Episodes

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,...

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Spotlight: Belarus

Today’s episode will feature a spotlight on Belarus only recognized as a country since 1991. Sandwiched between Russia and the European Union, Belarus is known as “Europe’s Last Dictatorship.” Its president, Alexander Lukashenko has held this position since being the first “democratically” elected president in 1994. Since then, Belarus has faced a sensitive diplomatic environment,...

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Human Rights and the Chocolate Industry

Nearly 70% of the world’s cocoa comes from western Africa, in countries such as Ghana and the Ivory Coast. In order to fill the global demand for chocolate, thousands of small cocoa farms often rely on slavery and child labor. Children ranging in ages from 5-16 are sent by their families with promises of education...

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Understanding National Debt

Managing national debt is a significant issue that every country in the world must face. While media outlets often report on national debt with forecasts of doom and gloom, it is important to understand that national debt is very complex, and the effects of which, both good and bad, are numerous and far-reaching. What is...

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Myanmar and Mobile Phones

Myanmar is experiencing one of the world’s fastest rollouts of mobile phones. What are the political, social, and economic effects of the smartphone revolution in Myanmar?

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Governments in Exile

What is a government, and what are the essential elements for statehood? To what extent can sovereignty be disentangled from jurisdiction over territory? In this episode, we approach these enduring questions by focusing on a unique and under-appreciated player in the international community: governments in exile. We explore the causes of governments in exile, their...

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Unorthodox Illicit Financing

The global illicit trade and financing market is worth hundreds of billions of dollars, with smugglers and financiers engaging in unorthodox illicit dealings with goods like cigarettes and medicine. Several global initiatives have tried to stem the growing trend of illicit trade and financing to protect legitimate businesses and customers. Listen as we analyze a few...

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H.E. Omar Arouna, Ambassador of Benin to the United States

[su_quote cite=”Ambassador Omar Arouna”]People need to watch Benin — the future of Africa will go through Benin.[/su_quote] This episode originally aired in May 2016. Join us on our first installment of Conversations with Ambassadors as we sit down for a chat with Omar Arouna, the then Ambassador of the Republic of Benin to the United States, Mexico, and...

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Why the Arctic Matters

As the ice in the Arctic continues to melt, countries are staking claims and preparing for economic and military development in the region. This “new frontier” has promise of prosperity, yet is rife with geopolitical risk as competition for its resources heats up between world powers like the US, Russia, and China. In this episode,...

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Al-Qaeda’s Global Network

Al-Qaeda has pervaded international headlines for years, but how much do you really know about the Islamist militant group? In this episode, we explore how the group is organized, how it is decentralized across many countries, and  how it is funded.

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Blockchain Technology

Cryptocurrencies from Bitcoin to Ripple were hot topics in 2017, but how much do you understand how they work? Blockchain technology is a rapidly expanding industry that underpins these cryptocurrencies. As this data architecture grows, it may spread to transform how other sectors process and store data. This conversation on the blockchain was originally published in September...

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Asteroid Mining and the Outer Space Treaty

What do we get out of space?  What rules do countries use to ensure that everyone will “play fair” with the resources that might be out there? Will these rules truly ensure that countries will play fair in space, or will the same political dynamics that divide us here on Earth continue to plague us indefinitely out into...

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Foreign Policy of Pope Francis

What has made Pope Francis such a dynamic international figure who has captivated Catholic and non-Catholic audiences worldwide? In this episode, we explore key events that have shaped Pope Francis’ foreign policy.  Note: This episode was originally published in December 2016. Given the Pope’s recent comments regarding sensational media, we decided to re-post this episode to...

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Venezuela’s Shift from Chavismo

Note: this episode was originally published in February 2016. Given today’s announcement that Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro will not allow the main opposition parties to run in next year’s presidential election, we’ve decided to republish this episode to provide context to Venezuela’s political and economic struggles.

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