Global Dispatches -- World News That Matters

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Journalists, policymakers, diplomats and scholars discuss under-reported news, trends and topics from around the world. Named by The Guardian as “One of 27 Podcasts to Make You Smarter” Global Dispatches is podcast about foreign policy and world affairs.

Mark Leon Goldberg

    • Aug 8, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
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    Latest episodes from Global Dispatches -- World News That Matters

    Kenya's UN Ambassador Martin Kimani | Live from the Aspen Security Forum

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 8, 2022 20:56

    Kenya's Ambassador to the United Nations Martin Kimani gave a viral speech at the UN Security Council on the eve of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Months later, Ambassador Kimani reflects on the impact of that speech and why Russian aggression against Ukraine is so resonant to Africa's own experience with colonialism.  Our conversation was recorded live at the Aspen Security Forum in Mid July and Ambassador Kimani also discusses the impact of the war in Ukraine on Kenya and what opportunities still exist for multilateralism in a divided world.   

    How The Global Food Crisis is Impacting People and Politics in the Middle East

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 4, 2022 20:39

    Prior to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Middle East was heavily dependent on importing food from Ukraine and Russia. The disruption of grain exports from the Black Sea region has had a profoundly negative impact on food security in the Middle East. I'm joined today my Arnaud Quemin, Middle East regional director for Mercy Corps. We kick off discussing what the food security situation in the region looked like before the war and then have an extended conversation about how the global food crisis is impacting people and politics in the Middle East. 

    The Philippines Gets a New President With A Very Familiar Name

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 1, 2022 23:28

    On May 9th, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was elected President of the Philippines. If that name sounds familiar to you, it is because he is the son of Ferdinand Marcos Senior, the brutal kleptocrat who ruled the Philippines for nearly 20 years. Marcos Jr., who is commonly known as “Bongbong,” took office on June 30th succeeding Rodrigo Duterte, whose six year term was marked by a sharp deterioration of human rights in the Philippines, including a so-called “war on drugs” in which several thousands of people were extrajudicially killed by state security forces. Bongbong Marcos' vice president is Rodrigo Duterte's daughter, Sara Duterte.  To help explain this new chapter in Philippines politics is Dr. Tom Smith, Principle Lecturer in International Relations for the University of Portsmouth, and the Academic Director to the Royal Air Force College.

    Kenya is Holding a High-Stakes Election

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 28, 2022 31:18

    Kenyans will go to the polls on August 9th to elect a new president. The current president, Uhuru Kenyatta, is term limited from seeking re-election and the two main candidates are both very familiar figures in Kenyan politics.  William Ruto is currently the Deputy to President Kenyatta. But the two men had a falling out and now President Kenyatta is backing Ruto's main rival, Raila Odinga. For his part, this is Odinga's fifth time running for president.  Kenya has a recent history of highly competitive elections that are sometimes accompanied by violence. Disputed elections in 2007 lead to over 1,000 people killed and hundreds of thousands displaced from their homes. On the line with me to help make sense of all this political intrigue and explain the significance of these elections is Caroline Kimeu. East Africa Correspondent for The Guardian.   

    Poland's Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Pryzdaz | Live From the Aspen Security Forum

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 25, 2022 20:03

    I caught up with Poland's Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Pryzdaz at the Aspen Security Conference in mid July.  Poland is a front line state to the crisis in Ukraine and has been directly impacted by Russia's invasion, including hosting millions of Ukrainian refugees. Poland was also and early target of Vladimir Putin's efforts to use gas exports as a kind of blackmail; and when Poland refused to pay for Russian gas in Rubles, Russian gas was abruptly cut off.  I kick off my conversation with the Deputy Foreign Minister with a discussion about the refugee situation in Poland. We have an extended conversation about how Poland responded to Russia's abrupt suspension of gas exports and what lessons from that episode Poland might impart on other countries in Europe. We then have a broad conversation about how Poland's proximity to the fighting in Ukraine is shaping its approach to that conflict.  

    Is the US Inflating The Military Threat From China?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 21, 2022 32:32

    Official and unofficial pronouncements from many sectors of the American foreign policy and political establishment routinely portray China as a major military threat to the United States --even claiming that this threat is existential.  This is part of a pattern that my guest today calls "threat inflation" which he argues leads to policy decisions that paradoxically leaves the US less secure.  Michael D Swaine, is director of the east asia program at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. He is the author of a new report titled "Threat Inflation and the Chinese Military" which shows how US officials may be exaggerating the military threat from China and what he argues are problematic policies that stem from inflated threat perceptions.  

