World Affairs

Described by former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers as the world preeminent financial journalist, Martin Wolf joins the World Affairs Council to explain what has happened to the global financial order and what can be done to avoid the shocks of global finance. Martin Wolf was one of the first to warn and write about the problems in the financial markets, in large part predicting the current financial turmoil. Offering a prescription for fixing global finance, Martin Wolf will discuss the links between the microeconomics of finance and the macroeconomics of the balance of payments, demonstrating how the subprime lending crisis in the United States fits into a pattern that includes the economic shocks of 1997, 1998, and early 1999 in Latin America, Russia, and Asia. Martin Wolf is the associate editor and chief economics commentator for the Financial Times and a professor of economics at the University of Nottingham, England. He is the author of several books, most recently Fixing Global Finance, and was named to Foreign Policy and Prospect magazinesapos; Top 100 Public Intellectuals list.

Direct download: 2-18-09_Martin_Wolf.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 4:19am PDT

Join Jane Wales, President CEO of the World Affairs Council and Global Philanthropy Forum, for a powerful conversation with two dynamic agents of change: Denis Mukwege, founder of the Panzi Hospital in Eastern Congo and winner of the 2008 UN Human Rights Prize, and Eve Ensler, founder of V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls. Dr. Mukwege and Ms. Ensler will discuss Dr. Mukwege’s work with survivors of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a country rich in natural resources but weighed down by years of war and its attendant abuses. Since 1996, sexual violence against women and girls in Eastern DRC has been used as a weapon of war to torture, humiliate and destroy not only women and girls, but entire families and communities. Hundreds of thousands of women and girls have been raped due to conflict in the region. The V-Day movement and UNICEF (in partnership with UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict) are engaged in a global campaign to bring much needed attention to the needs of Congolese women and girls. The campaign is called “Stop Raping Our Greatest Resource: Power to the Women and Girls of DRC.” On the ground, women survivors are coming together and breaking the silence. Dr. Mukwege and Ms. Ensler will speak about violence against women, the efforts underway to end it, and their work toward supporting a new wave of women leaders in the region. Please join us as we learn what it takes to economically and socially empower women and girls so that they can become leaders in rebuilding their country.

Direct download: 2_18_09_Denis_Mukwege.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:46pm PDT

Having denounced the Guantánamo Bay detention camp as a “sad chapter in American history,” President Obama has vowed to restore our nation’s moral stature by closing the controversial facility. As the world awaits definitive action, the Council welcomes Laurel Fletcher and Eric Stover, co-authors of Guantánamo and its Aftermath, an in-depth study of former detainees. In a conversation led by Elizabeth Farnsworth, Fletcher and Stover discuss the implications of their study’s findings, explore what measures are currently being taken by the US government and human rights organizations on Guantánamo, and propose recommendations for the Obama administration.

Direct download: 02-11-09_Facing_up_to_Guantanamo.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:12pm PDT

We honor former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and her daughters, Alice, Anne and Katie, in conversation with Jane Wales, President and CEO of the World Affairs Council of Northern California and the Global Philanthropy Forum. All four Albright women devote their lives to bettering our world. Together, we will explore how the ideals of community and service are shared across generations.

Direct download: 2-7-09_Madaline_Albright.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:45pm PDT

After the startling attacks on Mumbai the world is focused with even greater apprehension on the relationship between India and Pakistan. Rafiq Dossani, Neil Joeck and Daniel Sneider join the Council to examine India and Pakistan’s responses to the November terrorist strikes. Will the two nations continue to confront each other through diplomacy or will mutual distrust escalate to armed conflict? What potential does the US have as peacemaker? What are the implications of what is predicted to be an increasing number of terrorist attacks on India as an emerging power?

Direct download: 02-03-09_Aftermath_of_Mumbai.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 11:43pm PDT

With a new administration in the White House, what will political change in Washington mean for transatlantic relations between Europe and the United States? From the turmoil in closely-linked financial markets to greater engagement with international institutions to combating terrorism and climate change, how can governments on both sides of the Atlantic turn a series of separate problems into a chain of interlinked opportunities? The Honorable John Bruton, former Irish Prime Minister and current EU Ambassador to the United States, joins the Council to discuss the future of EU-US relations and the prospect for a more outward-looking and engaged transatlantic partnership.

Direct download: 01-30-09Amb_John_Bruton.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:17am PDT

For many, the effects of climate change can appear far off—either geographically distant or isolated to the future. Stephan Faris joins the Council to reveal how climate change is at the root of many of the world’s current and impending crises. Reporting from Darfur to Napa Valley, Faris’ work linking the warming of our planet to local and global conflicts has been widely published and recently cited by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Direct download: 01-27-09_Stephan_Faris.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 8:14am PDT

The 9/11 attacks and the war in Iraq sprang in no small part from massive intelligence failures, that much is well understood. How the CIA got to a point where it could fail so catastrophically is not. John Diamond begins by looking at US intelligence during the dozen years from the end of the Cold War to the invasion of Iraq in early 2003 as a defining period in CIA history. Diamond argues that while the CIA had a role in the successful outcome of the Cold War, it also became a source of ridicule for missing the collapse of the Soviet Union. And so with its main mission at an end, the Agency faced staff and budget reductions and a decline in morale as it struggled to prove its relevance and redefine its role. It was during this period, when the CIA was at its weakest, that the Agency made critical misjudgments about Iraq and missed the emergence of its gravest challenge: al Qaeda. Join the Council for an analysis of the CIA past activities and to take a look at where the CIA will be heading under Barack Obama new CIA Director-designate Leon Panetta.

Direct download: 01-12-09_John_Diamond.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 12:01pm PDT

As President-elect Barack Obama prepares to take office, how will turmoil in the international financial markets impact the formulation of his economic and foreign policy agendas? Adam Posen joins the Council to shed light on the economic challenges and international implications facing the new Obama presidency. A widely cited expert on monetary policy from the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, D.C., Posen has been a consultant to the Departments of State and Treasury, the European Commission, and the International Monetary Fund on a variety of economic and foreign policy issues.

Direct download: 01-07-09_Adam_Posen.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 7:00pm PDT