Author

About the Author
John is a graduate student in International Affairs at The George Washington University and serves as the Director of Public Relations for Matters of State. Originally from Central Texas, John earned a B.A. in linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. He lived in South Korea for nearly three years, teaching English on Jeju Island before studying Korean in Seoul. John’s academic and professional interests are international security and East Asian affairs.

Vanishing Fish

In this episode, we speak with Dr. Daniel Pauly, an award-winning marine biologist at the University of British Colombia. Dr. Pauly speaks with us about his new book, Vanishing Fish: Shifting Baselines and the Future of Global Fisheries, which examines the world’s reserves of fish, commercial fisheries, and the various crises they both face. 

PLEASE NOTE: Minutes 1:35-4:35 are low-quality audio (but don’t worry, it gets better).

Find below a few links related to this episode:

Vanishing Fish: Shifting Baselines and the Future of Global Fisheries

Sea Around Us

Institute of Oceans and Fish at University of British Colombia


Fentanyl

In 2017, the US Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency, often referred to as the opioid crisis. This crisis, which addresses the significantly imbalanced ratio of prescription drugs to the patient population, often overshadows the illicit side of this public emergency. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, which straddles the licit and illicit drug trade. Known for its extreme potency, fentanyl’s recent emergence into drug markets is taking the place of popular illegal drugs such as heroin and cocaine.

In today’s episode, we discuss the danger fentanyl poses to users, its supply chain, and its potential impact to the illegal drug trade.

Dig Deeper

Take a look at some of our favorite articles that we came across while researching this topic:

Invasive Species

As humans have migrated around the world throughout the centuries, they often brought with them various animals and plants to help colonize this planet. Whether intending to establish sources for food in otherwise barren landscapes or unleashing unknown stowaway creatures, humans have unwittingly caused countless invasions by other foreign organisms.

In this episode, we discuss invasive species – from cane toad to cat – and the impact they can have on the new lands they occupy.

International Relations of the Amazon

The Amazon is the world’s largest rainforest, covering 40% of South America and spanning eight countries and one territory across the continent. It is home to a broad array of languages and cultures that must find a way to ensure a peaceful coexistence.

In this episode, we explore the international relations of the eight countries of the Amazon. We also discuss how these states oversee their portions of the Amazon and govern the rainforest’s inhabitants. In closing, we examine the future of the Amazon, both in its role as a vital climate regulator and as a source of some of the world’s most important natural resources.

Dig Deeper

Take a look at some of our favorite articles that we came across while researching this topic:

The Heart of Nuba: A Conversation With Doctor Tom Catena

In this episode, we speak with Dr. Tom Catena, the current Chair of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, about his work at the Mother Mercy Hospital in the Nuba Mountain region of Sudan.

The people of Sudan’s Nuba Mountains have long been marginalized by the government of Sudan under the regime of Omar Al-Bashir. Since the region rebelled against Sudan’s rule in 2011, Nubians have lived under constant fear of government violence.

Dr. Catena provides insights into the current conflict, his work to provide medical assistance to those suffering in the region, and how localized aid can offer much-needed support to the Nuba Mountain region and other conflict-ridden areas.

You can find out more about Dr. Catena’s work by watching his documentary, The Heart of Nuba.

Dig Deeper

Take a look at some of our favorite resources that we came across while researching this topic:

Spotlight: Papua New Guinea

In today’s episode, we put a spotlight on the island nation of Papua New Guinea. PNG, bordering Indonesia and Australia on the edge of the south Pacific ocean, is defined by its diversity. Incredibly rich in resources and cultures, Papua New Guinea faces unprecedented challenges that many other nations do not face. In this episode, we discuss how PNG’s cultural and political makeup internally challenge any efforts for it to fit into international society.

Uncontacted Peoples

How far do the limits of modern society reach? What is “modern society,” and who belongs to it? What happens when states, organizations, and other members of the “connected world” come into contact with groups that may have little intersection with it? Should these groups be actively protected, thoroughly researched, or simply left alone? Follow along with us as we wrestle with these questions and more during this week’s episode, “Uncontacted Peoples.”

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Emergency Warning Systems

Emergency warning systems are used by countries across the world to alert citizens about a variety of incidents, from natural disasters to military threats. Modern emergency warning systems are taking advantage of new technologies such as text messaging to ensure warnings reach the broadest possible audience. These systems, however, vary in their effectiveness and are vulnerable to human error and even malicious interference.

In this episode, we look into the history of emergency warning systems, provide examples of how these systems have been leveraged across various countries, and discuss their level of effectiveness in ensuring citizen safety.

Dig Deeper

Take a look at some of our favorite articles that we came across while researching this topic:

Bride Trafficking

The term “mail order brides” does not often invoke similar connotations to human trafficking, but bride trafficking is just that. Victims of this trade are forced to marry men they don’t know from foreign countries that are sometimes thousands of miles away from their homes and families. While it is worth noting that this industry isn’t exclusive to women, women and girls make up the majority of most cases.

People are trafficked for marriage, sex, and labor in virtually every country.  In this episode, we focus on bride trafficking in some of the countries where it is most prevalent. Marriage brokers provide men in developed countries with services to find women for marriage, often from developing countries. Sources for these brides often come from the Philippines, Vietnam, or Cambodia. In all of these source countries, marriage brokers are illegal.

China is one major destination of trafficked brides. Due to numerous demographic issues such as China’s one child policy, Chinese men source brides from countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, or even Ukraine. North Korea serves as a unique source for women in bride trafficking, as refugee flows coming out of North Korea provide a supply of exploitable women.

India is another common location for trafficked brides, most sourced internally. Young women or girls in India are often tricked or coerced, sometimes by family members, into marrying men from provinces in India with severe gender imbalances in the local populations. Other times, men from Middle Eastern countries travel to India for “contract” marriages, where men marry young girls for a limited period of time, before divorcing them upon return to their home countries. Contract marriages can also be permanent, where men will bring their Indian brides to their home countries. 

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National Apologies

Around the world, governments and nation-states have issued–and continue to issue–national apologies to victimized communities, populations, or countries. These apologies are often contentious and can cause ripple effects that influence foreign or domestic policies.

In this episode, we discuss what qualifies as a “national apology,” look at why national apologies are issued, and examine whether or not they achieve their intended goals.

Dig Deeper

Take a look at some of our favorite articles that we came across while researching this topic: