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The war in Ukraine and global cost-of-living crisis are exerting pressure on economies across the world. With ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns and food supply chain issues on top of this, China is facing a particularly severe challenge.  In this episode Ben speaks with Dr Yu Jie (Asia-Pacific Programme, Chatham House) about the economic 'perfect storm' presenting such an obstacle to President Xi Jinping's 'common prosperity' agenda. They discuss the domestic Chinese debate over the future of its economy, the implications of Russia's invasion and the likely longevity of the government's new 'comprehensive thrift strategy'.  Read The World Today article: Beijing briefing: China puts prosperity on hold Credits: Speaker: Yu Jie Host: Ben Horton Editor: Jamie Reed Recorded and produced by Chatham House. 
As the Philippines are set to elect a new president and vice president on May 9, Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr and Sara Duterte appear to be heading for victory at the polls. To better understand how the son of a past dictator and the daughter of the current president are set to win the presidential ticket, Mariana speaks to Philip Bowring about the role of family dynasties in national politics. Drawing on insights from his new book, The Making of Modern Philippines: Pieces of a Jigsaw State, Philip assesses outgoing President Duterte’s policies and some of the most pressing problems for the next president, from the economy, to governance and the national stance on China. Credits: Speaker: Philip Bowring Host: Mariana Vieira Editor: Jamie Reed Recorded and produced by Chatham House
A year on from the publication of the UK's Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, Chatham House Director Dr Robin Niblett shares his assessment of how Boris Johnson's government has implemented its vision of Global Britain.  Read the Chatham House research paper: Global Britain in a divided world: Testing the ambitions of the Integrated Review Credits: Speaker: Robin Niblett Host: Ben Horton Editor: Jamie Reed Recorded and produced by Chatham House
Protracted conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa, Horn of Africa and parts of Asia, although usually arising from intra-state disputes, rarely remain contained within national borders. Through the XCEPT project, supported with UK Aid from the UK government, Chatham House explores the informal supply chains and economies that develop across borders during times of war.  In this episode, XCEPT Project Manager Leah de Haan speaks to Chatham House experts Tim Eaton, Lina Khatib and Renad Mansour about cross-border conflicts in North Africa and the Levant.  First, Lina and Renad explain how a regional approach to analysing war economies in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq can enable us to better understand the dynamics of the conflict. Then Tim reveals the connections between civil war in Libya and conflict zones elsewhere in north Africa.   Find out more: Cross-border conflict, evidence, policy and trends (XCEPT) Credits: Speakers: Tim Eaton, Lina Khatib, Renad Mansour Hosts: Leah de Haan, Ben Horton Editor: Jamie Reed Sound Services Recorded and produced by Chatham House
The idea of feminist foreign policy has entered the political mainstream in recent years, but does adoption by governments risk diluting the more radical dimensions of its agenda? To mark International Women's Day, Mariana is joined by Marissa Conway, co-founder of the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy, to discuss the trajectory of FFP.  Then Ben speaks with former UK Ambassador to Lebanon Tom Fletcher CMG, about his new book Ten Survival Skills for a World in Flux. As the world contends with numerous overlapping crises from climate change and COVID-19 to the war in Ukraine, the capacity of individuals and societies to deal with geopolitical turbulence has rarely been so critical. In this interview, Tom explains the skills needed to navigate the modern world, and how education systems must adapt to deliver the required change. Read The World Today article: Eve of a foreign policy revolution Watch the Chatham House #IWD2022 event: Feminist solutions to the climate crisis Find the book: Ten Survival Skills for a World in Flux Credits: Speakers: Marissa Conway, Tom Fletcher Hosts: Ben Horton, Mariana Vieira Editor: Jamie Reed Sound Services Recorded and produced by Chatham House.
