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Undercurrents is a regular podcast series featuring interviews with Chatham House experts - and others - about the critical underlying issues which are shaping modern society. Hosted by staff from across the institute, each episode goes in-depth on a topic, looking beyond the news to explore the issues shaping global politics.
 
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show series
 
What was NATO’s original purpose and what is its role in the war in Ukraine? Will Finland and Sweden join NATO and what significance does this have? What is Russia’s historical relationship with NATO and how did it sour? Host: Ned Sedgwick Clips used: BBC News Guests: Jamie Shea (Former NATO official, Chatham House associate fellow), Dan Sabbagh (T…
 
Six years after the EU-Turkey Joint Statement, domestic changes in Turkey and international developments such as the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan have ensured the border between Greece and Turkey remains a hotspot for migration flows. Today, Turkey is one of the world’s biggest refugee-receiving countries and hosts four million refugees. In this…
 
How does Russia use disinformation and who are they targeting? How are social networks shaping the war in Ukraine? What can be done to stop the spread of disinformation? Host: Ned Sedgwick Clips used: BBC News Guests: Emily Taylor, Keir Giles, Damian Collins MP This episode was produced by David Dargahi and Anouk Millet of Earshot Strategies on beh…
 
Power for refugees is a new two-part podcast on the Undercurrents podcast feed. Over two episodes Ben explores an often-overlooked aspect of humanitarian assistance: access to energy. From Afghanistan to Ukraine to Sudan - the world is grappling with the consequences that emerge when people are forced to flee from their homes. One factor that does …
 
Power for refugees is a new two-part podcast on the Undercurrents podcast feed. Over two episodes Ben explores an often-overlooked aspect of humanitarian assistance: access to energy. From Afghanistan to Ukraine to Sudan - the world is grappling with the consequences that emerge when people are forced to flee from their homes. One factor that does …
 
Examining China and its relationship to Russia and Ukraine. What is China’s role in the war in Ukraine? What is the state of the relationship between Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin? Should they serve as mediator or do they have an active interest in a particular outcome? Host: Ned Sedgwick Clips used: South China Morning Post Guests: Professor Rana …
 
The Contentious politics since the ‘Arab Spring’ project seeks to challenge the current prevalent narrative of a failed 2010/2011 series of revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa. The project does this by interrogating the events in the Arab region since 2010 in a critical light, and by introducing a more nuanced analytical lens to underst…
 
The Contentious politics since the ‘Arab Spring’ project seeks to challenge the current prevalent narrative of a failed 2010/2011 series of revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa. The project does this by interrogating the events in the Arab region since 2010 in a critical light, and by introducing a more nuanced analytical lens to underst…
 
The Contentious politics since the ‘Arab Spring’ project seeks to challenge the current prevalent narrative of a failed 2010/2011 series of revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa. The project does this by interrogating the events in the Arab region since 2010 in a critical light, and by introducing a more nuanced analytical lens to underst…
 
The Contentious politics since the ‘Arab Spring’ project seeks to challenge the current prevalent narrative of a failed 2010/2011 series of revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa. The project does this by interrogating the events in the Arab region since 2010 in a critical light, and by introducing a more nuanced analytical lens to underst…
 
As the Philippines are set to elect a new president and vice president on May 9, Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr and Sara Duterte appear to be heading for victory at the polls. To better understand how the son of a past dictator and the daughter of the current president are set to win the presidential ticket, Mariana speaks to Philip Bowring about t…
 
How reliant is the EU on Russian oil? What would an all-out ban on Russian oil look like? Which countries would be most affected? Does this offer an opportunity for renewable energy? Clips used: Bloomberg News Host: Ned Sedgwick Guests: Helene von Bismark, Neil Quilliam, Antony Froggatt Producer: Anouk Millet from Earshot Strategies…
 
Russia has faced an unprecedented level of sanctions by the West covering the government itself, financial institutions, oligarchs associated with the Kremlin, and much more. But are these sanctions working? Can they really change anything on the ground in Ukraine? Clips used: - DW News - C-Span Credits: Host: Ned Sedgwick Guests: Creon Butler, Chr…
 
After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we have seen an exponential increase in food prices around the world. In this second episode of our mini-series War in Ukraine, we’re trying to understand how and why a war in one part of the world risks causing famines in distant parts of the globe, and what can happen when people go hungry. Read Chatham House’s…
 
The war in Ukraine has caused the largest refugee crisis in Europe since WW2. In this first episode of our new War in Ukraine mini-series, we’re looking at what Ukrainians face when crossing the border, whether enough is being done to protect them, and the impact on the real lives behind the numbers. Guest-host Ned Sedgwick speaks to Joung-Ah Ghedi…
 
