Episodes

Global navigation satellite systems

GPS is a critical part of our everyday lives and underpins much of the infrastructure surrounding us. But the GPS satellite system is just one of a growing list of so-called global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) that can provide space-based positioning, navigation, and timing. In this episode, we explore how GPS fits into the larger...

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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...

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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...

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Spotlight: Lesotho

In this episode, we look into the history and current affairs of Lesotho, a country roughly size of Maryland that is landlocked in South Africa. Much of Lesotho’s history and culture has been shaped by its mountainous terrain, which historically served as a fortress from outside threats. Today,  the Lesotho highlands play an integral part...

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Olympic Terrorism

The Olympic Games have long been a symbol of sportsmanship and national pride. However, they can also be a target of terrorism. In this episode, we explore case studies of how organizations and nations have attempted to commit acts of terrorism in the context of Olympic Games. We will also examine how future Olympic hosts...

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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,...

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Why Nations Fail

Professor Robinson joins us for a candid discussion about his book, ‘Why Nations Fail’. In it, he makes the case that the key differentiator between countries is “institutions.” Nations thrive when they develop “inclusive” political and economic institutions, and they fail when those institutions become “extractive” and concentrate power and opportunity in the hands of...

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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...

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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...

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Ethiopia and Eritrea’s Sudden Peace

Ethiopia and Eritrea have been in near constant tension over the past several decades. In recent months, however, the two countries have ended their state of war and are working toward full normalization of relations. In this episode, we explore the history of conflict and tension between Ethiopia and Eritrea and then discuss the recent...

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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...

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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...

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Water Scarcity

In this episode, we examine the growing issue of water scarcity that has begun to plague cities and regions around the world. From California to Cape Town to Sao Paulo, we assess the causes and effects of water scarcity, and also discuss what to expect in the future. Dig Deeper Take a look at some...

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Hello, Shadowlands – Organized Crime in Southeast Asia

In this episode, we speak with journalist Patrick Winn about his book, Hello, Shadowlands. Our conversation explores the various organized criminal groups, terrorist organizations, and even vigilante groups operating within Southeast Asian countries. Patrick provides insights into some of the causes of violence and drug trade in the region, describes the struggles of individuals caught...

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