Episodes

Population Structure and its Effects on Stability

How can demographics positively or negatively impact a country’s economic growth and national security? In this episode, we discuss how an unbalanced age or gender structure can be a boon or a curse for stability.

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Thoughts on the International Criminal Court

In this episode, we examine the International Criminal Court (ICC). We briefly touch on the history of the ICC, what the court is intended to do, and a recent expansion in what kinds of cases the court considers. We also discuss some of the weaknesses and criticisms of the ICC, particularly the fact that all of...

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Exploring Global Gender

What is the difference between sex and gender? How do prescribed gender roles and other social constructions of gender harm everyone? Can we even approach these issues through the standard “international affairs” lens that we normally use here at Matters of State? Join us as we sit down with our special friend and guest, Camry Haskins, to explore gender as...

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Hello Cambodia!

Hello Cambodia! We noticed that the last few episodes had an increase in listeners in Cambodia, so we decided to shout out to you directly! In this episode, we briefly discuss the history of Cambodia into the present day, and ask our listeners there to tell us more about what’s going on in the country these days.

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Spotlight: Comoros

Maybe you’ve at least heard of most countries around the world. But have you ever heard of Comoros? This small island nation east of Africa and north of Madagascar has had an outsized impact on international trade and the the history of its region. Today’s Comoros has a complex political system and a rich diversity...

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International Law and the Use of Force

Who decides when it might be appropriate for a country to intervene in another conflict? Is there an international consensus on when it is acceptable to use force? Join us as we tackle these complex issues in today’s episode, “International Law and Use of Force.”

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Nairobi’s Slums and Urbanization Challenges

Up to one billion people live in slums around the world and the numbers are only expected to rise.[1. The number of people  living in slums varies widely from source to source, but the UN has reported up to one billion. There is greater consensus on the fact that the numbers are rapidly increasing. http://www.un.org/en/globalissues/briefingpapers/cities/vitalstats.shtml] In...

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Wildlife Trafficking

Did you ever think that animals (and other lifeforms for that matter) could be trafficked like they were illegal drugs? In fact, some of the same people, networks, routes and tactics are involved in this massive illicit trade. Join us as we discuss the motivations, methods, and consequences of wildlife trafficking in this week’s episode.

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What Motivates Terrorism?

The media has a lot to say about Islamist terrorism, but what else motivates terrorism around the world?

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Democracy and Development in Rwanda

Rwanda has been lauded as a development success and a role model for Sub-Saharan Africa, but critics suggest that this development has come at the expense of healthy democratic governance. Kagame’s Rwanda is an excellent case study for a broader question in international development: does democratic change lead to development, or does development lead to...

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Spotlight: Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej

This week, we  debut our Spotlight series. Unlike in our traditional round table discussions, the spotlight series will allow us to occasionally choose an interesting figure, location, or phenomenon to discuss. This episode’s figure is the world’s longest-reigning monarch alive: King Bhumibol Adulyadej. We start from his birth in the United States, move to his unexpected...

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Illicit Oil Networks, ISIL, and the World

Most of us are familiar with ISIL’s use of oil smuggling, but how do they do it? Who facilitates and who buys the oil? What other regions around the world are also seeing oil smuggling. Some of them are closer to home than you might have imagined. Join us as we invite our good friend Siree...

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India’s Fence around Bangladesh

More and more countries are fencing off their borders in an attempt to curb illegal immigration and smuggling. In this episode, we talk about how India has fenced off almost its entire border with Bangladesh – one of the longest borders in the world. Why does India feel that it needs a fence? How does...

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Mexico’s Drug Cartels

We’ve heard a lot about the drug wars in Mexico. We’ve even become familiar with the cartels that wage them- their names, territories and sagas given ample play in US media. But how much do we know about what drives the violence and keeps it aflame? In what ways are the cartels able to innovate...

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