I’ve stared to roll out bonus episodes exclusive to patrons of the podcast. I’m calling these episodes “background briefings.” They examine current issues in the news, but through a deeper historic lens.
In conversations with experts, we provide you the context you need to understand key debates, institutions, ideas and dilemmas shaping world affairs and foreign policy today.
These episodes are specially created for listeners who make a recurring monthly contribution to the show through the Patreon platform. It’s one of many rewards that premium subscribers receive. (Check out our Patreon page to view the other rewards.) If the podcast is part of your weekly routine, please support the show!
Background Briefing 1: International Relations Theory, explained.
Listen to an excerpt
Georgetown Professor Elizabeth Arsenault packs a semester worth of IR theory into one thirty minute conversation. After listening to this episode you’ll learn the difference between “realism,” “liberalism,” and “constructivism.” You’ll learn the key assumptions, debates and individuals who have shaped IR theory; and you’ll learn why this matters to policy makers. And if you are like Elizabeth and I, you’ll even start to see IR theory everywhere–from reading about Trump’s National Security Council to rearing toddlers.
Background Briefing 2: Nuclear Nonproliferation, explained
Listen to an excerpt.
Daryl Kimball, president of the Arms Control Association discusses how the international community stops the spread of nuclear weapons. After listening to this 30-ish minute conversation you will have a good grounding in the major issues involved in stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and will have the context you need to interpret moves by the Trump administration as it seeks to change nuclear policy. You’ll learn the history of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and its strengths and weaknesses. We also discuss including the Iran nuclear deal, the threat from North Korea and a rogue Pakistani nuclear scientist who sold know-how on the black market.
Coming up next week: A brief history of NATO, with Julie Smith.
Coming up soon: US-China relations, explained. With Orville Schell.
The content will be guided by your suggestions and recommendations, so please let me know what you would like to learn. New episodes will be published on an ongoing basis. Send me an email if you have any questions, comments, concerns + compliments.