Wed, 30 November 2016
Donald Trump's foreign policy and national security team is still taking shape. He has appointed Nikki Haley as his UN ambassador and Mike Flynn as his National Security Advisor. But at the time of recording, he has not picked a Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense.
So how are you best able to interpret and understand the implications of those selections to American foreign policy? Thankfully, there is some is some emerging political science that speaks to the role of advisors in shaping national security policy, and on the line with me to discuss this research is Professor Elizabeth Saunders of George Washington University.
Saunders has conducted a number of studies that speak to the circumstances in which cabinet picks and top advisors can shape public opinion and decision making on key foreign policy issues. We discuss her research and its implications for the Trump transition in this episode. And after you listen to this episode, you should have a fairly decent grounding in how to interpret the significance of these picks, no matter who the end up being.
Direct download: What_Political_Science_Can_Teach_Us_About_Trump-_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:21pm EDT
Tue, 29 November 2016
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President elect Donald Trump will nominate Nikki Haley to be his Ambassador to the United Nations. She is a rising star in Republican politics and currently serves as the governor of South Carolina. She was sharp critic of Trump during the primaries, yet he has picked her to represent him at the United Nations.
On the line with me to discuss Nikki Haley, her political background, her personal story, and her place in South Carolina and national politics is Andy Shane the Colombia bureau chief of the Post and Courier newspaper in South Carolina. We have an in-depth conversation about the woman who will next lead the United States Mission to the UN and we discuss how some experiences she had as governor may suggest how she takes on her next role.
Trump's cabinet is still taking shape and it's notable that he would pick his UN Ambassador position before his Secretary of State, but I think we have come to expect the unexpected from this president elect. One other political wrinkle that we did not discuss, but is on the minds of people who follow national politics is that there may be a senate seat in South Carolina opening up in 2019, and if so, political watchers speculate that she may vie for that position. So the thinking goes, this could be a good platform for which to run for president in 2024. Now this is a long way off, but it's what the chattering class is chattering about.
Direct download: Better_Know_Nikki_Haley_-_Global_Dispatches.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:43am EDT
Fri, 18 November 2016
Tali Nates has a personal connection to Schindler's List. On it was the name of her father and uncle, whom Oskar Schindler saved from a Nazi extermination camp.
She is now the director of the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Center in South Africa and we have a fascinating conversation about how the lessons of the Holocaust are applied and learned in post-Apartheid South Africa.
Tali was born in Israel and moved to South Africa before the end of Apartheid. She candidly describes the moral compunction she experienced during that era and how teaching Holocaust history to white south africans became a method of resistance.
This episode is part of a series that is being created in partnership with the Salzburg Global Seminar, which is a forum and meeting space that brings together a cross section of global leaders to take on some of the big global challenges of the day. We kick off discussing her participation on one of the Salzburg sessions before turning to her own family history and contemporary work.
Wed, 16 November 2016
As Americans headed to the polls on election day, diplomats from around the world headed to Marrakech, Morocco for the first big global climate summit since the Paris Agreement last year. This was to be an important inflection point in the global effort to combat climate change. Just a week earlier the Paris Agreement officially entered into force after the requisite number of countries ratified it and this meeting in Marrakech would to fill in some key details and add some technical guidance to enable the implementation of the agreement.
And then, Donald Trump was elected.
During the campaign he pledged to withdraw from the Paris Agreement and defund UN programs to combat climate change. So I was interested to learn the implications of the election on the ongoing negotiations in Morocco and this episode is in two parts.
First, I speak with Eliot Diringer of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, who I caught up the day after the election just as he was headed to Morocco. Eliot discusses the ways domestic politics here in the USA may affect climate negotiations and also recounts the history of American leadership (or lack thereof) in international climate diplomacy.
Next, I speak with Hugh Sealy, a diplomat from Grenada who is a lead negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States, known as AOSIS in UN speak. I caught up with Hugh in Marrakech about a week after the election, and as you'll see he does not report that much has changed. He does though, also discuss the importance of American leadership and also offers some interesting insights into the role that small countries like his can play in these big negotiations.
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Direct download: Whats_Next_for_the_Paris_Climate_Agreement_--_Global_Dispatches.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:09pm EDT
Mon, 14 November 2016
Maina Kiai has some profound insights into how governments abrogate the rights of people to freely assemble. He is a Kenyan human rights lawyer and activist who currently serves as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. His career was born in opposition to an oppressive government in Kenya and he discusses the kinds of tactics and strategies he used to advance human rights under an authoritarian government.He also recounts his role in helping to mediate during the disputed 2007 Kenya elections, which turned very violent and resulted in his life being in danger.
We kick off discussing the impact of a Trump presidency on human and civic rights around the world and in the United States.
This is a great conversation, which I did leave feeling inspired.
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Thu, 10 November 2016
I'll get straight to the point. These are uncertain times. They are confusing times. We are entering the Trump era of American foreign policy. What does that mean for the world? For the ideals we care about? For the entire liberal international world order?
Why this? Why now?
Direct download: A_message_from_Mark_--_Global_Dispatches.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:27pm EDT
Wed, 9 November 2016
Donald Trump will become president and commander-in-chief in January. I am pledging to you right now that I will dedicate myself and dedicate this podcast to helping you make sense of foreign policy and world affairs in the era of Trump.
To that end, I caught up with Heather Hurlburt of the New America Foundation. Heather and I have a pretty wide ranging discussion about the implications of a Trump presidency for American alliances, for Syria, for the Iran nuclear deal and for the lives of some of the most vulnerable people on the planet.
We kick off discussing the kinds of personnel choices that President Elect Trump must take in the coming weeks which will be a very early sign of what kind of foreign policy president he will be.
Direct download: Foreign_Policy_in_the_Age_of_Trump_-_Global_Dispatches.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:33pm EDT
Sat, 5 November 2016
How the international community saves lives in conflict prone countries or insecure places is becoming increasingly relevant and important to global affairs. On the line to walk me through the nuts and bolts of one of these relief operations is Laurent Bukera, who runs the World Food Program's operations in Somalia.
We have a pretty fascinating conversation about how a humanitarian agency like the World Food Program operates in profoundly difficult environments beset by insecurity and terrorism.
Laurent walks me through some of WFP's operations in Somalia--that is how they deliver aid and some of the challenges of working in that country. And these challenges includes not only threats from terror groups like Al Shebaab, but more broadly extremely low levels of infrastructure development. To deal with some of these obstacles the WFP is rolling out some new technological innovations, which we discuss toward the end of this episode.
Direct download: How_the_UN_is_Fighting_Hunger_in_Somalia_-_Global_Dispatches.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:08pm EDT
Thu, 3 November 2016
Here we are days from the US election, so I thought to myself let's have a US focused episode that explains US culture and American politics and why Trump is facing such an uphill battle by talking about....hot sauce.
Now, it's been widely reported--and I'm being completely serious here--that this is Hillary Clinton's favorite condiment. And full disclosure: I too love everything spicy. But it is also true that more Americans like spicy food than at any time in the history of this country.
On the line with me to discuss the political and cultural implications of Americans' growing appetite for spicy cuisine is Denver Nicks, author of the new book: Hot Sauce Nation: America's Burning Obsession. We discuss how spicy peppers became integrated into the mainstream of the American cuisine largely through public policy decisions that be traced to a profoundly important date in 20th century American history. The results on election day may be one more indication that spicy peppers and American elections are far more intertwined than we may think.
Direct download: Why_Hot_Sauce_Can_Explain_the_US_Election.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:20pm EDT