagement in the Trump era with Paul Poast, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. Paul Poast bio Paul Poast, "Twitter Threads," Tanisha M. Fazal and Paul Poast, "War Is Not Over: What the Optimists Get Wrong About Conflict." Foreign Affairs, November/December…
 
Join Trevor Thrall and Emma Ashford as we discuss the failures and history of regime change with Ben Denison, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Fletcher School at Tufts University. Benjamin Denison bio Benjamin Denison, The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same: The Failure of Regime-Change Operations," Policy Analysis 881 Benjamin Denison, "Reg…
 
Adam Mount, Senior Fellow and the Director of the Defense Posture Project at the Federation of American Scientists, joins Trevor Thrall and Emma Ashford to discuss the future of progressive foreign policy. Adam Mount bio Adam Mount, “Principles for a Progressive Defense Policy, Texas National Security Review, December 2018 Emma Ashford and Trevor T…
 
Dan Ikenson, director of Cato’s Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, joins Trevor Thrall and guest host John Glaser to discuss the economic and foreign policy implications of Trump’s recent trade deals. Daniel J. Ikenson bio Daniel J. Ikenson, “A Few Things to Like about the U.S.-China Trade Deal,” Cato at Liberty, December 16, 2019 …
 
Michael Swaine, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, joins Trevor Thrall and guest host John Glaser to discuss the crisis in Hong Kong, the plight of the Uighurs, and China’s recent authoritarian turn. Michael Swaine bio Michael Swaine, “Chinese State‐​Society Relations: Why Beijing Isn’t Trembling and Containment Won’t …
 
America’s drug war has been a part of our lives for more than 100 years. With legalization and decriminalization of marijuana in an increasing number of states, conflicts have emerged on drug policy and power. To what extent can and should the states act independently of the federal government on an issue with national ramifications? Cato’s Trevor …
 
In general, are most laws and regulations constitutional? Should the courts do more to enforce constitutional limits, or should they defer to the political branches unless there are blatant violations? Cato's Ilya Shapiro and the Constitutional Accountability Center’s Elizabeth Wydra are joined by participating moderator Jonathan Rauch of the Brook…
 
What principles should guide the decisions to intervene militarily? What factors should weigh most heavily? Cato's Emma Ashford, CSIS’s Melanie Marlowe, and Brookings's Tamara Wittes discuss whether the U.S. is too quick to use force in other countries. Learn More: "New Voices in Grand Strategy: Power and Pragmatism: Reforming American Foreign Poli…
 
Negar Mortazavi, diplomatic correspondent for The Independent, joins Trevor Thrall and guest host John Glaser to discuss the impact of U.S. sanctions on Iran, recent Iranian protests, and the future of the JCPOA. Negar Mortazavi coverage at The Independent Farnaz Fassihi and Rick Gladstone, “With Brutal Crackdown, Iran Is Convulsed by Worst Unrest …
 
Jim Goldgeier, former dean of the School of International Service at American University and resident scholar at the Brookings Institution, joins Trevor Thrall and guest host John Glaser to discuss President Trump’s use of irregular channels of foreign policy making in Ukraine. Jim Goldgeier Bio Goldgeier and Saunders, “How much have Trump’s dealin…
 
Trita Parsi, executive vice president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, joins Trevor Thrall and guest host John Glaser to discuss the launch of Washington D.C.’s newest foreign policy think tank. Quincy Institute website Stephen Wertheim, “The Quincy Institute Opposes America’s Endless Wars. Why Should That Be a Scandal?,” Wahingt…
 
David Burbach from the U.S. Naval War College joins Trevor Thrall and guest host John Glaser to discuss civil‐​military relations and public attitudes towards the military. David T. Burbach bio David Burbach, “Gaining Trust While Losing Wars: Confidence in the U.S. Military after Iraq and Afghanistan,” Orbis, vol. 61, no. 1, 2019 David Burbach, “Pa…
 
Christopher Preble and John Glaser join Trevor Thrall to discuss their new book, Fuel to the Fire, which assesses Donald Trump’s foreign policies and makes the case for greater restraint in international affairs. Christopher A. Preble bio John Glaser bio Trevor Thrall bio Christopher A. Preble, John Glaser, Trevor Thrall, Fuel to the Fire: How Trum…
 
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