Monday, July 21, 2014
Seyed Hossein Mousavian, scholar at the Wilson School at Princeton, former Iranian diplomat, and author of the new book Iran and The United States: An Insider's View on the Failed Past and the Road to Peace (Bloomsbury Academic 2014), offers a first-hand account of the U.S. and Iran's rocky past, continual failures to negotiate peace, and what comes next.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Timothy Beardson discusses the challenges that stand in the way of China’s rise to global supremacy and the inadequate policy responses to those challenges. Stumbling Giant: The Threats to China’s Future focuses on China’s situation, including an aging labor force, extreme gender disparity, social instability, environmental devastation, the absence of an effective welfare safety net, and an inflexible governance structure.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Less than three years after the popular uprising that led to President Hosni Mubarak's ouster, and just one year after Egypt's first free and fair elections, the democratically elected government has been overthrown and the Egyptian military is running the state. Writer/producer Martin Smith looks at what went wrong and what happens next. Frontline’s new documentary “Egypt in Crisis” explores those questions. It premieres September 17, at 10:30 pm, on PBS.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Political scientist Shibley Telhami analyzes the driving forces and emotions of the Arab uprisings and looks ahead to the next phase of Arab politics. In The World Through Arab Eyes, Telhami gives an account of Arab identity, revealing how Arabs’ present-day priorities and grievances have been gestating for decades. Many Arabs may have a wounded sense of national pride, but they also have a desire for political systems with elements of Western democracies.
Thursday, March 07, 2013
Moscow-based journalist Masha Gessen talks about how Vladimir Putin, a low-level KGB operative, ascended to the Russian presidency. She argues that Mr. Putin has destroyed years of progress and made his country a threat to its own people and to the world. The Man without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin tells how he was handpicked as a successor to Boris Yeltsin, and how his popularity soared even as he seized control of media, sent political rivals and critics into exile or to the grave, and dismantled the country's fragile electoral system, concentrating power in the hands of his cronies.
Thursday, February 07, 2013
Kishore Mahbubani explores how the global middle class brings about an unprecedented convergence of interests, perceptions, cultures, and values. In Convergence: Asia, the West, and the Logic of One World, Mahbubani argues that it’s a positive change that world's population outside the West is rising to Western living standards and sharing Western aspirations, but warns a new global order requires a shift in policies and attitudes.
Thursday, November 01, 2012
Journalist Stephen Starr discusses the state of Syria over the past five decades, and looks at the roots of the ongoing the civil war there. He explains why Syria, with its numerous sects and religious diversity, has been so prone to violence and civil instability in Revolt in Syria: Eye-witness to the Uprising, and investigates what kind of resolution Syrians hope for.
Monday, October 08, 2012
Álvaro Uribe Velez, president of Colombia from 2002 to 2010, talks about leading the country’s transformation from a “failed state,” besieged by drug kingpins, terrorist groups, and extreme poverty into a far more peaceful, stable, modern democracy. His book No Lost Causes reveals how President Uribe dealt with the FARC, restored the rule of law across the country, and gives a behind-the-scenes look at dealings with various world leaders.
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Lester Brown explains how falling water tables, eroding soils, rising temperatures, and control of arable land and water resources is spurring the global struggle for food security. In Full Planets, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity Brown outlines the political implications of land acquisitions by grain-importing countries in Africa and elsewhere as well as the world’s shrinking buffers against poor harvests.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Roughly 14 years have passed since the signing of the Good Friday peace accord, which ended decades of bloody conflict in Northern Ireland. But that doesn’t mean the area is free of conflict, tensions and even violence. Jamie Smyth of the Financial Times talks about the situation. His recent article is called "A Peace to Protect."
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Thomas L. Friedman, three-time Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times columnist and co-author of That Used To Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back, talks about U.S. leadership in the world and other news.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Fredrik Logevall traces the path that led two the United States and France to lose their way in Vietnam. Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam opens in 1919 at the Versailles Peace Conference and concludes in 1959, with a Viet Cong ambush on an outpost outside Saigon and the deaths of two American officers. In between come years of political, military, and diplomatic maneuvering and miscalculation, as leaders on all sides turn an avoidable struggle into a bloody reality.
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Many of the air attacks conducted by the United States since the commencement of air warfare have gone under the radar. That was, until 45-year-old Minnesota native and former Lieutenant Colonel Jenns Robertson decided to make a project of documenting each and every bomb that the United States has ever dropped.
Thursday, August 02, 2012
Over the last few years, Burma has been transformed from a repressive dictatorship to a developing democracy. But unlike other revolutions, this has been a top-down change. New Yorker staff writer Evan Osnos talks about how Burmese citizens are responding to the rapid changes and the transition to democracy. His article, “The Burmese Spring,” appears in the August 6 issue of the magazine.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Ashraf Khalil joined us in January 2011, as protesters filled Tahrir Square. On today’s Backstory, he updates us on how Egypt’s democracy has taken shape, the growing power struggle between the country’s military and its democratically elected officials, and the mixed messages of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit there earlier this week. Ashraf Khalil is the author of Liberation Square: Inside the Egyptian Revolution and the Rebirth of a Nation.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
John Dramani Mahama, Vice President of Ghana, tells of coming-of-age in Ghana during the difficult post-independence years. In My First Coup d'Etat: And Other True Stories from the Lost Decades of Africa he shares personal stories that work as fables, history, cultural and political analyses, and as memoir of a young man who would grow up to be vice president of his nation.
Wednesday, July 04, 2012
Victor D. Cha, the former Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council discusses North Korea, the world's most controversial and isolated country. His book The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future documents the rise of the Kim family dynasty, and the obsessive personality cult that empowers them, and he illuminates the repressive regime's complex economy and culture.