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Podcast from the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) at Stanford University, featuring Director Michael McFaul, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia. Mike and our scholars dive into critical international issues, offering insights into the history and context of the biggest stories in the news.
 
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show series
 
In his inaugural address, President Biden declared, “Today we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate but of a cause — the cause of democracy.” But is the United States still a beacon for aspiring democratic societies around the globe?In a crossover episode with the World Affairs Podcast, World Class host Michael McFaul and Dr. Francis Fukuyama — …
 
Last week, riot police used force to remove Nika Melia, the leader of Georgia’s main opposition party, from his political headquarters. Meila’s arrest has deepened political rifts within Georgia and is plunging the nation into crisis, with opposition parties vowing to boycott Parliament until Melia is released by the government. Nino Evgenidze, a G…
 
In a special crossover episode, World Class host Michael McFaul discusses how the U.S. can mend relationships with the rest of the world after four years of unpredictability on the World Affairs Podcast. Mike and Jorge Castañeda, former Foreign Minister of Mexico, join World Affairs co-host Ray Suarez to talk about how to best address foreign polic…
 
Iran’s economy is at its worst point in decades, its Supreme Leader is ill, and the country is “desperate” for a nuclear deal with the United States, says Abbas Milani, an expert on U.S.-Iran relations. On this episode, he and Mike discuss the Iranian economy, the future of Iran’s leadership, and what a potential new nuclear deal might look like.…
 
While we should expect some big changes over the next four years when it comes to U.S. foreign policy toward Russia, President Joe Biden should be willing to cooperate with Russia on select issues, says Steven Pifer, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine. In this episode, Pifer discusses the Biden administration’s approach to Russia and its priorities …
 
Relations between the U.S. and China are more tense than ever over issues such as trade, a new national security law in Hong Kong, U.S. attempts to restrict Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat, and the COVID-19 pandemic. International security expert Oriana Skylar Mastro joins the podcast to discuss the tension between China and Taiwan and why it matter…
 
840 million people — or about one-ninth of the world’s population — live in China’s rural areas. They tend to settle in the regions in which they are born, and they’re generally not depicted in mainstream media outlets, but they are going to play an instrumental role in the country’s economic future. In this episode, Scott Rozelle discusses how the…
 
During the 2016 presidential election cycle, Russian operatives used Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms to spread disinformation in order to divide the American public. Four years later, misleading and false information about the 2020 presidential election is still rampant online. And this time around, more of that misle…
 
We are nearing the end of the election season in the U.S. that has been anything but ordinary — the country is in the midst of a global pandemic, which has caused a seismic shift in how Americans will vote. Nearly three-quarters of American voters are eligible to receive a mail-in ballot for the 2020 election. Nathaniel Persily is one of the leader…
 
Signed by President Barack Obama and former Russian President Dmitri Medvedev in 2010, the New START Treaty caps the number of strategic missiles and heavy bombers that the U.S. and Russia can possess. The nuclear arms control treaty is set to expire in February 2021 unless an agreement is signed in the coming months. Rose Gottemoeller, the chief n…
 
Described by some as “Europe’s last dictator,” Alexander Lukashenko has headed an authoritarian regime in Belarus for the last 26 years. Following his recent victory in Belarus’ presidential election, which is widely considered to have been rigged, citizens have taken to the streets to protest. Belarusian scholar and activist Aleś Łahviniec breaks …
 
Many see China as having a desire to displace the United States as the preeminent power in the world. In this episode, Jean Oi and Thomas Fingar (co-editors of "Fateful Decisions: Choices That Will Shape China’s Future") explain why they disagree with this belief. They also discuss China’s growth and achievements over the past 40 years, the choices…
 
This episode is brought to you by Swanson Health. Shop Swanson Vitamins today. Use promo code INTER20 for 20% off on swanson.com. On this episode, we talk about how we've been managing our health through Swanson Vitamin products. Featuring Sarah and Miriam. Tell us: Are you interested in Swanson Vitamins to help boost your overall health? Check out…
 
With protests continuing after the tragic killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, people around the world are demanding more transparency and accountability from police officers. What steps can be taken to curb police violence and abuses of power? Dr. Beatriz Magaloni is a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studi…
 