    Why There's a a Resurgence of Armed Conflict in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 18, 2022 28:02

    In November 2021, a rebel group known as M23 carried out a series of surprising attacks in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. By the spring and summer of 2022, M23 had captured even more territory in this region.  These attacks caught many by surprise because the M23 was believed to be largely defunct But nearly 10 years later, the group is now engaged in battles with the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo for control of strategic locations in eastern DRC. My guest today Kwezi Mngqibisa is a Research Associate at the Center for African Diplomacy and Leadership at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. We kick off discussing the background of the M23 rebel group, before having a broader discussion about its apparent re-formation and why a persistent failure to address the legitimate grievances of people in the eastern DRC are fueling conflict in the region.   

    From "Pariah" to Partner: Why President Biden is Going to Saudi Arabia

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 13, 2022 20:59

    Joe Biden is traveling to the Middle East for the first time as President, with stops in Israel, Palestine -- and most notably Saudi Arabia. As a candidate for president, Biden called the Saudi government a "pariah." Just weeks after taking office, he released an assessment from the US intelligence community revealing that US intelligence believes that Mohammad bin Salman approved of the operation that lead to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.  Yet in the face of high oil prices and the perceived need to re-calibrate US alliances in the region, Biden apparently feels compelled to make this trip. Kristen Diwan is senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, DC . We kick off discussing the recent history of US-Saudi relations -- going back through key moments of the Obama and Trump administrations before having a broader conversation about what this trip says about both Biden's approach to the Middle East and the Saudi government's key foreign and domestic policy priorities.     

    How to Stop the Global Food Crisis From Getting Worse | Sir Mark Lowcock

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 11, 2022 25:16

    Food prices are soaring around the world, and along with it so are rates of food insecurity and the risk of famine.  As my guest today, Sir Mark Lowcock explains, this is only partly due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which exacerbated an already worsening situation. Mark Lowcock is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Center for Global Development and author of the new book Relief Chief: A Manifesto for Saving Lives in Dire Times. He served as the top United Nations humanitarian official from 2017 to 2021 and prior to that had a long career in the British government, including as the top civil servant in the Department for International Development. We kick off discussing what we know about the worst global food crisis in several decades before having a broader conversation about its causes, consequences -- and specific actions that can be taken to prevent this crisis from getting worse.    

    The Last Humanitarian Lifeline To Syria May Soon Be Severed | A view from Northern Syria and the United Nations

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 4, 2022 36:17

    As the Syrian civil war escalated, the Syrian government began obstructing access to humanitarian relief in rebel held parts of the country. So, in 2014 the UN Security Council took the extraordinary step of allowing the United Nations to deliver humanitarian relief to parts of Syria without the consent of the Syrian government and in violation of Syrian sovereignty. Since then, humanitarian aid has been able to reach besieged parts of Syria through border crossings, mainly from Turkey into Northern Syria. But in recent years divisions at the Security Council, namely Russian objections to this arrangement, have significantly limited this aid operation. There is now just one border crossing in which aid is delivered from Turkey to rebel held parts of Idlib province in northern Syria. And on July 10th, that last border crossing may close.  Today's episode is in two parts. First, you will hear from Vanessa Jackson the UN representative for Care International. She explains the broader diplomatic context in which this last border crossing may be forced shut by Russia. Then, you will hear my conversation with Ismail Alabdullah who is a volunteer in Idlib with the White Helmets, a local humanitarian relief and rescue organization. He discusses at length the humanitarian situation in Idlib and the implications of severing the last cross border lifeline of humanitarian aid. 

    Hostage Diplomacy and the Case of Brittney Griner

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 30, 2022 31:43

    Brittney Griner is an American basketball superstar. On February 17th, she was arrested in an airport outside of Moscow allegedly for possession of cannabis oil. She has been held in a Russian jail ever since and her trial is scheduled to begin on July 1.  Brittney Griner's case is a text book example of what my guest today calls "Hostage Diplomacy." Dani Gilbert is an Assistant Professor of Military and Strategic studies at the US Air Force Academy.  She is a leading researcher and expert on the causes and consequences of hostage taking in international security. We kick off discussing the circumstances of Brittney Griner's arrest and detention in Russia and then have a conversation about how the US government approaches situations in which an American abroad is wrongfully detained. This leads us to a broader discussion about trends in hostage diplomacy around the world.   

    Why is Turkey Blocking Sweden and Finland from Joining NATO?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 27, 2022 31:50

    Sweden and Finland have both formally requested to become members of the NATO alliance. To admit new members to NATO requires the approval of all existing NATO members and so far, Turkey is objecting. My guest today, Sibel Oktay, is associate professor at University of Illinois at Springfield and non-resident senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.  We kick off with a discussion about Turkey's specific grievances with Sweden and Finland and then have a broader conversation about how this dustup between Turkey and the rest of NATO fits into broader patterns in Turkish foreign policy. This includes a long discussion of Turkey's approach to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

    Ethnic Violence is Escalating in Ethiopia

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 23, 2022 33:09

    On June 19th, reports began to emerge of a mass atrocity in the Ethiopian region of Oromia committed against members of the Amhara ethnic group. This latest attack fits into a broader pattern of ethnic violence in Ethiopia since the outbreak of civil war in November 2020. Laetitia Bader is the Horn of Africa Director at Human Rights Watch. She contributed to a joint Human Rights Watch-Amnesty International report titled "We Will Erase You from This Land:  Crimes Against Humanity and Ethnic Cleansing in Ethiopia's Western Tigray Zone."  The report finds evidence of an organized campaign of ethnic cleansing against Tigrayan people, which is occurring in the context of Ethiopia's ongoing civil war. 

