In this episode we discuss the recent political developments in Mali, including the role of radicalisation and COVID-19 in the coup. We are joined by guests Moctar Kane and Ernest Akuamoah
Moctar is an expert on African politics. His is a current African Youth Ambassador for Peace in the African Union and an advisor to the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, Mali. He has been a program manager in Conflict Stability and Security Fund Sahel with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office focussing specifically on Mali. He also conducted a research project at Oxford on issues of citizenship within Mali's democratic experience, after the collapse of democracy in the country in 2012. He has a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Bamako and a MPhil in Development Studies from Oxford University.
Ernest is a PhD student in the School of Politics and International Relations at ANU. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies (First Class Honours) from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana) and a Master of Philosophy in Political Science from the University of Ghana, Legon. Prior to his studies at ANU, he was pursuing a Master’s program in International Development Studies at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada. He has worked as a research assistant and tutored courses in Comparative Politics, Political Economy of Africa’s Underdevelopment and Issues in Africa’s International Relations. His PhD project is concerned with why some elections escalate into high-levels of violence but not others, focusing particularly on Africa.
Professor Rory Medcalf, Australian Foreign Policy legend, speaks to James Brasington about various aspects of career, including the importance of history, the role of social media, and the recent update to the Australian White Paper.
Part 2 of our UNAA series will discuss issues surrounding the adequacy of the federal response to climate change, and what Australia's new foreign policy shift away from rejectionism means for its future engagement with the UN. We will also be asking Lachlan some personal questions about how he got to where he is, and what advice he has for people wanting to join the UNAA or UN in the future.
How well has Australia's response been to the Black Lives Matter Protests? How can the UN help further reconciliation efforts?
These are some of the questions we will be addressing in Part 1 of our UNAA Series, on Reconciliation, with ANU International Relation Society's, Senuri Perera, and Lachlan Hunter. Lachlan is the National Executive Director of the United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA) based here in Canberra, and a Board Member for the Red Cross. He has worked as an Executive at Chief Executive Women, and in roles for the Federal Government in Norfolk Island Reform, and in Indigenous youth policy at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. You can find his full biography here: https://www.unaa.org.au/national-board/.
In Part 2 of this series, we will be discussing climate action and the future of the UN-Australian relationship!
We hope you enjoy it!
Ingrid Southworth has been British Deputy High Commissioner to Australia since January 2017. She studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford and International Relations at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Italy, before joining the UK Civil Service and working in a number of roles in the Cabinet Office, Foreign Office and Home Office. Read her full biography here: https://www.gov.uk/government/people/ingrid-southworth.
In this episode, she discusses the future for diplomacy in a post-COVID world.
In this next episode, Dr Charles Miller speaks with James Brasington about forecasting and prediction in the field of International Relations. He responds to questions about anarchy, 'superforecasters', heuristics, and prediction in the era of COVID-19.
Is Mohamed bin Salman being too authoritarian with his progressive reforms? What is the fundamental difference between Saudi Salafism, Wahabism, and the other broad branches of Sunni Islam? Are the Sunni-Shi’a political tensions across the Middle Eastern region fundamentally insurmountable? To what extent is Islam and Islamic societies oppressive to women?
The ANU International Relations Society’s Kaitie Wickham will be talking to Dr Raihan Ismail, a researcher and lecturer at ANU at the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies.
In 2018, Raihan was the co-recipient of the Max Crawford Medal, awarded by the Australian Academy of the Humanities for outstanding achievement in the humanities by an early-career scholar. Alongside research, she has presented her research in multiple different contexts, including at Harvard, the Crawford Australian Leadership Forum, and the Canberra Writers’ Festival. If that isn’t enough, she convenes seminars on political Islam for various Commonwealth Government agencies, including the Attorney General’s Department and the Department of Defence.
The book recommendations mentioned are Do Muslim women need saving? by Lila Abu-Lughod, and the various books by Yuval Noah Harari (for example, Sapiens and Homo Deus). Also, the exact quote from Jamal Khashoggi that Raihan was referring to when talking about Mohammed bin Salman was: “He truly wants to make Saudi Arabia great again. But he is doing it the wrong way.“ from https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/10/how-jamal-khashoggi-fell-out-with-bin-salman.
We hope you enjoy the discussion!
The ANU International Relations Society’s President, Jessica Honan, speaks to Australian National University's Dr Ruji Auethavornpipat, a Lecturer in International Relations at the ANU and researcher in migrant worker rights norms in Southeast Asia, migration governance and human trafficking.
