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45 minutes | Oct 8, 2021
Episode 89: Europe's far-right educational institutions
In Hungary, France and Spain, new political movements from the far-right are attempting to reshape their education systems. Under the supportive eye of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, the recently established National University of Public Service seeks to embed nationalist illiberal values in a new generation of Hungarian students. Meanwhile in France and Spain, far-right public figure Marion Maréchal has turned away from the electoral politics of the Front Nationale to set up a new conservative research institute, ISSEP. Both of these developments represent a challenge to the liberal values which underpin the existing international order. To find out more, Ben spoke with Professor Dorit Geva from the Central European University and Dr Felipe Santos from City, University of London, whose recent article in the Chatham House journal International Affairs considers the implications of this illiberal educational turn. Read the International Affairs article: Europe's far-right educational projects and their vision for the international order Credits: Speakers: Dorit Geva, Felipe Gonzales Santos Host: Ben Horton Editor: James Reed Sound Services Recorded and produced by Chatham House
57 minutes | Sep 27, 2021
Episode 88: Taiwan, and elections in Latin America
The controversial AUKUS security agreement, perceived by some as a way to counter China's expansionist ambitions, has underlined the geopolitical significance of the Indo-Pacific region. One possible site of future conflict in the region is the Taiwan Straits, which separate the Republic of Taiwan from the Asian mainland. In this episode, Amrit speaks to Dr Yu Jie and Dr Liana Fix about a recent study on how military escalation in the Taiwan Straits could play out, and how Europe might respond. Then, Mariana is joined by Dr Chris Sabatini to discuss the trends and lessons emerging from a series of recent elections in Nicaragua, Mexico and Chile. Read the briefing: Escalation in the Taiwan Strait: what to expect from Europe? Credits: Speakers: Liana Fix, Yu Jie, Chris Sabatini Hosts: Amrit Swali, Mariana Vieira Editor: Jamie Reed Recorded and produced by Chatham House
38 minutes | Sep 10, 2021
Episode 87: Youth perspectives on 9/11
20 years ago the United States suffered the worst terror attacks in its history, sparking a fundamental shift in US foreign policy towards the Middle East. Many citizens in the United States and beyond can still remember where they were on 11 September, 2001. But what do younger generations think about 9/11? To find out, Ben speaks to three colleagues who were all young children at the time of the attacks, and whose political consciousnesses have formed in the post-9/11 world. Anar Bata is a coordinator in the US & Americas Programme. She provides an insight into the experience of Muslim Americans after the attacks, and reflects on how 9/11 is taught and thought about in the US education system. Samantha Potter is a programme manager in the United States Air Force and member of the Chatham House Panel of Young Advisors. She shares how her understanding of 9/11 encouraged her to pursue a career in service, and considers the impact of the War on Terror on US global leadership. Finally, Mondher Tounsi is a member of the Common Futures Conversations community. He remembers how 9/11 was framed within Tunisian society during his childhood, and how America's actions in the wake of the attacks have affected its reputation within the Arab world. Note: The views expressed by Samantha Potter in this podcast are solely her own and do not reflect the official policy or position of the United States Air Force, Department of Defense, or the US Government. Credits: Speakers: Anar Bata, Samantha Potter, Mondher Tounsi Host: Ben Horton Editor: Jamie Reed Recorded and produced by Chatham House.
50 minutes | Aug 27, 2021
Episode 86: Politics in Lebanon, and the rise of digital repression
Amidst severe governance challenges, Hezbollah has risen to become the dominant political actor in Lebanon. In this episode, Mariana is joined by Dr Lina Khatib, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House, to discuss the dynamics underlying the Lebanese political system, and how a series of crises have affected the balance of power in the country. Then Ben explores how digital technologies are enabling state repression in both authoritarian and liberal states, in conversation with Dr Steven Feldstein from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Read the Chatham House research paper: How Hezbollah holds sway over the Lebanese state Find the book: The rise of digital repression: How technology is reshaping power, politics and resistance Credits: Speakers: Steven Feldstein, Lina Khatib Hosts: Ben Horton, Mariana Vieira Editor: Jamie Reed Recorded and produced by Chatham House.