    Iran Nuclear Diplomacy Enters a Perilous New Phase

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 20, 2022 27:34

    In early June, Iran took the dramatic step of turning off some monitoring cameras in key nuclear facilities that had been installed by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The move came in reaction to a vote by the IAEA board of governors to censor Iran over its lack of cooperation with IAEA inspectors. This latest turn in the ongoing saga of nuclear diplomacy with Iran is further indication of just how precarious the 2015 Nuclear deal seems to be.  Laura Rozen is a veteran reporter who has closely followed the contours of Iran nuclear diplomacy over many years. She is a member of the Just Security editorial board and writes the "Diplomatic" newsletter on Substack We kick off discussing the state of the JCPOA as Biden inherited it in 2021 before discussing how nuclear diplomacy with Iran in the past two years has unfolded, leading to this latest crisis over the removal of IAEA monitoring cameras.   

    Can Justice and Accountability Solve Nigeria's Security Challenges?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 16, 2022 24:54

    On June 5th, armed men attacked worshipers at a Catholic Church in the city of Owo, Nigeria. Scores of people were reportedly killed and many more injured. My guest today,  Idayat Hassan, is director of the Center for Democracy and Development in Nigeria. We kick off discussing this church attack as well as another high profile recent attack on a train in northern Nigeria. Idayat Hassan then describes how these attacks fit into broader patterns of insecurity in Nigeria.   The increasing insecurity in parts of Nigeria today comes less than a year ahead of major national presidential elections scheduled in February 2023. But as Idayat Hassan explains the candidates are not emphasizing getting to the root cause of insecurity -- which she forcefully argues stems from a broken judicial system.   

    Can The Monkeypox Outbreak Be Contained?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 13, 2022 29:08

    At time of recording there have been over 1,000 confirmed cases of Monkey Pox across 29 countries -- mostly in Europe and North America. The actual number of cases circulating in the population is likely much higher.  We are in the midst of an outbreak of Monkey Pox, which is rarely found outside of West Africa.   My guest today, Dr. Eric Toner is a Senior Scholar at The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. We kick off discussing what exactly Monkey Pox is and how spreads before having a broader conversation about ongoing efforts to contain this outbreak. As Dr. Toner explains, many of the unique qualities of Monkey Pox -- including that we already have an effective vaccine against it, suggests that this outbreak is very much containable.   

    Climate-Related Mobility and Conflict: Pathways to Peace and Human Security | Recorded Live

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 9, 2022 62:19

    Today's episode was recorded live in front of a virtual audience at a side event of the International Migration Review Forum. The episode is produced in partnership with CGIAR and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.  The event was titled "Climate-related mobility and conflict: Pathways to peace and human security" and includes some extended expert commentary on this topic.  You will first hear from Sheggen Fan, system board member CGIAR followed by remarks from Shukri Ahmed, Deputy Director Office of Emergencies and Resilience at the FAO. I then moderate a panel discussion featuring: Prof. Dr. Vally Koubi, a Professor at and the Director of the Center for Comparative and International Studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology – Zurich. Dr Bina Desai, Head of Programs with the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center Pablo Escribano,  Regional Thematic Specialist for the Americas: Migration, Environment and Climate Change with the International Organization for Migration. and Prof Dr. Marisa O. Ensor, Adjunct Professor with the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University.  After they take some questions from the audience, some concluding remarks are offered by Katrina Kosec, Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Lecturer at Johns Hopkins University.  

    Colombia's VERY Surprising Presidential Election

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 6, 2022 26:31

    Colombia held the first round of its presidential elections on May 29th and it is hard to overstate just how surprised most analysts were by the results. For generations, Colombia has been dominated by a small political establishment that ranges from the center right to the hard right. Unlike other countries in the Latin America, Colombia has never elected a President from the left wing; nor has Colombia ever experienced a right wing populist.    Yet this be the choice as Colombians head to the polls in a run-off presidential election on June 19th. The left wing politician Gustavo Petro earned about 40% of the vote in the first round; and defying all expectations a 77 year old right wing populist Rudolfo Hernandez bested the establishment candidate to come in second place, with about 28% of the vote. His personal wealth, bluster, and clever use of social media have earned comparisons to Donald Trump.  My guest today Elizabeth Dickinson is Senior Analyst for Colombia at the International Crisis Group. She breaks down the first round election results and explains why these results are so surprising. We take a deep dive into the interesting biographies of these candidates then have an extended conversation about what these elections mean for the worsening security situation in Colombia and a landmark 2016 peace deal that ended Colombia's long running civil war with the FARC insurgency.   