This episode is brought to you by Swanson Health. Shop Swanson Vitamins today. Use promo code INTER20 for 20% off on swanson.com. On this episode, we talk about first day of work jitters, how to plan for the first ninety days, and how to resolve workplace conflict in professional yet assertive ways. Featuring Sarah and Miriam. Tell us: Are you the …
 
Following the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, widespread protests have erupted in cities around the United States and around the world. What can we learn from these protests, and what implications might they have for democracy in the United States? Larry Diamond is a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for Interna…
 
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, its effects could be potentially devastating to global democracy and the upcoming U.S. presidential election. Nate Persily, a senior fellow at FSI and co-director of the Stanford-MIT Project on a Healthy Election, and Larry Diamond, also a senior fellow at FSI, discuss how democracies and autocracies are doing…
 
COVID-19 has established itself around the globe and will be with us for the foreseeable future. What do we know about the virus so far, and what makes it unique? Michelle Mello is a professor of law and medicine at Stanford whose research focuses on law, ethics, and health policy. David Relman is a professor in the departments of Medicine and Micr…
 
On this episode, we explore the absolute proven benefits of letting your kids watch YouTube. If YouTube ever had you weary, at the very least allow your kids twenty minutes a day of Kids Learning Tube and thank us later! Punch that subscribe button on the Kids Learning Tube Channel, find more interactive content on the Apple and Android app, shop m…
 
Global populism is on the rise. Once associated with Latin American and post-communist democracies, populist parties and politicians have now gained support and power in established democracies. In a new white paper, “Global Populisms and Their Challenges,” co-authors Anna Grzymala-Busse, Didi Kuo, Frank Fukuyama, and World Class host Michael McFau…
 
The coronavirus has infected more than 75,000 people and killed more than 2,000 since it was first identified in Wuhan, China, in late December. Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies experts Karen Eggleston and David Relman join host Michael McFaul to discuss what you should know about the virus, its impact on China and the world, and …
 
In the wake of the assassination of Qassem Soleimani by the United States, Abbas Milani — an expert on U.S.-Iran relations — discusses Iran’s economic and political troubles, Soleimani’s role in Iranian politics, and what the country’s decision to fire missiles at two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops means for relations between Iran and the U.S. goi…
 
With an average age of 41, Ukraine’s new parliament — elected in July 2019 — is its least experienced one yet. 80 percent of the legislature had no political experience before the election last summer, and the nation is at a crossroads of sorts: will it transition into a successful reformist government, or will its efforts fail? Francis Fukuyama — …
 
President Donald Trump recently made the decision to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria. Why was the U.S. there in the first place; where do things stand now with Turkey, the Kurds, and Syria; and what effect did that decision have on the fight against ISIS?Brett McGurk is the Payne Distinguished Lecturer at FSI and the Center for International…
 
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s name has appeared regularly in discussions about the controversial situation with Ukraine. What was Biden trying to achieve during his visit to Ukraine in 2015, and what is his connection to the controversy surrounding the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky? Colin …
 
Ukraine has been in the news a lot lately in the context of U.S. politics, but we haven’t heard many Ukrainian perspectives in the U.S. media following the controversy surrounding the recent interactions between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In this episode, Sasha Ustinova shares a Ukrainian perspective on the T…
 
Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer breaks down the controversial July 25 phone call between Donald Trump and Volodymyr Zelensky. He talks about the context of what was going on between the U.S. and Ukraine when the call took place, what was discussed during the call, and why the situation is damaging U.S. diplomatic relations with Ukrai…
 
Following the Russian disinformation campaign surrounding the 2016 U.S. presidential election, election security and disinformation are now global issues. What should be done in order to protect the integrity of the upcoming 2020 U.S. presidential election, and who should be responsible for creating these protections? Alex Stamos — the former chief…
 
Between 1991 and 2006 the world was dominated by liberal values and institutions, and we saw a major increase in the number of democracies around the globe. But for the past 13 years, global freedom has been on the decline. Larry Diamond, a senior fellow at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, discusses why the world may be on …
 