To mark the 100th anniversary of International Affairs, the journal of Chatham House, a new series of six archive collections will explore the past, present and future of current affairs issues. Each collection will be accompanied by an episode in this mini-series, where we explore what the research tells us about policy-making today.  This episode…
 
A year on from the publication of the UK's Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, Chatham House Director Dr Robin Niblett shares his assessment of how Boris Johnson's government has implemented its vision of Global Britain. Read the Chatham House research paper: Global Britain in a divided world: Testing the ambitio…
 
Protracted conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa, Horn of Africa and parts of Asia, although usually arising from intra-state disputes, rarely remain contained within national borders. Through the XCEPT project, supported with UK Aid from the UK government, Chatham House explores the informal supply chains and economies that develop across …
 
What has been going on in UK foreign policy over the last century, and how have leading thinkers approached it? To mark the 100th anniversary of International Affairs, the journal of Chatham House, a new series of six archive collections will explore the past, present and future of current affairs issues. Each collection will be accompanied by an e…
 
The idea of feminist foreign policy has entered the political mainstream in recent years, but does adoption by governments risk diluting the more radical dimensions of its agenda? To mark International Women's Day, Mariana is joined by Marissa Conway, co-founder of the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy, to discuss the trajectory of FFP. Then Ben s…
 
As a site of enormous economic and military potential, space is the latest domain to be drawn into the strategic competition between Earth's great powers. In this episode, Ben is joined by Asia-Pacific Programme Senior Research Fellow Yu Jie, who explains the development of China's space policy, and why we should be worried about US-China relations…
 
The murder of George Floyd in 2020 and subsequent global escalation of Black Lives Matter movements highlighted the racial inequalities that exist in the United States and beyond. In the United Kingdom and many other former colonial states these movements have come to reflect upon the ongoing legacies of empire in modern society. Today, colonial hi…
 
This week, Undercurrents is joined by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to explore a new report on the humanitarian crises that require global attention in 2022. A record number of people across the world are in need of humanitarian assistance. 20 countries which are home to 10% of the global population account for 89% of global humanitarian…
 
On 6 January 2021, a large crowd supporting the defeated President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol. The violence which ensued resulted in the deaths of at least seven people, and caused shockwaves around the world. In this episode Ben is joined by Gabriella Cook-Francis, the Leland Foundation Association of Marshall Scholars Transatlantic Acade…
 
The twin crises of COVID-19 and climate change have exposed weaknesses in the institutions and diplomatic relationships designed to support global governance. In a new series of articles for Chatham House, author and journalist John Kampfner has been exploring how competition between the United States and China has exacerbated these faultlines. In …
 
Piccadilly Circus is one of the best-known landmarks in London, but the site has undergone significant change in the past 100 years. How has this affected the lives and livelihoods of local people? For this bonus episode of Undercurrents, the team explore the history of Piccadilly Circus with help from the Chatham House SNF CoLab. The CoLab is a pr…
 
As the new omicron variant spreads across the globe, and vaccine distribution continues to reveal inequities between the global North and South, Mariana catches up with Rob Yates (Director of the Global Health Programme at Chatham House) to find out where things stand going into 2022. Then, Ben is joined by Leonard Schuette (a PhD candidate from th…
 
Transatlantic Tech Talks is a three part mini-series on the Undercurrents podcast feed, produced with the support of Microsoft, which explores the state of international cooperation on digital governance between Europe, the UK and USA. As technological innovation accelerates, and new digital tools and business models arise, governments are working …
 
Transatlantic Tech Talks is a three part mini-series on the Undercurrents podcast feed, produced with the support of Microsoft, which explores the state of international cooperation on digital governance between the United States, the UK and Europe. As technological innovation accelerates, and new digital tools and business models arise, government…
 
Transatlantic Tech Talks is a three part mini-series on the Undercurrents podcast feed, produced with the support of Microsoft, which explores the state of international cooperation on digital governance between the United States, the UK and Europe. As technological innovation accelerates, and new digital tools and business models arise, government…
 
Since its publication in 1944, many Americans have described Gunnar Myrdal’s An American Dilemma as a defining text on US race relations. Funded by the Carnegie Corporation, Myrdal's research explored the socio-economic conditions experienced by much of the black population in the United States, and proposed policies which would encourage assimilat…
 
As the dust settles from COP26, the 2021 UN climate summit, Ben is joined by Anna Aberg to discuss the key outcomes and insights from the conference. They consider the progress made on mitigation, adaptation, climate finance and the so-called 'Paris rulebook', and look ahead to what the agenda could look like in a year's time at COP27. Then Mariana…
 
In this episode of Smart Peace, we explore the recent history of peacebuilding in Myanmar through the experience of the Smart Peace project. Smart Peace is a global initiative led by Conciliation Resources, which combines the varied expertise of different consortium partners to address the challenges of building peace – focusing on the Central Afri…
 
Smart Peace is a new podcast mini-series on the Undercurrents podcast feed. Over three episodes Ben explores new approaches to peacebuilding and conflict resolution with experts from the Smart Peace project. Smart Peace is a global initiative led by Conciliation Resources, which combines the varied expertise of different consortium partners to addr…
 
For the last two weeks the latest UNFCCC climate summit has taken place in Glasgow, UK. Policymakers from all over the world have gathered at COP26 to attempt to agree on increasingly ambitious plans to tackle the climate crisis. In this episode, Ben shares some interviews from the fringes of COP26. Simon Mundy, Moral Money Editor at the Financial …
 
As the first week of the UN climate change summit, COP26, takes place in Glasgow, Ben and Mariana return with two contrasting interviews on the climate crisis. Ben speaks to Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia and President of the Asia Society, about the geopolitics of climate action. They discuss China's role in the climate negotiations…
 
It’s been over a year since George Floyd’s murder made the Black Lives Matter movement globally recognised. Since then, the struggle for racial justice and equality has permeated organisations and communities, including Chatham House. In recognition of its advocacy and campaigning, and as part of its centenary celebrations, Chatham House staff awar…
 
In Hungary, France and Spain, new political movements from the far-right are attempting to reshape their education systems. Under the supportive eye of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, the recently established National University of Public Service seeks to embed nationalist illiberal values in a new generation of Hungarian students. Meanwhile in France…
 
The controversial AUKUS security agreement, perceived by some as a way to counter China's expansionist ambitions, has underlined the geopolitical significance of the Indo-Pacific region. One possible site of future conflict in the region is the Taiwan Straits, which separate the Republic of Taiwan from the Asian mainland. In this episode, Amrit spe…
 
20 years ago the United States suffered the worst terror attacks in its history, sparking a fundamental shift in US foreign policy towards the Middle East. Many citizens in the United States and beyond can still remember where they were on 11 September, 2001. But what do younger generations think about 9/11? To find out, Ben speaks to three colleag…
 
Amidst severe governance challenges, Hezbollah has risen to become the dominant political actor in Lebanon. In this episode, Mariana is joined by Dr Lina Khatib, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House, to discuss the dynamics underlying the Lebanese political system, and how a series of crises have affected the bala…
 
The COVID-19 pandemic, new systems of digital repression and the strengthening of authoritarian governments around the world have put significant strain on the international human rights system. To consider the prospects for multilateral human rights protection and the role that civil society activism can play in this, Ben is joined by Dr Agnès Cal…
 
The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered national lockdowns and closed down borders across the world. In this context, the need to protect the rights and welfare of refugees has become even more acute. To discuss the threats facing forcibly displaced populations, and the policy responses required to mitigate them, Ben is joined by Emily Venturi, the Sch…
 
In this bonus episode, Chatham House has teamed up with the Asia Matter podcast to co-publish a discussion of the latest developments in Myanmar. The most shocking political development in Asia so far this year is arguably the seizure of power by the military in Myanmar, and the arrest of the country’s former de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The m…
 
In this week's episode, Mariana is joined by Hameed Hakimi from the Asia-Pacific Programme to discuss the implications of the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. They consider, among other things, the strength of Afghan governance structures, the prospects for the Taliban, and the complexity of responding to widespread population movement in the …
 
In the wake of the storming of Capitol Hill on 6 January 2021, social media platforms took steps to remove former President Donald Trump from their websites for infringing community standards. This step was welcomed by many, but also raised serious questions about the power of social media companies to limit free speech and censor elected officials…
 
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused governments across the world to re-imagine their systems for engaging with citizens. Many have turned to digital tools to find new ways of tracking the spread of the virus, and to deliver public services during national lockdowns. In this episode of Undercurrents, Ben is joined by Kyriakos Pierrakakis, the Minister …
 
In this episode, Undercurrents has teamed up with Saferworld's Warpod to discuss security forces in Nigeria and the role played by young people in trying to bring about change. The episode is broken into two halves. Abigail Watson and Delina Goxho are first joined by Tarela Ike from Teesside University and Odeh Friday from Accountability Lab. They …
 
This week Lara Hollmann and Mariana Vieira bring you two fascinating interviews with recent contributors to Chatham House's publications, International Affairs and The World Today. First, Lara speaks to Dr Sophie Harman from Queen Mary University of London about her research into the gender dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sophie argues that for …
 
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