    The Fascinating Origin Story of the United Nations Environment Program, UNEP

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 2, 2022 30:02

    The United Nations Environment Program, UNEP, turns 50 years old this year. And in early June world leaders are gathering in the city where UNEP was born to commemorate this milestone in a conference known as Stockholm+50.  Maria Ivanova wrote the book on the absolutely fascinating history of the United Nations Environment Program.  She is a professor of Global Governance at the University of Massachusetts Boston and author of the book "The Untold Story of the World's Leading Environmental Institution: UNEP at 50."  We kick off discussing the historical context in which UNEP was born before having a broader conversation about some of the key decisions and key moments from the 50 year history of the UN's first global environmental body.  

    These Lessons from COVID Can Help Us Prevent the Next Pandemic | Dr. Joanne Liu

    Play Episode Listen Later May 30, 2022 29:58

    Dr. Joanne Liu is a professor at the School of Population and Global Health at McGill University and a practicing physician at the University of Montreal. She is the former international president of Medicines Sans Frontiers/Doctors Without Borders and for the purposes of this conversation she served on the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response.  This panel was co-chaired former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and Former President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. It was formed by the World Health Organization in 2020 to provide an audit of how both the WHO and its member states were responding to COVID-19 and what steps need to be taken to prepare or prevent the next pandemic. As Dr. Joanne Liu explains, world leaders need to be approaching pandemic preparedness and response as if it were a potentially existential threat to humanity, on par with a nuclear catastrophe. This requires far greater levels of political attention than it currently receives.  We discuss at length why global cooperation around pandemic preparedness is lagging and what steps need to be taken in the near term to change course.     

    What does the Human Rights Council mean to victims of atrocities? | Inside Geneva

    Play Episode Listen Later May 26, 2022 40:54

    Today's episode of Global Dispatches is a promotion for a podcast that I think many of my listeners will find valuable. The podcast is called “Inside Geneva,” in which host Imogen Foulkes puts big questions facing the world to the experts working to tackle them in Switzerland's international city. Inside Geneva is is produced by Swissinfo, a public service media company based in Bern, Switzerland. In this episode, Imogen Foulkes talks to human rights defenders and investigators bringing their cases to the UN Human Rights Council. You will hear from a diverse array of human rights defenders, investigators and victims of human rights abuses as they pursue justice at the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council.  

    Biden is Sending Hundreds of American Troops to Somalia and Expanding US Drone Strikes

    Play Episode Listen Later May 23, 2022 26:32

    President Biden has authorized the deployment of hundreds of American Special Operations forces to Somalia to assist the Somali government in its fight against al-Shabaab.  According to the New York Times President Biden has also authorized a Pentagon plan to step up airstrikes against al-Shabaab leadership.  This increased US military engagement in Somalia comes at a time of transition in Somalia. After years of political wrangling, Somalia's Parliament has elected a new President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who took office on May 15th. Meanwhile, the African Union's about 20,000 strong peacekeeping force in Somalia is beginning a process of winding down.  My guest today, Harun Maruf, is a veteran journalist and editor at VOA Somali Service. I kick off by asking him how news of increased US military involvement in Somalia is being received in Mogadishu and beyond. We then have an extended conversation about the security situation in Somalia today. 

    Chinese "Debt Trap Diplomacy" is a Myth

    Play Episode Listen Later May 19, 2022 29:49

    The idea that China engages in so-called "Debt Trap Diplomacy" is almost apocryphal. There is a persistent media narrative that China makes big infrastructure investments oversees as part of its Belt and Road Initiative, and when countries cant replay those loans China seizes infrastructure.  My guest today, Deborah Brautigam, is the director of the China Africa Research Initiative at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.  She has done extensive research on Chinese-financed infrastructure investment projects in Asia and Africa and has definitively shown that the narrative of Chinese Debt Trap diplomacy is not supported by facts. We kick off discussion the origin of this myth, which stems from media commentary around Chinese investment in a port in Sri Lanka. We then discuss other examples of the perpetuation of this myth and have a broad conversation about how China (and other lenders) actually seek repayment of loans.   

