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Politics and International Relations Podcasts

Author: Oxford University

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Podcasts from the Department of Politics and International relations and its centres.
145 Episodes
Although the 2003 Iraq War was linked to the "War on Terror" the case for the war was presented, at least in the UK, within the terms of the established framework of international relations, with the UN at the centre. The aftermath of the war pushed the UK into an arena in which terrorist methods were regularly employed and it struggled to cope. The lecture will explore what this might mean for future British interventions.
Professor Alex Bellamy (University of Queensland) discusses new challenges for implementing Responsibility to Protect (R2P) principles in the current age. Bellamy, who is also Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, outlines his view that R2P has gained normative acceptance throughout the international community at a much higher level that in previous decades. Significant progress has been achieved such as putting North Korean human rights on the table. With the rumbling year of politics in 2016, however, Bellamy finds that R2P protectors must be on alert. As far back as 2012, long before the time of Trump, he suggests that R2P was challenged by an increased prevalence of atrocity crimes, displaced persons and extremist activities concurrent with a decline in international capacity to handle these issues. Countries were failing to practically implement R2P despite their implicit agreement with its promises. The dearth of leadership from the United States under the next administration, he says, will only make things more challenging. Despite these concerns though, Bellamy remains optimistic about the future of R2P and proposes six ideas to protect R2P itself. These range from searching out leadership beyond the West and striving for more complete implementation of existing policies.
Author Angela Cummine gives a brief overview of her book on Sovereign Wealth Funds: what they are, and who actually owns them. Dr Cummine then explains some of the political disagreements that can occur when the state sees itself as the primary owner of sovereign wealth, rather than the agent of the people, who she argues, are the principal-owners of these assets. It is citizens therefore, who must enjoy meaningful control over and benefit from these assets. If sovereign funds are managed and used in a way that respects this vision of them as community funds holding citizens' wealth, they could be used for a whole range of laudable public policy goals, for example, to plug budget deficits and to tackle economic inequality. You can learn more about the book by clicking here:
Geir Lundestad, a Norwegian historian, who until 2014 served as the director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute, delivered the 2016 Cyril Foster Lecture, 'Twenty-five Years in the Search for Peace: Reflections on the Nobel Peace Prize', on 3rd March 2016. The Cyril Foster Lecture is the University's principal annual guest lecture in the field of International Relations. It has attracted a most distinguished group of lecturers. The Cyril Foster bequest specifies that the lectures are to deal with the ‘elimination of war and the better understanding of the nations of the world.’ Geir Lundestad was the director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute and the secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awards the Nobel Peace Prize, from 1990 to 2014. In 2015 Geir published a frank account of his 25 Nobel years. The lecture is based on Geir's book, and in particular, discusses what the Nobel Peace Prize can realistically achieve.
Professor Emerita J. Ann Tickner (University of Southern California) delivers a lecture on the role of feminist theory in the field of international relations. Tickner's talk covers the genesis of the feminist approach to IR, which she herself pioneered some 25 years ago. She details how the feminist approach is methodologically distinct as most of IR relies on state-centric approaches while feminist theory is inherently sociological. One of Tickner's examples is the investigation of how gendered reponses to 9/11 caused a return to hypermasculinity in policy. Finally, Tickner makes a case for the continued development of the field as a way to continue legitimizing the explanations of world politics that scholars produce. The lecture follows from the 2014 publication of Tickner's book, A Feminist Voyage through International Relations, by the Oxford University Press as part of their series Oxford Studies in Gender and International Relations. More information about the book can be found here:
Professor John J. Mearsheimer (University of Chicago) presents the conclusions of his latest article published in 'Foreign Affairs' on offshore balancing. Mearsheimer sets out his case against the practice of liberal hegemony by the US, making the bold statement that Presidents Bush and Obama have acted very similarly when it comes to intervention abroad. He examines the track record of US involvement in places like Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria before moving on to explain why 'offshore balancing' would be a superior strategy for the US government to adopt. Mearsheimer argues that by managing conflict from afar, the US can halt the buck passing that is so common in international relations today, free up resources to be spent domestically and curb the spread of terrorism. His argument is tempered by a caveat for conflict with potential world hegemons: while he believes that the US can retreat from Europe and the Gulf, onshore involvement will be increasingly required in China as it poses a strategic threat to the US that will not be tempered independently by Russia. Discussant and DPhil student Ulrike Franke (DPIR) whose research examines drone warfare questions Mearsheimer on his conceptualization of liberal hegemony, the role of NATO and the Obama administration's legacy. She also raises the relevance of public opinion for his theory's implications. 'The Case for Offshore Balancing' is coauthored with Stephen M. Walt (Harvard Kennedy School) and may be found here:
St Antony's College hosts the 2015 Nobel Prize winner in Literature, Svetlana Alexievich, for a discussion of her the Soviet soul and her current and former projects. Conducted in Russian and translated by Oxford DPhil student Margarita Vaysman, the discussion captures key insights into Alexievich's writing process, often described as a new genre between journalism and literature for her extensive usage of interviews to craft a global voice. Alexievich explains the pique of her interest for storytelling from a conversation with her grandmother and the methods she uses to approach her subjects as neighbors who form part of the same history of the Soviet experience. Her profound musings on truth, suffering and evil versus good provide a broader context for her works Second-Hand Time (newly translated to English this year) and Chernobyl Prayer as well as many others.
Professor Timothy Garton Ash discusses the premise of his new book titled 'Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World.' Introduced by Warden Margaret MacMillan of St. Antony's, Professor Timothy Garton Ash presents his newest book, 'Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World.' The work is based on the premises that the conditions of free speech are changing given movements of mass migration and the wide dissemination of the Internet, both of which make us all neighbors, both literally and figuratively. Professor Garton Ash organizes his book around what he argues are the ten main dimensions of free speech: lifeblood, violence, knowledge, journalism, diversity, religion, privacy, secrecy, icebergs and courage. Crucially, Professor Garton Ash argues that we must be able to agree on how we disagree and that issues of civility ought not to be mediated by the law. University scholars Adam Roberts (Balliol), Patricia Thornton (Merton) and Faisal Devji (St. Antony's) address the new publication with contextual information on the cases of India and China as well as a debate on the existence of universal values. Associated with the book is a website curated by Professor Garton Ash and graduate students of the University featuring information and contributions on the ten principles of free speech in 13 different languages including Turkish, Japanese, Urdu and Arabic. The website is available here:
President of the Stefan Batory Foundation Aleksander Smolar discusses nationalism and internationalism in contemporary Poland
Félix Krawatzek and Andy Eggers discuss methods to analyse large bodies of text in more systematic and reliable ways.
Félix Krawatzek and Andy Eggers discuss methods to analyse large bodies of text in more systematic and reliable ways.
Félix Krawatzek and Andy Eggers discuss methods to analyse large bodies of text in more systematic and reliable ways.
Félix Krawatzek and Andy Eggers discuss methods to analyse large bodies of text in more systematic and reliable ways.
Professor Todd Hall discussed his recently published book, 'Emotional Diplomacy: Official Emotion on the International Stage.'
Samuel Greene talks about outbreak of protests in Russia and political events after the annexation of Crimea
The seminar series addresses some of the acute problems affecting Europe, as seen especially from a South Eastern European perspective, and combine the thematic (refugee, economic and political crises) with the country specific approaches.
The speaker analyses the concept of 'sovereignty' as presented in the Objectives Resolution of Pakistan presented to the Constituent Assembly in March 1949
In 2013, the UK Parliament legalized same-sex marriage in England and Wales. Dr Scot Peterson discusses whether this is the first time there has been a divergence in the general understanding of marriage and the definition enshrined in law.
Sheila A. Smith, a senior fellow for Japan studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, discusses her new book, "Intimate Rivals: Japanese Domestic Politics and a Rising China."
Professor Sarah Chartock discusses ethnodevelopment policies, illustrated with the cases of Peru, Ecuador and Guatemala.
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