Podcast

In our Epicenter podcast, we bring together scholars and experienced practitioners from different disciplines to guide us through pressing global topics, to boil down the issues, to explain the research and give valuable context. The goal is to give listeners a deeper understanding of a topic to expand their everyday thinking about the world inside and outside their own borders.

Lebanon in Free Fall

PODCAST | ep9 | with Melani Cammett, Carmen Geha, Nate George, and Lana Salman
 

Lebanon has been called many different things: a gem of the Middle East, a failed state, a geopolitical Gordian knot (or nightmare). Its financial system has recently collapsed, people cannot find basic services, and residents are still recovering from the massive Beirut explosion of 2020. It may be a complex country to wrap your mind around, but our four scholars tell you everything you need to know about daily life in Lebanon: how are people getting by, who is in control, the geopolitics of the region, and the history behind it.

Collage of headshots of podcast speakers Melani Cammett, Carmen Geha, Nate George, and Lana Salman

Listen to episode #9 (34:35) by clicking the play button below:

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Negotiating with Terrorists (Part 2)

PODCAST | ep8 | with Annette Idler, Jytte Klausen, and Fredrik Logevall
 

Pulling out of Afghanistan was the top foreign policy event of 2021. Perhaps overlooked in the collective relief to be done with this twenty-year war is the fact that the US had to negotiate with terrorists to get there. In fact, it ceded an entire country to a violent, extremist group. Throughout history, leaders—including those from the US—have vowed never to negotiate with terrorists, but then reverse course. In this two-part episode, three scholars of history, international relations, and foreign policy discuss historic examples and the complexities of negotiating with violent—even murderous—groups. 

Collage of the three guest speakers: Annette Idler, Fredrik Logevall, and Jytte Klausen

Listen to episode #8 (28:49) by clicking the play button below:

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Negotiating with Terrorists (Part 1)

PODCAST | ep7 | with Annette Idler, Jytte Klausen, and Fredrik Logevall
 

Pulling out of Afghanistan was the top foreign policy event of 2021. Perhaps overlooked in the collective relief to be done with this twenty-year war is the fact that the US had to negotiate with terrorists to get there. In fact, it ceded an entire country to a violent, extremist group. Throughout history, leaders—including those from the US—have vowed never to negotiate with terrorists, but then reverse course. In this two-part episode, three scholars of history, international relations, and foreign policy discuss historic examples and the complexities of negotiating with violent—even murderous—groups.

Collage of the three guest speakers: Annette Idler, Fredrik Logevall, and Jytte Klausen

Listen to episode #7 (24:56) by clicking the play button below:

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The Blurry Lines of Belonging

PODCAST | ep6 | with Talia Shiff, Anna Skarpelis, and Elke Winter
 

We think of citizenship as a binary category: you’re either a citizen or you’re not. But the levels of membership can be complex. Refugees and asylum seekers often find that the criteria for acceptance change, as states devise rationales to exclude them. Three Weatherhead Center sociologists reveal the motivations behind various immigration policies, from the colonial past to the present, and discuss the ethics and impact of open borders.

Image of Talia Shiff, Anna Skarpelis, and Elke Winter

Listen to episode #6 (46:00) by clicking the play button below:

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COVID-19 and Climate Change (Part 2)

PODCAST | ep5 | with Alicia Harley, Rob Paarlberg, and Troy Vettese
 

COVID-19 radically reduced global productivity, but isn’t that just what we need to combat climate change? Is there such a thing as a silver lining in this pandemic? In Episode 5, we continue the conversation about the relationship between COVID-19 and climate change. Three Weatherhead Center scholars guide us through the complex environmental and political systems that constrain efforts for systemic change, and discuss what needs to be done today.

Photo collage of the three guest speakers: Alicia Harley, Robert Paarlberg, and Troy Vettese

Listen to episode #5 (29:21) by clicking the play button below:


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COVID-19 and Climate Change (Part 1)

PODCAST | ep4 | with Alicia Harley, Rob Paarlberg, and Troy Vettese
 

COVID-19 forced radical change on the world, but isn’t that just what we need to combat climate change? The simple concepts of how we use land and how we eat may very well determine the future of our species—and our planet. Three Weatherhead Center scholars guide us through the complex environmental and political systems that constrain efforts for systemic change, and discuss what needs to be done today.

Photo collage of the three guest speakers: Alicia Harley, Robert Paarlberg, and Troy Vettese

Listen to episode #4 (27:02) by clicking the play button below:

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Pandemic Stress

PODCAST | ep3 | with Vikram Patel, Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good, and Giuseppe Raviola
 

Whether or not you’ve been exposed to the virus, the COVID-19 pandemic impacts everyone’s sense of well-being. Three scholars in the field of global mental health look at the various ways loss, fear, anxiety—and on top of it, a massive global recession—weigh on the mental well-being of different groups. And they anticipate a surge in demand for mental health services as a result of the pandemic.

Three speakers of the podcast episode

Listen to episode #3 (35:35) by clicking the play button below:

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Brexited!

PODCAST | ep2 | with Jeffry Frieden and Christina Davis
 

It was a momentous day for the UK. The United Kingdom finally exited the European Union on January 31, 2020. So what happens next, and should we care? Our guests both demystify the impact of Brexit and explain the purpose of the European Union in ways you have never understood it before.

Image of Jeffry Frieden and Christina Davis laughing

Listen to episode #2 (42:40) by clicking the play button below:


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Inequality in the US and Europe

PODCAST | ep1 | with Michèle Lamont, Peter A. Hall, and Paul Pierson
 

Despite the decline in global poverty rates over the past five or six decades, the gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow ever wider, especially in the industrialized West. Three scholars—Michèle Lamont, Peter A. Hall, and Paul Pierson—discuss how housing and education can actually reinforce inequality, and who in our society is seen as “deserving” of getting help, or not, and how that has changed over time.

Image of Michele Lamont, Peter Hall, and Paul Pierson

Listen to episode #1 (49:19) by clicking the play button below:

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