    Better Know Enset, The Banana-Like "Wonder Crop" That Can Fight Food Insecurity

    Play Episode Listen Later May 16, 2022 23:50

    Enset is a relative of the banana. It has been cultivated in a parts of Ethiopia for generations because it has several unique characteristics that make it a resilient and reliable staple crop.  Despite Enset's incredible potential to support food security it is rarely -- if ever --  cultivated beyond the Ethiopian Highlands. culture. My guest, Dr. James Borrell is a research fellow at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, in the United Kingdom. He is the co-author of a recent study demonstrating that Enset could be productively grown in other regions of Africa, potentially providing a staple crop for over 100 million people.  We kick off the conversation with an extended introduction to this "wondercrop" before discussing its potential to fight hunger and food insecurity in regions beyond the Ethiopian Highlands. 

    How the United Nations is Responding to Russia's Invasion of Ukraine | Richard Gowan

    Play Episode Listen Later May 12, 2022 35:08

    Russia's invasion of Ukraine has posed a major test for the United Nations.  And while some parts of the UN system have admirably risen to the occasion, the Security Council has not.  On the line with me to assess the UN's response to Russia's invasion is Richard Gowan, the UN Director for the International Crisis Group. We kick off discussing a recent diplomatic mission by UN Secretary General to both Moscow and Kyiv before having a longer conversation about how his major international crisis is impacting diplomacy at the UN. Towards the end of the conversation Richard Gowan discusses a recent paper he wrote outlining the opportunities that this crisis may present for reforms at the UN. Ukraine War and UN Reform -- International Crisis Group     

    The Rise and Fall of Imran Khan and What's Next for Pakistan

    Play Episode Listen Later May 9, 2022 33:47

    Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan resigned on April 10th, following a no-confidence vote in Parliament. The former cricket star turned politician had served as Prime Minister since 2018,  but in recent months he had increasingly fallen out of favor with Pakistan's powerful military establishment, which has long been a dominant force in Pakistani politics.  My guest, Michael Kugelman, is Senior Associate for South Asia at the Wilson Center.  We kick off discussing how Imran Khan leveraged his celebrity as one of the greatest cricket players of all time to a career in politics. We then discuss how he governed as Prime Minister and the circumstances that lead to his downfall. Finally, we have an in-depth conversation about how this political transition in Pakistan may impact US-Pakistani relations and regional dynamics between Pakistan, India and China.   

    The View From Moldova -- Is This Putin's Next Target?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 5, 2022 27:51

    Of all the countries that border Ukraine, Moldova is arguably the most vulnerable to Russian aggression. Since 1992, Russian troops have been present in a breakaway region of Moldova called Transnistria. This is a majority Russian-speaking region that receives considerable support from Moscow.  In late April there were a series of explosions in Transnistria, the perpetrators are unknown but the explosions further heightened concerns that Russia's invasion of Ukraine would spill over into Transnistria and possibly even Moldova proper.   My guest Paula Erizanu is a journalist and author from Moldova and also based in the UK. I caught up with her from Chisinau,  Moldova's capital city.  We kick off discussing the general mood of people in Chisinau as Russia targets the nearby Ukrainian port city of Odessa. We then discuss the history of the Transnistria conflict before having a broader conversation about how Russia's invasion of Ukraine is impacting Moldovan politics and Society.  

    The Hellish Plight of African Migrants Trapped in Libya

    Play Episode Listen Later May 2, 2022 24:05

    Libya is a popular point from which Africa refugees and migrants set off for Europe. However, if caught, these migrants and refugees have been subject to indefinite detention in hellish conditions in Libya. Journalist Sally Hayden first caught wind of this story when she unexpectedly received a Facebook message from an Eritrean migrant stranded in a Libyan jail. This lead her on a reporting journey that resulted in her new book, "My Fourth Time We Drowned: Seeking Refuge on the World's Deadliest Migration Route." We kick off discussing how it is that she first started receiving messages from migrants trapped in a Libyan prison before having a broader conversation about the lives she profiles and how the European Union is partly responsible for this human rights disaster.  

    Sri Lanka is in an Economic Free Fall

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 28, 2022 31:20

    Sri Lanka is in the midst of an economic catastrophe. The government is low on foreign exchange reserves and struggling to pay off its debts. The Sri Lankan rupee has plunged in value over the last several weeks. Inflation is soaring. Fuel is scarce, and there have been widespread blackouts in major parts of the country.  This sharp economic downturn is sparking a major political crisis for the government, long controlled by a single family. But now widespread protests are posing the most significant challenge to the Rajapaksa family's grip on power in decades.  My guest today, JS Tissanayagram, is a Sri Lankan journalist and human rights activist living in the US. He kicks off describing how this crisis is impacting the daily lives of people in Sri Lanka before we have a longer conversation about the roots of this economic crisis and is political implications.   

    Sweden and Finland Want to Join NATO. What's Next? | Ivo Daalder

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 25, 2022 31:21

    Sweden and Finland are both historically neutral countries. Though both are members of the European Union, they are decidedly not members of NATO But that may soon change. In the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Finland and Sweden have signaled a desire to join the US-lead western military alliance.  On the line with me to explain the significance of Sweden and Finland joining NATO is Ivo Daalder, President of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and former US Ambassador to NATO. We kick off discussing Sweden and Finland's historic neutrality before having a longer conversation about the process of NATO membership and what impact adding these two countries to the alliance may have both militarily and diplomatically. 