As a site of enormous economic and military potential, space is the latest domain to be drawn into the strategic competition between Earth's great powers. In this episode, Ben is joined by Asia-Pacific Programme Senior Research Fellow Yu Jie, who explains the development of China's space policy, and why we should be worried about US-China relations in orbit.  Then Yusuf Hassan and Ani Martirossian interview Professor Lee Major, from Exeter University, about the state of social mobility in the UK. They discuss the politics of class in the 21st century and how to break down barriers to entry within elite institutions and education systems. Read The World Today article: Beijing briefing: Watch this space Credits: Speakers: Yu Jie, Lee Major Hosts: Yusuf Hassan, Ben Horton, Ani Martirossian Sound Editor: Jamie Reed Recorded and produced by Chatham House.
The murder of George Floyd in 2020 and subsequent global escalation of Black Lives Matter movements highlighted the racial inequalities that exist in the United States and beyond. In the United Kingdom and many other former colonial states these movements have come to reflect upon the ongoing legacies of empire in modern society. Today, colonial history has become a weapon in the culture wars, with some commentators arguing that it is time to 'move on' from feeling ashamed of our imperial past. Often, this focus on race is presented as a new development. However, a new special issue published by the Chatham House journal International Affairs (celebrating its centenary year in 2022) shows that race and imperialism have underpinned western social sciences since the birth of these disciplines in the early 20th century.   In this episode, Amrit is joined by Dr Jasmine Gani, Dr Jenna Marshall to discuss the key insights from the special issue. They explore how race and imperialism were written out of the study of International Relations for many decades, and what it would take to meaningfully decolonise political science in the future. Then Mariana speaks with Katrin Antweiler about her article in the special issue, which looks at the culture of Holocaust memorialization in South Africa.  Read the International Affairs special issue: Race and imperialism in IR: theory and practice Read the editorial: 100 years of International Affairs Credits: Speakers: Katrin Antweiler, Andrew Dorman, Jasmine Gani, Jenna Marshall Hosts: Mariana Vieira, Amrit Swali Editor: Jamie Reed Recorded and produced by Chatham House
This week, Undercurrents is joined by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) to explore a new report on the humanitarian crises that require global attention in 2022. A record number of people across the world are in need of humanitarian assistance. 20 countries which are home to 10% of the global population account for 89% of global humanitarian need, driven by a wide range of factors including conflict, natural disasters, economic collapse and health crises. These situations are worsened by systemic failures at the state, diplomatic, legal and operational levels. The IRC's 2022 Emergency Watchlist assesses the severity of the crises in these countries, and provides recommendations for how international humanitarian actors can respond.   In this episode, Ben discusses the findings of the Emergency Watchlist with George Readings (lead author of the report), and hears about the specific struggles facing the citizens of Afghanistan from Vicki Aken (IRC's Country Director for Afghanistan). Read the IRC report: Emergency watchlist 2022: System failure Watch the Chatham House event: 10 conflicts to watch in 2022 Credits: Speakers: Vicki Aken, George Readings Host: Ben Horton Editor: Jamie Reed Sound Services Recorded and produced by Chatham House.
On 6 January 2021, a large crowd supporting the defeated President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol. The violence which ensued resulted in the deaths of at least seven people, and caused shockwaves around the world. In this episode Ben is joined by Gabriella Cook-Francis, the Leland Foundation Association of Marshall Scholars Transatlantic Academy Fellow in the US & Americas Programme at Chatham House. They discuss the events surrounding 'January 6', the implications of the riot for notable elections this year and in 2024, and what progress the Biden Administration has made in shoring up the United States' democratic institutions.  Watch the Chatham House event recording: The state of American democracy Credits: Speaker: Gabriella Cook-Francis Host: Ben Horton Editor: Jamie Reed Sound Services Recorded and produced by Chatham House
The twin crises of COVID-19 and climate change have exposed weaknesses in the institutions and diplomatic relationships designed to support global governance. In a new series of articles for Chatham House, author and journalist John Kampfner has been exploring how competition between the United States and China has exacerbated these faultlines. In his final piece, John assesses the relative soft power of the two states, and argues that the era of rivalry has tarnished both the American and Chinese brands, with many countries around the world growing wary of choosing allegiances. In this episode, Ben and John discuss the US-China strategic rivalry with Francis Fukuyama, the Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), and Hongying Wang, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo and Senior Research Fellow at CIGI.  Read the article: Big power rivalry: Who is winning the popularity wars? Credits: Speakers: Francis Fukuyama, John Kampfner, Hongying Wang Host: Ben Horton Editor: Jamie Reed Sound Services Recorded and produced by Chatham House.