In 2019, Ruji won the Excellence in Tutoring Award. His teaching covers both postgraduate and undergraduate courses such as World Politics and Introduction to International Relations. At the height of migrant trafficking politicisation in Southeast Asia, Ruji took up the Asia Studies Fellowship at the East-West Center in Washington, DC, in 2017 where he conducted research on ASEAN-US cooperation on human trafficking. This research was also supported by the Association of Southeast Asian Studies in the UK’s (ASEASUK) Research and Impact Award. Ruji previously held visiting fellowships at the Bamberg Graduate School of Social Sciences, Germany; the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore; and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Indonesia.
In this episode, we discuss Human Trafficking and forced labour in Southeast Asia. Ruji answers questions about the diference between forced labour and slavery, the political phenomenon that is Human Trafficking, and the impact COVID-19 is having on slavery in the Southeast Asia region.
We hope you enjoy the discussion!
Will there be any change in Syria over the next few years? Why is Turkey intent on creating these pseudo-republics in Cyprus and Syria? What are the barriers in the way of oil-dependent state economies diversifying away from fossil fuels? What is a political risk consultant, and what are the takeaways and tips from someone in that profession? How much does history play into what we see now in the Middle East? And how does climate change fit into the picture, and how will it impact the world energy market?
The ANU International Relations Society’s Kaitie Wickham will be talking to Science Po’s Dr Federico Manfredi Firmian, an expert on geopolitics of world energy, and a specialist in the Middle Eastern region.
Federico has two main, often overlapping, research interests: greater Middle Eastern regional dynamics and the geopolitics of energy. He has two Masters and a PhD, and has been teaching Middle Eastern and energy geopolitics for over a decade, at Hunter College, Universite Paris Diderot, and Sciences Po. I was also amazed at the breadth of the 12 countries that Federico has done field research in: from Afghanistan and Turkey, to Libya and Lebanon. Amongst this, Federico lived in Cairo for a year as a Politics Editor for The Daily News Egypt, and has been a freelance political risk consultant since 2006. And day-to-day, he continues his research, having recently finished a long-analysis on the conflicts in Syria and Iraq from the Ottoman Empire to the present.
The book recommendations mentioned are 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari, as well as Harari’s other books Sapiens and Homo Deus, and the works of Jared Diamond.
We hope you enjoy the discussion!
When activists, diplomats, nuclear war planners, and religious actors use similar words when talking about nuclear weapons, do they mean the same thing? Do the citizens of the world know the demands that nuclear weapons are making of them? What are the actual drivers behind increasing nuclear weapons packages? And what assumptions do we carry with us while thinking about nuclear weapons that we should be questioning?
The ANU International Relations Society’s Kaitie Wickham will be talking to Science Po’s Professor Benoît Pelopidas, one of France’s premier experts on nuclear weapons.
Benoît runs the Nuclear Knowledges program, which is the first independent research program on the nuclear phenomenon in France. I won’t go through all of the accolades to his name, but the highlights include: previously having held the Chair of Excellence in security studies at Sciences Po (France’s most highly ranked and prestigious social sciences university); being an affiliate of the Centre for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford; and he has been awarded three international prizes for his research, as well as a grant by the European Research Council.
If you have any questions or comments about the podcast, you can get in touch with Benoît at: email@example.com. You can also learn more about the Nuclear Knowledges program on Twitter (@NKowledges) or online: https://www.sciencespo.fr/nk/en.
The book recommendations mentioned is The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner by Daniel Ellsberg.
And Kaitie’s recommendation of where to start if you want to read some of Benoît’s papers: “The unbearable lightness of luck: Three sources of overconfidence in the manageability of nuclear crises,” by Benoît Pelopidas in the European Journal of International Security. If you want a link to a free copy of the paper, click here, and for a forthcoming follow-up on luck click here. Finally, for a 16-minute exposé on the dilemma of the public intellectual, click here.
We hope you enjoy the discussion!
In this episode, President Jessica Honan discusses the International Criminal Court (ICC) with International Human Rights Lawyer Shannon Maree Torrens. See Shannon's bio here: https://shannonmareetorrens.com/
Topics include how and why the ICC is political; whether this is a good thing and what could be done about it; prosecuting crimes in Syria; the ICC's investigation into crimes in Afghanistan and Palestine; the way forward for the alleged genocide in Myanmar.