    Can a UN Brokered Ceasefire in Yemen Lead to a Lasting Peace?

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 21, 2022 31:25

    Yemen remains the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. More than 17 million are food insecure with over 150,000 people experiencing famine like conditions. In late March the heads of all the main UN humanitarian agencies said Yemen was “teetering on the edge of outright catastrophe.” But after nearly eight years of war, the United Nations brokered a truce to coincide with Ramadan and last two months. So far, over two weeks in, this truce is holding. Can it lead to a broader peace agreement?  On the line with me to explain how we got to this ceasefire agreement and what happens next is Annelle Sheline, a Research Fellow in the Middle East program at the Quincy Institute. 

    The Five Reasons Countries Go to War (And How to Avoid Them) | Chris Blattman

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 18, 2022 32:02

    The economist Chris Blattman is well known in academic and policy circles for his research and writing on peace, conflict and economic development. Chris Blattman is a professor at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago and he is out with a brand new book, Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Paths to Peace. The book boils down decades of social science around peace and conflict, using examples throughout history, to explain why groups resort to war. This book is a highly accessible way for the general public to understand what many academics know about war and peace.  On May 3rd, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation will host a book event with Chris Blattman both virtually and in person in New York City. If you are interested in attending this event, you can register here. 

    French Elections: Marine Le Pen and Ascendence of the Far Right in France

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 14, 2022 29:00

    Emmanuel Macron and the far right wing politician Marine Le Pen will face off in the second round of the French presidential elections on April 24.  Macron and Le Pen last faced each in 2017, and back then Macron absolutely trounced her, defeating Le Pen by more than 30 points. But this time around the vote promises to be much closer, with many polls putting Le Pen within striking distance of Macron. On the line with me to explain what happened in the first round of voting and what to expect ahead of the final vote on April 24 is Art Goldhammer. He is a writer and translator of over 125 books from French to English and a senior affiliate at the Center for European Studies at Harvard. We kick off discussing the results of the first round before having a longer conversation about the implications of the fact that the far right wing candidate Le Pen is surging in the polls.     

    How Russian War Crimes Have Changed the Conflict in Ukraine

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 11, 2022 27:12

    As Russian forces retreated from areas around Kyiv, the whole world became aware of the scope of atrocity crimes committed in areas under Russian control. Meanwhile, the brutal bombardment of cities like Mariupol in the south of Ukraine continues. And civilians are being targeted in deadly airstrikes, included a crowded train station in the eastern city of Kramatorsk, which was crammed with civilians seeking to flee that region ahead of a Russian military advance.   As my guest today, Dr. Liana Fix, explains, these apparent war crimes will meaningfully impact both the trajectory of the conflict and any progress towards some sort of partial truce or ceasefire.  Liana Fix is the program director of the International Affairs department at Koerber Foundation, which is a Berlin based think tank.  She discusses the latest developments in the conflict in Ukraine and how Russian war crimes are changing the contours of this war.     

    Key Findings From The Latest United Nations Scientific Report on Climate Change

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 7, 2022 25:40

    Every six to eight years the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, undertakes a massive review of the latest science around climate change. Right now, we are near the end of one of these cycles of scientific review.  My guest today, Ryan Hobert, is the managing director of the United Nations Foundations climate and environment team. We kick off discussing the process behind these IPCC reports before diving deep into some of the specific findings of the latest report, released Monday.  

    Changing the Narrative of Doing Business in Africa

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 4, 2022 23:02

    How do media narratives shape people's perception of the business environment in Africa?  This question is at the heart of an innovative research project by Africa No Filter called The Business in Africa Narrative Report.  The report identifies and defines several dominant frames that western and African media invoke when covering issues on the continent. It shows how these frames lead to narratives that are often distorted from reality and harmful to the business ecosystem across Africa. Joining me from South Africa is one of the authors of the report, Moky Makura, executive director at Africa No Filter. 

    Algeria's Uncertain Political Future

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 31, 2022 37:42

    This February marked the third anniversary of the Algerian street protests and movement that lead to the ouster of president Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Bouteflika was a fixture of Algerian politics and served as President since 1999. This was a huge turning point in modern Algerian history.  The movement that lead to his ouster is called The Hirak. Joining me to discuss the impact of the impact and legacy of this movement three years on are two scholars of Algeria's politics and economy. Andrew Ferrand is a senior fellow with The Atlantic Council and author of the book The Algerian Dream.  Tinhinane El Kadi is the cofounder of the Institute for Social Science Research in Algeria and a doctoral student at the London School of Economics. We kick off discussing the circumstances that lead to the ouster of Bouteflika three years ago before having a broader conversation about Algeria's politics and economy today.  