Piccadilly Circus is one of the best-known landmarks in London, but the site has undergone significant change in the past 100 years. How has this affected the lives and livelihoods of local people?  For this bonus episode of Undercurrents, the team explore the history of Piccadilly Circus with help from the Chatham House SNF CoLab. The CoLab is a project which aims to share our ideas in experimental, collaborative ways - and to learn how different audiences think we can design a better future. In 2020, the project launched Futurescape, an ambitious re-imagining of Piccadilly Circus in 100 year's time. Alongside the future-oriented research, CoLab partnered with the Museum of London’s Listening to London project to explore Piccadilly Circus through the museum’s Oral History collection. Through this project, the Museum is inviting teams of volunteer researchers to reinterpret the Museum’s Oral History Collection – over 5,000 hours of recorded life-story interviews of Londoners. Listening to London is supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund, delivered by the Museums Association. In this episode you'll hear some fascinating clips from the Listening to London archive, introduced and discussed by some of the volunteers working on the Museum of London project. They include the experiences of Italian and Albanian immigrants, the changing face of business in the area, and how it became a site of struggle for the LGBTQ+ community. Thanks to Lorraine Ebdo-Price, Kristyna Racova and Keith Turpin for their contributions.  Find out more: Futurescape - Piccadilly Circus Listening to London Credits: Speakers: Lorraine Ebdo-Price, Kristyna Racova, Keith Turpin Host: Mariana Vieira Editor: Jamie Reed Sound Services Recorded and produced by Chatham House in partnership with the Museum of London
As the new omicron variant spreads across the globe, and vaccine distribution continues to reveal inequities between the global North and South, Mariana catches up with Rob Yates (Director of the Global Health Programme at Chatham House) to find out where things stand going into 2022.  Then, Ben is joined by Leonard Schuette (a PhD candidate from the University of Maastricht), whose recent article in International Affairs highlights the role played by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in managing the challenge posed to the organisation by the presidency of Donald Trump. They discuss the history of US grievances with NATO, what the Trump episode reveals about the influence of the Secretary General, and the prospects for the organisation's engagement with the Biden administration. Read The World Today article: Covid's solidarity failure Read the International Affairs article:  Why NATO survived Trump: the neglected role of Secretary-General Stoltenberg Credits: Speakers: Leonard Schuette, Rob Yates Hosts: Ben Horton, Mariana Vieira Editor: Jamie Reed Sound Services Recorded and produced by Chatham House
Since its publication in 1944, many Americans have described Gunnar Myrdal’s An American Dilemma as a defining text on US race relations. Funded by the Carnegie Corporation, Myrdal's research explored the socio-economic conditions experienced by much of the black population in the United States, and proposed policies which would encourage assimilation of those communities into white America. But why did Carnegie commission such work? Maribel Morey, founding Executive Director of the Miami Institute for the Social Sciences, explores the origins of An American Dilemma in her new book, White Philanthropy: Carnegie Corporation's An American Dilemma and the Making of a White World Order. Through extensive archive research she reveals the racial politics underpinning Myrdal's work, and the concern of those involved for maintaining white domination of the United States.  In this episode, Ben speaks to Maribel about her findings, in conversation with Inderjeet Parmar, Professor of Internaitonal Politics at City, University of London.  Find the book: White Philanthropy: Carnegie Corporation's An American Dilemma and the Making of a White World Order - Credits: Speakers: Maribel Morey, Inderjeet Parmar Host: Ben Horton Editor: Jamie Reed Recorded and produced by Chatham House