59 minutes | Aug 13, 2021
Episode 85: The global human rights system, and responding to ransomware
The COVID-19 pandemic, new systems of digital repression and the strengthening of authoritarian governments around the world have put significant strain on the international human rights system. To consider the prospects for multilateral human rights protection and the role that civil society activism can play in this, Ben is joined by Dr Agnès Callamard, the Secretary General of Amnesty International. Then Amrit discusses new developments in cybercrime with International Security Programme colleagues Esther Naylor and Isabella Wilkinson. They assess the prevalence and impact of ransomware attacks, and how governments and the private sector can respond. Read the Chatham House expert comment: Closing the space between cybercrime and cybersecurity Credits: Speakers: Agnès Callamard, Esther Naylor, Isabella Wilkinson Hosts: Ben Horton, Amrit Swali Sound Editor: Jamie Reed Recorded and produced by Chatham House.
34 minutes | Jul 23, 2021
Episode 84: Gillian Triggs on refugee protection
The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered national lockdowns and closed down borders across the world. In this context, the need to protect the rights and welfare of refugees has become even more acute. To discuss the threats facing forcibly displaced populations, and the policy responses required to mitigate them, Ben is joined by Emily Venturi, the Schwartzman Academy Fellow in the Asia-Pacific programme. Together they interview Gillian Triggs, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Assistant High Commissioner for Protection with UNHCR, the UN refugee agency. Read the Expert Comment: Denmark's immigrants forced out by government policies Credits: Speaker: Gillian Triggs Hosts: Ben Horton, Emily Venturi Editor: Jamie Reed Recorded and produced by Chatham House.
38 minutes | Jul 21, 2021
BONUS: Thant Myint-U on Myanmar
In this bonus episode, Chatham House has teamed up with the Asia Matter podcast to co-publish a discussion of the latest developments in Myanmar. The most shocking political development in Asia so far this year is arguably the seizure of power by the military in Myanmar, and the arrest of the country’s former de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The military’s crackdown on protests and other resistance against the coup has so far resulted in hundreds of deaths and thousands of arrests. In this episode the Asia Matters podcast discusses the impact of the coup and how the current situation may develop in the months ahead. Joining the conversation is Thant Myint-U, one of the best known historians of the country and the author most recently of The Hidden History of Burma. Undercurrents will return on Friday with a regular episode.
50 minutes | Jul 8, 2021
Episode 83: Afghanistan, and Indian democracy under Modi
In this week's episode, Mariana is joined by Hameed Hakimi from the Asia-Pacific Programme to discuss the implications of the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. They consider, among other things, the strength of Afghan governance structures, the prospects for the Taliban, and the complexity of responding to widespread population movement in the region. Then Amrit speaks to Debashish Roy Chowdhury and John Keane about the state of Indian democracy under PM Narendra Modi. Their latest book, To Kill A Democracy, describes India's daily struggles for democratic survival, and explains how lived social injustices and unfreedoms rob elections of their meaning, while at the same time feeding the decadence and iron-fisted rule of its governing institutions. Read the World Today article: Afghanistan: America pulls out the dagger Credits: Speakers: Hameed Hakimi, Debashish Roy Chowdhury, John Keane Hosts: Amrit Swali, Mariana Vieira Editor: Jamie Reed Recorded and produced by Chatham House.
60 minutes | Jun 25, 2021
Episode 82: The Oversight Board's Trump decision, and Merkel's legacy
In the wake of the storming of Capitol Hill on 6 January 2021, social media platforms took steps to remove former President Donald Trump from their websites for infringing community standards. This step was welcomed by many, but also raised serious questions about the power of social media companies to limit free speech and censor elected officials. The suspension of President Trump from Facebook was referred to the Oversight Board, an independent body of experts set up to scrutinise the platform's content moderation decisions. In this episode, Ben speaks to Thomas Hughes, Director of the Oversight Board Administration, and Dr Kate Jones from Chatham House's International Law programme. They discuss the outcome of the Oversight Board's inquiry into the Trump suspension, and the wider implications for content moderation on social media. Then Lara is joined by Hans Kundnani from the Europe Programme at Chatham House, to assess the political outlook in Germany and reflect on the legacy of Chancellor Angela Merkel. Read the Chatham House expert comments: Facebook's power under scrutiny as Trump ban upheld Another CDU leadership race begins in Merkel's shadow Credits: Speakers: Thomas Hughes, Kate Jones, Hans Kundnani Hosts: Lara Hollmann, Ben Horton Editor: Jamie Reed Recorded and produced by Chatham House.