    Inside "The Mediator's Studio" With Legendary Diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 28, 2022 31:25

    As listeners to Global Dispatches know, in many parts of the world war is a growing threat – or a harsh reality. But who are the peacemakers working to change this?  This week, we are featuring an episode of The Mediator's Studio podcast, which offers a glimpse into the normally hidden world of peace diplomacy. In this episode, one of the world's most distinguished conflict mediators, Lakhdar Brahimi, reflects on the hopes and failures of peacemaking in Afghanistan and his search for a peaceful solution to the war in Syria.  If you are a regular listener to Global Dispatches you will no doubt benefit from subscribing to The Mediator's Studio on any major podcast platform.  I've posted a link to the Mediator's Studio  in the show notes of this episode. And this absolutely fascinating conversation with a legendary diplomat will no doubt inspire you to subscribe to that podcast. So here is an episode of the Mediator's Studio featuring Lakhdar Brahimi.  Link: The Mediator's Studio

    The Promise and Perils of "Solar Radiation Modification" to Mitigate Climate Change

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 24, 2022 28:59

    The Paris Agreement set a target to limit global warming to "well below 2 degrees, but preferably to 1.5 degrees celsius compared to pre-industrial levels."  However, if present trends continue the world is set to blow past those international targets. This has lead scientists, the policy community and ethicists to consider strategies on climate change that assume the Paris Agreement targets will not be met in time.  This includes the technological innovation called "Solar Radiation Modification," which can include the injection of aerosols into the atmosphere to essentially block heat from reaching the earth.   And to that end, my guest today, Janos Pasztor has done some important work on Solar Radiation Modification for global governance and climate justice. He is the executive director of Carnegie Climate Governance Initiative and we kick off discussing what me mean by a global warming overshoot scenario that may necessitate the use of this potentially controversial Solar Radiation Modification Technology. 

    How China Views Russia's Invasion of Ukraine

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 21, 2022 36:58

    Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, one major diplomatic variable has been the stance of China. So far, China has played its cards sort of close to its chest, neither firmly denouncing Russia's aggression, nor providing Russia with meaningful support. My guest Kaiser Kuo calls China's stance thus far a kind of "pro-Russian neutrality." He is host of the Sinica Podcast in the SUP China Network and we have a long conversation about what is informing China's approach to this international crisis. We kick off discussing the history of China-Russia relations and then dive deep into China's response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.  Sinica Podcast 

    Can There Be Justice for War Crimes in Ukraine?

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 17, 2022 34:29

    War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity are being committed nearly every day in Ukraine. We can see it on our TV. Russian forces are apparently deliberately targeting civilian infrastructure in ways that violate international humanitarian law. So what opportunities might exist to hold perpetrators of atrocity crimes accountable for their actions? Joining me to discuss this question and more is Mark Kersten. He a researcher at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the Global Justice Lab at the University of Toronto, founder of the excellent blog Justice in Conflict and works at the Wayamo Foundation. We kick off with an extended conversation about the role of the International Criminal Court. We also discuss other potential opportunities and venues for justice and accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine.  

    How the War in Ukraine Will Impact Food Prices and Food Security Around the World

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 14, 2022 30:55

    Ukraine is a major exporter of key food staples around the world. Even before Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the prices of food commodities like wheat were near all time highs. Since the outbreak of armed conflicted, these prices have soared even higher.  What impact is this war having on global food supply, food prices and food security? I put this question and more to Joe Glauber, Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington and formerly the chief economist at the United States Department of Agriculture. 

    Gender, Conflict and Ukraine | Plus, a Preview of the UN's Commission on the Status of Women Conference

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 10, 2022 25:12

    I caught up with Michelle Milford Morse on International Women's Day and as the war in Ukraine entered its second week. Michelle Milford Morse is the United Nations Foundation's Vice President for Girls and Women Strategy. I wanted to speak with her to both better understand gender dynamics in armed conflict and how these dynamics are playing out today in Ukraine.  Also, we spoke about a week before the Commission on the Status of Women kicked off at UN headquarters in New York. The Commission on the Status of Women is the second-largest annual gathering at the UN and I was keen to learn from Michelle Milford Morse what to expect from this meeting and how, if at all, the war in Ukraine will impact CSW this year.   

    How Russia's Invasion of Ukraine is Seen by the United Nations

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 7, 2022 29:28

    It has been a very intense few weeks of diplomacy at the United Nations. Even before Russia mounted its full scale invasion of Ukraine there were several meetings at the Security Council intended to deter and dissuade Russia from doing so. And it was in the middle of one such Security Council meeting on February 23rd that Vladimir Putin declared war and began the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  Two days later, Russia predictably vetoed a Security Council resolution denouncing the invasion and from there, the action went to the entire UN General Assembly and its 193 member states.  Anjali Dayal is an assistant professor of International Politics at Fordham University and a longtime UN watcher. We kick off discussing the significance of this General Assembly vote before having a broader discussion about how Russia-focused diplomacy is playing out at the United Nations.  

