Podcast

Spotlight: Cyprus

The island nation of Cyprus can be summed up in one word: divided. Since gaining independence from Great Britain in 1960, tensions between the ethnically Greek and Turkish sides of the island escalated to a Greek coup d’Etat attempt and invasion by Turkey in 1974. This conflict has resulted in the island being split, monitored, and guarded by the UN and a reunification debate that continues to this day. Read More

Landmines and Unexploded Ordnance

Special guest Jamie Franklin, Executive Director of Mines Advisory Group America, joins us for a discussion on the post-war effects of land mines and campaigns to eliminate them.  Read More

Unrecognized Countries

What makes a country a country? In this episode, we look at Transnistria, Taiwan, and Somaliland while exploring competing definitions of statehood. Read More

Zoos in Conflict Zones

One of the many stories that go untold in conflict zones is the fate of zoos and their animals. There are concerns for the animals’ safety as well as for humans if predatory animals escape. In this episode, we explore just a few examples of efforts to safeguard zoos during war. Read More

The Nicaragua Canal

The Panama Canal’s opening in 1914 transformed global trade and fostered economic development in Panama. Today, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and Chinese financier Wang Jing are trying to emulate its success by constructing a canal through Nicaragua. Read More

Lost Nuclear Materials

As the world turns its focus toward nuclear proliferation issues in North Korea and Iran, the international community faces another critical threat: the loss or theft of nuclear materials. This episode explores security risks of lost or stolen nuclear materials, provides case studies to illustrate the threat, and details how countries are addressing this problem. Read More

Conflict in South Sudan

South Sudan has been plagued by a brutal civil war that has killed thousands and displaced millions, with violence threatening to spill into neighboring countries, Meanwhile, the international community has failed to work with the competing factions to agree to a sustainable peace agreement, as there is little hope for any lasting peace in the near future. Read More

Michael McFaul, former Ambassador to Russia

Michael McFaul, former Ambassador to Russia, joins us from Stanford for a conversation about his time serving during the Russian reset, what it’s like to be the target of a Russian disinformation campaign, and his new book, From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia.

McFaul served for five years in the Obama administration, first as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House and then as the 7th U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation. McFaul became the first non-career diplomat to be the U.S. ambassador to Russia.

He returned to academia and now is Professor of Political Science, Director and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is also an analyst for NBC News and a contributing columnist to The Washington Post.

Tourism in North Korea

North Korea is notoriously isolated, but Daniel Wertz explains that the Hermit Kingdom in fact welcomes tourism – or at least tourist dollars. In this episode, our guest helps us understand what tourism looks like in North Korea and discusses the moral questions regarding tourism to the country.

Spotlight: Mali

Following the death of three US soldiers in Nigeria, there has been a re-examination of the relationship between terrorism, Western intervention, and African nations. Given that Africa is seen as a strategic priority in preventing the spread of terrorism, we examine the history, current state, and future of Mali in this context. 

Throughout the show, we discuss the history of the country, including its ancient role on the continent, its modern contemporary history in relation to politics and external influence. Then we will look at the emergence of terrorism in Mali, separatist movements, and French intervention. Lastly, we examine the future of the country and the role of the international community.