What is the evolution of thinking about digital technology, the companies that dominate it, and their responsibility to users of their platforms and the tenets of free speech? Eileen Donahoe, the executive director of the Global Digital Policy Incubator (GDPI) at FSI’s Cyber Policy Center, discusses the need for global internet guidelines, and GDPI…
 
The New York Times detailed the oppressed struggles of today's Catholic priests but is the entire subject an oxymoron? Featuring Rebekah, Sarah, and Miriam. Tell us: Should the Catholic Church evolve into social issues happening in today's world? Is your interest piqued by priests struggling with homosexuality? Follow us @internalconflictspodcast a…
 
More needs to be done to protect against foreign interference in the 2020 U.S. election, and not just by the American government. Nathaniel Persily, co-director of the Cyber Policy Center and a senior Fellow at FSI updates us on how technology companies have changed the way they display political advertising, why other countries need to be on the l…
 
There are a plethora of spoilers in this episode of Internal Conflicts as we break down season five, episode one of "Black Mirror." Featuring Rebekah, Sarah, and Miriam. Tell us: Which themes do you think Charlie Brooker was trying to convey in "Striking Vipers?" Does society make homosexual black men uncomfortable for being homosexual? Do you cons…
 
The standoff over the presidency in Venezuela continues, with two men, Nicolás Maduro and Juan Guaidó, still claiming the office. Dr. Harold Trinkunas, deputy director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation at FSI, updates us on how the situation has evolved since the beginning of the political conflict, the interests of the U.S. …
 
Lawmakers' new abortion laws incite our nation's defense on choice. We react to North Carolina's long withstanding consent laws and how it has everything to do with our new abortion laws. Featuring Rebekah and Sarah. We wanna know: In some cases, do you think the government could be essentially forcing women to become single mothers? Should women s…
 
Yale University researchers may have discovered a method to raise the dead, James Madison High School shows poorly-dressed parents the door at pickup, and a D.C. resident angrily suggests Howard University relocate so he can walk his dog. Featuring Rebekah, Sarah, Miriam, and Rachel. Tell us: Would experimenting with raising the dead be unethical a…
 
Three weeks after the release of the Mueller Report, much of its content is still off-limits to the public. In this episode, former Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos shares his thoughts on what was and was not included in the public report, and what surprised him the most. A cybersecurity expert, business leader and entrepreneur, Alex Sta…
 
Former Naval Flight Officer and Corporate Executive Linda Maloney joins us to discuss her company Women Veteran Network. We also talk military career, transitioning from military to civilian, and balancing work with life. Check Women Veteran Speakers out for your next coaching or training event. Featuring Rebekah, Sarah, and Miriam. We wanna know: …
 
Kodak Black's comments as of late, the responsibility that comes with a celebrity's platform, when to broadcast good deeds, and how to politely let garrulous passengers know when the conversation is enough. Featuring Rebekah, Sarah, Miriam, and Rachel. We wanna know: Is Kodak Black's comments offensive or just inappropriate? Should Young M.A have b…
 
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has submitted his report to the Attorney General, but additional investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election are now expected. Greg Miller and Mike McFaul discuss the challenges that policymakers and journalists face in investigating Russia, and how democracy in the U.S. has fared since 2016. G…
 
Why we should or should not care about Varsity Blues, Rebekah's interpretation and endorsement of "Us" movie, the obligation to share your "body count" with your partner, and Rachel's disappointment with being called confrontational. Featuring Rebekah, Sarah, Miriam, and Rachel. We wanna know: Does the Varsity Blues scandal have an impact on you? W…
 
The United States-North Korea summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, was cut short and did not produce any agreement between the two countries on denuclearization. What does this outcome mean for the prospect of future diplomacy and the potential for armed conflict? Scott Sagan is a professor of political science at Stanford University, and a senior fellow at F…
 
Jordyn Woods moves back home, why men fall for the flesh, and why there are sides on the topic of R. Kelly and why this gets Miriam particularly outraged. Featuring Rebekah, Sarah, and Miriam. We wanna know: In which cases do men fall for the flesh versus the brain and vice versa? Have you lost friendships and revoked your young children's access t…
 
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