54 minutes | Jun 11, 2021
Episode 81: Greek digital governance, and rethinking atrocity prevention
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused governments across the world to re-imagine their systems for engaging with citizens. Many have turned to digital tools to find new ways of tracking the spread of the virus, and to deliver public services during national lockdowns. In this episode of Undercurrents, Ben is joined by Kyriakos Pierrakakis, the Minister of Digital Governance for the Hellenic Republic (Greece). They discuss the e-governance tools Greece is pioneering under the administration of Prime Minister Mitsokakis, and the challenges involved with rolling out digital systems to the public. Then, Mariana is joined by Dr Kate Ferguson, Co-Executive Director of the charity Protection Approaches. They discuss Ferguson's new book, Architectures of Violence, which explores state involvement in violent mass atrocities, from Yugoslavia to Syria. Read the book: Architectures of Violence: The Command Structures of Modern Mass Atrocities Credits: Speakers: Kate Ferguson, Kyriakos Pierrakakis Hosts: Ben Horton, Mariana Vieira Editor: Jamie Reed Recorded and produced by Chatham House
60 minutes | May 28, 2021
Episode 80: The impact of #EndSARS
In this episode, Undercurrents has teamed up with Saferworld's Warpod to discuss security forces in Nigeria and the role played by young people in trying to bring about change. The episode is broken into two halves. Abigail Watson and Delina Goxho are first joined by Tarela Ike from Teesside University and Odeh Friday from Accountability Lab. They discuss the problems with responses to Boko Haram in the North East of the country and the recent EndSars movement. Then Amrit Swali speaks to Mariam Haruna, a member of Chatham House’s Common Futures Conversations, and Tolu Oni, a member of Chatham House’s Panel of Young Advisers, about their experiences of the EndSARS movement in 2020, the role of social media in the protests and how to move towards sustainable change in policing structures. The episode can also be listened to on the Saferworld website. Please note the views and opinions expressed during this podcast are those of the contributors featured. They are not the views or opinions of Saferworld or Chatham House. Read the Common Futures Conversations article: What makes a successful protest? Read the Chatham House expert comment: Police, protest power, and Nigeria's young democrats Credits Speakers: Odey Friday, Mariam Haruna, Tarela Ike, Tolu Oni Hosts: Delina Goxho, Amrit Swali, Abigail Watson Editor: Jamie Reed Recorded and produced by Chatham House and Saferworld.
56 minutes | May 14, 2021
Episode 79: Gender and COVID-19, and US environmental politics
This week Lara Hollmann and Mariana Vieira bring you two fascinating interviews with recent contributors to Chatham House's publications, International Affairs and The World Today. First, Lara speaks to Dr Sophie Harman from Queen Mary University of London about her research into the gender dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sophie argues that for too many policymakers, gendered roles are complacently seen as a solution to the social effects of the pandemic, with women expected to shoulder the additional burdens of domestic work and childcare during national lockdowns. Then Mariana is joined by Dr Daniel Strieff to discuss the trajectory of the climate politics in the United States. They cover the early signs from the Biden administration as well as the domestic forces influencing foreign policy in this area. Read the International Affairs article: Threat not solution: gender and global health security and COVID-19 Read The World Today article: America must heal itself first Credits: Speakers: Sophie Harman, Daniel Strieff Hosts: Lara Hollmann, Mariana Vieira Editor: Jamie Reed Recorded and produced by Chatham House
31 minutes | May 11, 2021
Korea at the crossroads: Developing ties with Southeast Asia
Over the course of five episodes, all published this week, John Nilsson-Wright, the Korea Foundation Fellow in the Asia-Pacific Programme at Chatham House explores the strategic relations of Korea, asking how the country is seeking to protect its interests in an increasingly contested Pacific region. In this, the final episode, John is joined by Eui-Hae Cecilia Chung, Deputy Director-General of the ASEAN & Southeast Asian Affairs Bureau, in the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They discuss how the Republic of Korea is positioning itself within the key organizations and alliances of the region, and what the Korean government’s priorities are in an increasingly contested international context. Credits: Speaker: Eui-Hae Cecilia Chung Hosts: John Nilsson-Wright Editor: Jamie Reed Producer: Ben Horton Recorded and produced by Chatham House
32 minutes | May 11, 2021
Korea at the crossroads: The view from Europe
Over the course of five episodes, all published this week, John Nilsson-Wright, the Korea Foundation Fellow in the Asia-Pacific Programme at Chatham House explores the strategic relations of Korea, asking how the country is seeking to protect its interests in an increasingly contested Pacific region. In this, the fourth episode, John is joined by Nathalie Tocci, Director of Italy’s Istituto Affari Internazionali. They discuss the European perspective on the politics of the Korean peninsula, identifying opportunities for deeper engagement between the Republic of Korea and the European Union. Credits: Speaker: Nathalie Tocci Hosts: John Nilsson-Wright Editor: Jamie Reed Producer: Ben Horton Recorded and produced by Chatham House