As the dust settles from COP26, the 2021 UN climate summit, Ben is joined by Anna Aberg to discuss the key outcomes and insights from the conference. They consider the progress made on mitigation, adaptation, climate finance and the so-called 'Paris rulebook', and look ahead to what the agenda could look like in a year's time at COP27.  Then Mariana interviews journalist and author James Griffiths about his investigations into the politics of minority language survival. As globalisation continues languages are disappearing faster than ever, leaving our planet's linguistic diversity leaping towards extinction. In Speak Not: Empire, Identity and the Politics of Language, Griffiths explores how communities across the world are fighting to preserve their linguistic heritage.  Read the Chatham House Expert Comment: COP26 verdict is governments urgently need to do more Find the book:  Speak Not: Empire, Identity and the Politics of Language Credits: Speakers: Anna Aberg, James Griffiths Hosts: Ben Horton, Mariana Vieira Editor: Jamie Reed Sound Services Recorded and produced by Chatham House
For the last two weeks the latest UNFCCC climate summit has taken place in Glasgow, UK. Policymakers from all over the world have gathered at COP26 to attempt to agree on increasingly ambitious plans to tackle the climate crisis.  In this episode, Ben shares some interviews from the fringes of COP26. Simon Mundy, Moral Money Editor at the Financial Times, shares his reflections on what business want from the COP process. He also explains some of the key lessons from his new book, The Race for Tomorrow, which tells the stories of people on the front lines of the climate crisis, showing how the struggle to respond is already reshaping the modern world.  Then Ben is joined by Bela Watler, a youth climate activist and conservationist from the Cayman Islands who is representing the Protect Our Future network at COP26. Protect Our Future is an environmental campaign working to raise awareness of how climate change is affecting habitats in the Cayman Islands.  Finally, Ben heard from Chloe Campbell from the 2050 Climate Group, a Scottish youth network campaigning for climate justice and a faster transition to a net zero world.  Here more analysis from COP26 in our sister podcast, The Climate Briefing: Find Simon Mundy's book, The Race for Tomorrow:  Credits: Speakers: Chloe Campbell, Simon Mundy, Bela Watler Host: Ben Horton Editor: James Reed Sound Services Recorded and produced by Chatham House
As the first week of the UN climate change summit, COP26, takes place in Glasgow, Ben and Mariana return with two contrasting interviews on the climate crisis.  Ben speaks to Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia and President of the Asia Society, about the geopolitics of climate action. They discuss China's role in the climate negotiations, how great power competition with the United States is influencing the COP process, and why Australia remains reluctant to increase its ambitions for emissions reduction.  Then Mariana is joined by Julia Olson, Executive Director and Chief Legal Counsel of Our Children’s Trust, a non-profit public interest law firm at the heart of legal cases on behalf of children which seek compensation from governments for their historic role in causing global warming. Read The World Today article: Climate litigation: The case for our children’s future Follow Chatham House's work on climate change: Credits: Speakers: Julia Olson, Kevin Rudd Hosts: Ben Horton, Mariana Vieira Editor: Jamie Reed Sound Services Recorded and produced by Chatham House
It’s been over a year since George Floyd’s murder made the Black Lives Matter movement globally recognised. Since then, the struggle for racial justice and equality has permeated organisations and communities, including Chatham House. In recognition of its advocacy and campaigning, and as part of its centenary celebrations, Chatham House staff awarded the Black Lives Matter movement its Centenary Diversity Champion Award. Melina Abdullah, co-founder of the BLM Los Angeles chapter came to Chatham House to accept it. In this episode we bring you Melina Abdullah’s acceptance speech in full. Then, Chatham House’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Working Group talk about how far we’ve come in our understanding of race and international affairs and the importance of organisations like Chatham House reckoning with its past. Read Ben’s interview with Melina Abdullah here: Watch the Chatham House Centenary Diversity Award event: Credits: Speakers: Melina Abdullah, Binni Brynolf, Leah de Haan, Yusuf Hassan, Joseph Osayande, Nina van der Mark Host: Amrit Swali Editor: Jamie Reed Recorded and produced by Chatham House.
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
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
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.
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