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43 minutes | Oct 4, 2021
Fiona Hill: "We're dealing with our own authoritarians"
Fiona Hill made global headlines when she testified during an impeachment inquiry against then-President Donald Trump in 2019. Now the former senior director for European and Russian affairs on Trump's National Security Council has published a new memoir tracing her journey from a hardscrabble childhood in northeastern England to the White House. She joins Greg and Jonathan to describe what her experiences, including in the Trump Administration, reflect about the most pressing questions facing liberal democracy today.
28 minutes | Sep 14, 2021
Why Leonid Volkov is optimistic about Russia's future
When Russians vote in parliamentary elections later this week, the results are expected to be a foregone conclusion. Still, opposition groups are campaigning across the country despite the Kremlin’s unprecedented crackdown on civil society, independent media and free speech, including the imprisonment of the opposition leader, Alexei Navalny. His former chief of staff Leonid Volkov—one of the architects of Navalny’s “smart voting” strategy—joins Greg and Jonathan to explain what’s at stake for the country and the future of President Vladimir Putin’s regime.
46 minutes | Jun 10, 2021
Joe Biden is seeking to renew the transatlantic relationship during a number of major summit meetings in Europe on his first foreign trip as US president. But after four years of Donald Trump’s assault on Washington’s closest alliances, what does public opinion on both sides of the Atlantic think about the future of US leadership, and what does it mean for hopes of addressing some of Western countries’ biggest joint challenges? Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer and Irene Bramm join Greg and Jonathan to discuss their new Transatlantic Trends survey from the German Marshall Fund.
42 minutes | May 27, 2021
Can the transatlantic alliance recover?
President Joe Biden has been busy with his overarching foreign policy aim of mending ties with America’s closest allies. Progress has been made during a series of summit meetings in Europe, but what are the underlying challenges ahead? We recorded two important conversations before the summits: Constanze Stelzenmüller speaks to Greg about the transatlantic alliance's fundamental issues, followed by a discussion with Erik Brattberg and Jonathan about a democracy agenda and other priorities.
31 minutes | May 13, 2021
Russian-Czech relations blow up, but for how long?
When the Czech Republic accused Russia last month of staging an explosion at an ammunition depot in the country that killed two people in 2014, it provided shocking new evidence of the Kremlin’s secret war against its perceived rivals in the West, prompting a major rift in Czech relations with Russia. The scandal broke just days after the sacking of Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek, who frequently warned against risks posed by the Kremlin. He joins Greg and Jonathan to discuss the fallout from latest developments and what Europe and the US must do to address the challenge.
32 minutes | Apr 29, 2021
Domestic extremism spreads its wings
“The most lethal and persistent terrorism-related threat to the homeland today.” That’s how US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has described domestic extremism. It’s a mounting threat to democracy and security in Europe, too, and elsewhere as hardline views enter the mainstream. Susan Corke—Intelligence Project Director at the Southern Poverty Law Center—joins Greg and Jonathan to describe the fast-evolving threat and how to address it, together with Sasha Havlicek, a pioneer in combatting hate, conflict and extremism.
48 minutes | Apr 19, 2021
Repression in Russia
The last few months have seen unprecedented repression in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, with a wave of arrests and disappearances among Kremlin critics and international alarm over the deteriorating health of the imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny. At the same time, Russian troops are massing on the border with Ukraine, sending Western countries scrambling to figure out Moscow’s intentions. Those developments are playing out ahead of parliamentary elections set for September, amid the government’s dismal response to the coronavirus pandemic and plummeting public opinion ratings for the Kremlin’s United Russia party. The leading opposition figure Vladimir Kara-Murza joins Jonathan and Greg to explain what’s taking place in Russia, priorities for the opposition and what Western countries must do to address Putin’s mounting threat.
33 minutes | Mar 19, 2021
Congress and advancing democracy at home and abroad
With the Biden administration promising to advance democracy at home and abroad after four years of backsliding, what’s Congress’s role? Congressman David Price and Ambassador Norm Eisen join moderator Reta Jo Lewis in an important conversation about strengthening the US democracy agenda, including President Biden’s proposed 2021 democracy summit. This podcast was recorded from a live GMF webinar broadcast on March 11.
38 minutes | Mar 11, 2021
Crisis in Georgia
The US and European Union are struggling to respond to a mounting political crisis in Georgia that boiled over in the former Soviet republic with the arrest of the opposition leader Nika Melia last month. Leading former diplomats, including The Cable’s Jonathan Katz, have issued a statement calling for his release. The Georgian parliament’s former First Deputy Chair Tamar Chugoshvili joins Jonathan and Greg for an important conversation explaining the crisis and what to do about it with former US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly, who’s co-authored a new report on the case for supporting Georgia.
28 minutes | Feb 3, 2021
Who's afraid of Alexei Navalny?