41 minutes | May 11, 2021
Korea at the crossroads: Relations with Japan
Over the course of five episodes, all published this week, John Nilsson-Wright, the Korea Foundation Fellow in the Asia-Pacific Programme at Chatham House explores the strategic relations of Korea, asking how the country is seeking to protect its interests in an increasingly contested Pacific region. In this, the third episode, John is joined again by Jennifer Lind to interview Nobukatsu Kanehara, a senior adviser to The Asia Group and board member of The National Bureau of Asian Research. They discuss the Republic of Korea’s complex relations with its neighbour and sometime rival Japan, and how the two countries can develop cooperation on shared challenges such as North Korea. Credits: Speaker: Nobukatsu Kanehara Hosts: John Nilsson-Wright, Jennifer Lind Editor: Jamie Reed Producer: Ben Horton Recorded and produced by Chatham House
33 minutes | May 11, 2021
Korea at the crossroads: South Korea's priorities
Over the course of five episodes, all published this week, John Nilsson-Wright, the Korea Foundation Fellow in the Asia-Pacific Programme at Chatham House explores the strategic relations of Korea, asking how the country is seeking to protect its interests in an increasingly contested Pacific region. In this episode, John is joined by Wi Sunglac, a retired career diplomat with several decades experience of Korean foreign affairs, including posts in Washington D.C. and Moscow. They discuss the threats facing South Korean interests in northeast Asia, and how the current administration is projecting its stance through key alliances. Credits: Speaker: Wi Sunglac Hosts: John Nilsson-Wright, Jennifer Lind Editor: Jamie Reed Producer: Ben Horton Recorded and produced by Chatham House
27 minutes | May 11, 2021
Korea at the crossroads: The strategic context
Welcome to Korea at the crossroads, a new mini-series on the Undercurrents podcast feed. Over the course of five episodes, all published this week, John Nilsson-Wright, the Korea Foundation Fellow in the Asia-Pacific Programme at Chatham House will explore the strategic relations of Korea, asking how the country is seeking to protect its interests in an increasingly contested Pacific region. In this opening episode, John is joined by Jennifer Lind from the US & Americas Programme to discuss the strategic outlook on the Korean peninsula and the wider region. They explore the key questions which the rest of the series will attempt to answer. Credits: Host: John Nilsson-Wright Speaker: Jennifer Lind Editor: Jamie Reed Producer: Ben Horton Recorded and produced by Chatham House
34 minutes | Apr 29, 2021
Episode 78: President Biden's first 100 days
Despite a rapidly mounting domestic agenda, President Biden has already set up an ambitious foreign policy programme, from taking the United States back into the Paris Agreement to announcing the withdrawal troops from Afghanistan. To explore what we’ve learnt from the first three months of US foreign policy under President Biden, Ben is joined by Leslie Vinjamuri. Visit the Chatham House microsite: America's Global Role Credits: Speaker: Leslie Vinjamuri Host: Ben Horton Editor: Jamie Reed Recorded and produced by Chatham House
61 minutes | Apr 16, 2021
Episode 77: The post-pandemic gig economy, and China's 14th five-year plan
This week the Undercurrents team dive into two critical issues for the global economy. Amrit speaks to Chris Sabatini from the US & Americas programme about his latest briefing on how governments and economic institutions can protect informal workers in the post-pandemic gig economy. Then Ben is joined by Yu Jie from the Asia-Pacific Programme, who explains the key developments and implications arising from China's 14th five-year plan, which was published in March 2021. Read the briefing: Developing social insurance schemes for informal and 'gig' workers Read The World Today article: Beijing sets new course Credits: Speakers: Yu Jie, Chris Sabatini Hosts: Ben Horton, Amrit Swali Editor: Ben Horton Recorded and produced by Chatham House
63 minutes | Apr 1, 2021
Episode 76: Public science during COVID-19, and protecting women journalists
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed much about how politicians, media and the wider public understand science. Ben is joined by Angela Saini to explore how science literacy can be improved. They also discuss how faulty science has contributed to the culture of structural racism revealed by the Black Lives Matter movement. Then Mariana speaks to Kiran Nazish from the Coalition for Women in Journalism about the experiences of women journalists on the frontlines of conflicts and upheaval. They discuss what measures are needed to support women in a profession which so often puts their rights and physical safety at risk. Credits: Speakers: Kiran Nazish, Angela Saini Hosts: Ben Horton, Mariana Vieira Editor: Jamie Reed Recorded and produced by Chatham House
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