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WorldAffairs is dedicated to curating conversations across difference, on both global challenges and global solutions. We explore international affairs with the world’s most knowledgeable voices in politics, business, academia, media and technology. Each hour-long episode marries thought-provoking analysis from multiple perspectives to make complex issues relatable. Our expert hosts, former nuclear policy expert Philip Yun, and renowned journalists Ray Suarez and Markos Kounalakis, have only ...
 
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For months, the domestic terrorist attack on the US Capitol was planned in plain sight on social media. So why weren’t we ready for it? This week, former FBI special agent Michael German explains why the bureau deprioritized the threat posed by white supremacists… and why the Department of Homeland Security says they pose “the most persistent and l…
 
Historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat has spent her career documenting the stealth strategies authoritarian leaders use to gain power. In her new book, Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present, she outlines the “strongman playbook” used by authoritarian leaders including Donald Trump. She says that the January 6 insurgency by far-right extremists, meant to facilitat…
 
As each country manages the pandemic differently, the already fragile global economy has been disrupted by broken supply chains and shifts in demand. Now we’re questioning the role of the government, the future of capitalism and changing our values. The choices we make now could change the world for decades. On this week’s episode, we revisit a con…
 
With record unemployment, increasing income inequality and soaring poverty, it’s hard to escape the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, but there is one group of people that have fared well. The world’s billionaires are 27% richer than they were last year. As of July, their wealth has soared to a record high of $10.2 trillion. In the abse…
 
When the World Food Program was awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, executive director David Beasley warned that “famine is at humanity’s doorstep.” He said that a “hunger pandemic,” worse than COVID-19, is a real possibility if the world does not address the problem. Hunger is not new, but the coronavirus pandemic and global recession has throw…
 
An old spectre is haunting Europe—in fact, it’s as old as Europe itself, but given that it manifests itself in varied forms throughout History, the latest ones have become harder to identify each time. What is driving the ongoing spike in antisemitism across Europe? Who are the perpetrators of recent attacks, what motivates them, and in what ways a…
 
Now that the process is beginning for distribution of a vaccine for COVID-19 -- and another is close behind -- it seems as though ending the pandemic is finally in sight. But with the world’s wealthy countries hoarding billions of vaccine doses, the majority of people living in developing countries likely won’t get vaccinated in more than a year. D…
 
Whilst France undergoes a genuine introspection over how to tackle Islamic separatism in the wake of renewed terrorism, US media have taken to portraying “laïcité" in a strikingly one-sided way, as some sort of thin veil for islamophobia. Where does this skewed lens come from? Why do foreign correspondents, particularly from American outlets, insis…
 
At 60 million people and counting, Latinos are the largest minority group in the United States. But if the 2020 election taught us anything, it’s that our political establishment does not understand this community, which is undergoing a transformation. Young Latinos across the country are redefining their identities, pushing boundaries, and awakeni…
 
After a tiresome four years of petty spats over trade and defense spending, transatlantic relations seem off to a reset with Joe Biden in the White House—but what exactly can Europeans expect from an administration that Daniel Fried calls the “most pro-European since George H. W. Bush’s" in the late 80s? Ambassador Fried is a longtime career diplom…
 
When Joe Biden ran for president, he pledged to make climate change a major priority. How will he make good on that promise and what are the consequences if he fails to act? On this week’s episode, we discuss climate policy with former California Governor Jerry Brown, oceanographer Sylvia Earle and former Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, 201…
 
A debate has been raging over recent weeks in Brussels and across European capitals, one that many in our non-European audience may find somewhat confusing at times. What is European "strategic autonomy"? The term is being used by French President Emmanuel Macron to promote his vision of a Europe willing and able to wield power on its own, both in …
 
A recent Politico poll found that 70% of Republican voters don’t believe the presidential election was free and fair, even though there is no evidence to support this claim. Historian Claire Bond Potter talks with Rachael Myrow about the rise of alternative media and pseudo news sites that continue to spread misinformation and are helping Donald Tr…
 
Joe Biden will be President in two months. In the meantime, Donald Trump is doing everything he can to make that transition as difficult as possible. He has prevented the president-elect from receiving top secret intelligence briefings and made a flurry of decisions that could jeopardize our national security. Career diplomat Nicholas Burns and Ray…
 
Vernon Bogdanor is one of Britain’s foremost constitutional experts, which for a country that lacks a written constitution, means not that he lacks a working subject. In his latest book Britain and Europe in a Troubled World (2020), Mr. Bogdanor traces the historical undercurrents behind the UK’s troubled, always ambivalent ties with the European c…
 