    What if Russia Wins?

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 3, 2022 24:59

    It has been one week since Russia mounted a massive invasion of Ukraine. The Ukrainian people have thus far mounted a valorous defense of their country and have thwarted Vladimir Putin's plans for a swift victory.  Still, the situation on the ground changes by the day and Russia remains the dominant military power. This begs the question: What happens if Russia wins this war?  Liana Fix is a resident fellow at the German Marshall Fund in Washington, DC. Along with co-author Michael Kimmage recently wrote an essay in Foreign Affairs magazine describing the ways a Kremlin-controlled Ukraine would transform Europe. We kick off discussing what a Russian "victory" might look like in Ukraine before having a broader conversation about the many ways that such an outcome would upend Europe as we know it.     

    Live from Ukraine: From Frontlines of a Refugee Crisis

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 27, 2022 19:34

    It was 7pm Ukraine time on the evening of Friday February 25 when I caught up with my guest today, journalist Catia Bruno.  She had recently arrived in Lviv, a city in Western Ukraine not far from the Polish border. She was there to report to bear witness to the growing refugee and displacement crisis caused by the Russian attack on Ukraine, which began three days prior. This conversation provides a valuable perspective on the choices facing Ukrainians as many seek to leave the country while others are forced to remain.

    The British Ambassador to the United States Explains How Russia Sanctions Were Coordinated

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 23, 2022 20:37

    I caught up with Ambassador Karen Pierce in the middle of a very intense day of diplomacy on February 22.  She is the United Kingdom's Ambassador to the United States and earlier that morning Boris Johnson announced new British sanctions on certain Russian oligarchs and financial institutions. This was followed by similar sanctions announcements by the European Union and the United States later in the day.  These new sanctions come after Vladimir Putin's government formally recognized the independence of two regions of Eastern Ukraine,  and Luhansk.  This specific set of sanctions from the UK, EU and USA seem to be a very calibrated and coordinated response to this provocation, which we discuss at the outset of this interview.     

    Live From Kabul: A Female NGO Leader on Women's Rights in Afghanistan Under Taliban Rule

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 21, 2022 33:09

    I last spoke with Zuhra Bahman in early September 2021. She happened to be out of Afghanistan on a business trip when the Taliban overran Kabul a few weeks prior.  Despite the apparent danger and uncertainty, Zuhra Bahman told me that she was eager to get back home and return to work as the Afghanistan country director for the peacebuilding NGO Search for Common. Ground. Today, she is back in Kabul, which is where I caught up with her for the conversation you are about to here. And she kicks off explaining why and how she returned home.  We then have a long conversation about how she navigates her life and work as a proffessional woman in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, and how her work on peacebuilding issues continues under the new political order in Afghanistan.   

    The Russia-Ukraine Crisis: What Now?

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 16, 2022 30:20

    Over the last few days, there has been a flurry of diplomatic activity between Russia, Ukraine, the United States, Germany and France -- among others. Meanwhile, the messaging coming from the White House indicates that they believe a Russian attack on Ukraine is imminent.  I am joined by Melinda Haring of the Atlantic Council who offers some context and analysis of the recent diplomatic maneuvering. We spoke via Twitter Spaces just after President Biden concluded remarks from the White House. After I ended my interview with Melinda Haring, I noticed that the former US Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder was in the audience listening in, and he graciously agreed to take a few questions from me, impromptu.   

    Why So Many Coups in Africa Recently?

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 14, 2022 27:03

    There have been a spate of coups in Africa over the last 18 months. Most of these coups have taken place in West Africa, but not all. This includes Burkina Faso, Guinea, Chad, Sudan and two coups in Mali. This is not to mention some attempted coups, most recently in Guinea Bissau.   On the line with me to discuss why there have there been so many coups recently, and whether or not this is a trend is Solomon Dersso. He is the founder of Amani Africa, an Adis Ababa based think tank with a focus on the African Union and African Union Affairs.

    Who Are These Canadian Truckers Disrupting Ottawa? And Why?

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 9, 2022 36:18

    For about two weeks now, truck driving protesters have snarled traffic and otherwise disrupted daily life in downtown Ottawa, ostensibly to protest covid related restrictions and vaccine mandates.   These protests have spread elsewhere in Canada and for a time, forced the closure of the busiest border crossing between the United States and Canada.  Meanwhile, right wing media in the US are now cheering on these protests.    Canadian journalist Justin Ling explains what exactly is happening in Canada, and the broader political implications of this protest movement in Canada and the United States.   

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