A Russian court has sentenced the country’s main opposition leader Alexei Navalny to two-and-a-half years in prison on bogus charges after he threw down an unprecedented gauntlet to President Vladimir Putin. Olga Shorina, Kiryl Sukhotski and Pavel Butorin join Greg to discuss Navalny, Putin and where the country is heading.
28 minutes | Jan 21, 2021
The future of the transatlantic alliance
With the inauguration of Joe Biden as US president on Wednesday, work to restore America’s battered democratic institutions and its international role is beginning in earnest. The new co-directors of the Transatlantic Democracy Working Group Jonathan Katz and Jamie Fly join Susan and Greg to discuss what Washington’s priorities for reinvigorating the transatlantic alliance should be and how the TDWG plans to help.
33 minutes | Dec 14, 2020
Kleptocracy and its discontents
The rise of authoritarian kleptocrats around the world may be the main geopolitical issue of our time, and the threat to liberal democracy can’t be overstated. But although the assault on democratic institutions in the United States, Europe and elsewhere is on public display, most of us see only the tip of the iceberg. Tom Burgis, Luke Harding and Tom Firestone join Susan and Greg to explain the massive scale of corruption and vast flows of illegal money around the globe they are helping expose, which normally surface only occasionally thanks to diligent investigations or leaks such as the Panama Papers.
22 minutes | Oct 15, 2020
We need to talk about Russia
With the possibility of a new US administration taking office next year, the question of how to approach Russia is looming increasingly larger in Washington. Opposition politician Vladimir Milov and national security expert Evelyn Farkas join Susan and Greg to discuss how the opposition is coping after Alexei Navalny’s poisoning and how should Western countries must deal with President Vladimir Putin.
27 minutes | Oct 8, 2020
Belarus protests: Art and innovation
Belarus has been in the spotlight for the past two months as protesters continue to battle Alexander Lukakshenka’s 26-year-old regime. But dissent isn’t new in the country. It’s had a vibrant, if small, civil society and a cultural scene that’s had to become resourceful, creative and resilient to navigate the state’s repression. Natalia Kaliada and Dragana Kaurin join Susan and Greg to discuss underground theater and digital innovation.
34 minutes | Aug 19, 2020
Revolution in Belarus
Belarus is at a tipping point as the authoritarian President Alexandr Lukashenka’s regime crumbles under the weight of mass popular protests. The European Union has pledged support for the opposition, which is preparing for a transition, but Lukashenka is clinging to power. And with fears that Russian President Vladimir Putin will prop up his Belarusian ally, what comes next is anyone’s guess. Joining Susan and Greg to discuss what’s going on, possible future scenarios and what Western countries must urgently do is David Kramer, Franak Viachorka and Vlad Kobets. First, ICWA managing editor Dan Peleschuk describes his arrest in Minsk during a brutal crackdown by the security forces.
24 minutes | Aug 7, 2020
Digital transatlantic alliance
The internet has changed how democracy functions. With digital platforms fueling divisiveness and enabling manipulation by individual bad actors and states alike, liberal democracies are struggling to keep up. Marietje Schaake and Tomicah Tilleman join Susan and Greg to discuss how to ensure the right architecture to guarantee the free exchange of ideas, fair voting and other key conditions for democracy.
27 minutes | Jul 16, 2020
What do Europeans think of America now?
Europeans have looked on in disbelief and dismay as America’s alliances with its most important transatlantic allies have come under attack by an isolationist president who sees personal political gain in undermining common liberal democratic values. But after the Black Lives Matters protests and with hopes for transformation in US politics after November’s presidential election, Reinhard Bütikofer and Ben Haddad join Susan and Greg to discuss what Europeans think of the United States now and how they see America’s future role in a changing world.
23 minutes | Jul 9, 2020
Russia under Putin's constitution
Vladimir Putin has done virtually everything to ensure he’ll be able to remain Russian president for life after a referendum last week, when officials said a majority of voters approved a series of changes to the constitution. The veteran human rights activist Tanya Lokshina joins Susan and Greg to discuss what process revealed about politics under Putin, what’s changed in the constitution, and what it means for the country’s future.
26 minutes | May 28, 2020
Covid-19, disinformation and transatlantic democracy
With the coronavirus pandemic raising serious challenges for voting and other vital democratic functions, the threat from disinformation is becoming especially acute—not least in the United States ahead of the November election. Leading experts Karen Kornbluh and Spencer Boyer join Susan and Greg to describe the problem and what transatlantic alliance countries must do to ensure the functioning of democracy. (This episode was recorded as webinar on May 20.)
31 minutes | May 14, 2020
Poland's ghost election
Poland is wrestling with a political crisis after its ruling Law and Justice party agreed to postpone Europe’s first presidential election since the outbreak of the coronavirus. The 11th-hour decision stopped the party’s chaotic drive to hold a ballot by mail—denounced as a power grab by critics—but the matter is far from resolved. Wojciech Przybylski in Warsaw and Emily Schultheis in Berlin join Susan and Greg to discuss what happened, what may lie ahead and what other countries can learn.
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