When Joe Biden takes office, he’ll face challenges like no other president before him. From the pandemic, to our fragile democracy, a world in transition, and challenges exacerbated by climate change, the Biden Administration will have to approach foreign policy very carefully. On this episode, co-host Ray Suarez talks with Washington Post columnis…
 
Pulitzer Prize- winning historian Anne Applebaum is worried about authoritarianism in the US. Since the election, world leaders have congratulated President-Elect Biden on his decisive victory, and yet, President Trump has not conceded. He’s gone on a rampage to discredit the results and put his loyalists in charge. Applebaum joins producer Teresa …
 
David Goodhart is one of the UK's foremost scholars of populism. His previous book The Road to Somewhere (2017) documented the profound value divides that Trump and the Brexiteers rode in 2016, between an elite of anywheres driven by self-actualization, individualism and adaptiveness to social change and a majority of communitarian patriots, the so…
 
This year, the US is on track to spend $4 trillion on healthcare -- more than any other nation. Yet our healthcare system is famous for its dysfunction. What are we getting for our money? And how does our system stack up against those in other countries? This week, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel joins co-host Ray Suarez to compare different healthcare systems…
 
"A shared commitment to liberty and self-government" is how Michael Kimmage defines the West, a notion at once elusive but also intuitive when it comes to world politics. Prof. Kimmages's The Abandonment of the West (2020) is an attempt to trace the cultural undercurrents that propelled "the West" to elite appeal in the early 20th century, but he b…
 
On October 25, an overwhelming majority of Chileans voted to throw out their constitution, written during Augusto Pinochet’s brutal dictatorship. It started as a student protest at a high school and grew into a national movement. Now, the streets of Santiago are filled with jubilant celebration, music and fireworks. But soon, the hard work of writi…
 
Fraudulent elections can lead to long term voter apathy and erode democratic institutions. Sometimes, they can fuel widespread protests, and in some countries, revolution. On this episode of the podcast, we examine how a rigged election in Belarus is fueling a democratic uprising. Election observer and University of Missouri political scientist Mar…
 
Voter suppression. Allegations of fraud. Political violence. The whole world is watching the United States’ presidential election, and it feels like democracy itself is on the line. Political scientist and election observer Susan Hyde explains how politicians steal elections, what international observers can do to help, and what happens when voters…
 
What is "illiberal democracy"? What do Fidesz and Hungary's PM Viktor Orbán stand for? To answer those questions we have with us Mr. Schöplfin, a former Member of the European Parliament (MEP) with Fidesz, Hungary’s Christian-Democratic ruling party for 15 years. Previously, he had a long career as an academic in the UK, and will be publishing two …
 
As tensions intensify between President Trump and Xi Jinping, China is pursuing its global ambitions through the “Belt and Road Initiative,” a massive global infrastructure project. In her new podcast, former NPR Beijing correspondent Mary Kay Magistad partners with local journalists on five continents to investigate the initiative’s impact. She jo…
 
The US economy is floundering. Unemployment remains high and Congress is squabbling over a badly needed stimulus package. Meanwhile, China’s gotten its pandemic under control—and its economy is surging. In this episode, we look at China’s economic rise to power. Wall Street Journal correspondent Lingling Wei and her editor, Bob Davis, explain how U…
 
Five years after the Charlie Hebdo attack, a Chechen Islamist beheaded a middle school teacher for showing a cartoon of Mohamed during a class on freedom of expression. Despite Emmanuel Macron’s bill on “islamist separatism” there’s a distinct feeling that France’s identity and unity are at stake. Gilles Kepel, one of the country’s most respected v…
 
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan worked at the agency under six different presidents, but he says he never served one quite like Donald Trump. In this episode, he talks with co-host Ray Suarez about Russian interference in US elections, America’s role in the global community, and what it’s really like to work at the CIA. Guest: John Brennan, For…
 
Since the attacks on September 11th, 2001, many Americans associate terrorism with the Middle East. But since 2001, more Americans have actually been killed by domestic terrorists than by any international groups. According to the Department of Homeland Security, white supremacists pose the deadliest terror threat to the United States, and a growin…
 
"White fragility" wasn’t yet a term of art when Ed West published Small Men on the Wrong Side of History (2020), but our ever-growing culture wars since seem to have confirmed his every pre-existing thesis. Conservatives may still win elections on both sides of the Atlantic, but in the culture war they’re losing “bigly”. In the third episode of Unc…
 
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