On Shifting Ground

Essential to a free and functioning democracy is an independent press, a crucial civil society actor that holds government to account and provides citizens access to the impartial information they need to make informed judgments, reason together, exercise their rights and responsibilities, and engage in collective action. In times of crisis, the media fulfills the vital role of alerting the public to danger and connecting citizens to rescue efforts, as Ushahidi has done in Kenya. Or, it can alert the international community to human rights abuses as does Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently. But, the very capabilities that allow the media to alert and inform, also allow it to sow division – as it did in Rwanda leading up to and during the genocide-- by spreading untruths, and, through “dog whistles,” targeting ethnic groups and inciting violence against them. This panel will focus on two topics: the role of media as a vehicle for advancing or undermining social cohesion, and the use of media to innovate, organize and deepen understanding, enabling positive collective action.

* Abdalaziz Alhamza, Co-Founder, Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently

* Uzodinma Iweala, CEO and Editor-in-Chief, Ventures Africa; Author, Beasts of No Nation; Producer, Waiting for Hassana (moderator)

* Ben Rattray, Founder and CEO, Change.org

* Malika Saada Saar, Senior Counsel on Civil and Human Rights, Google

Direct download: 04_18_17_Trust_Identity_Politics-GPF17.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 1:59pm PST

This week’s episode offers an in-depth perspective of foreign policy under Trump, with a focus on US - North Korea relations. What is the strategic calculus for both countries and how can some degree of calm be restored?

In the first half of the show, you’ll hear from Ambassador Wendy Sherman. Ambassador Wendy Sherman served as the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. In this position, she led the team from the United States and five other countries in negotiating the Iran nuclear weapons deal. Under the Clinton administration, she served as Advisor to the President and Secretary of State and North Korea Policy Coordinator.

From Jerusalem to North Korea, President Trump has demonstrated again and again a willingness to break with established diplomatic strategy and forge a new path. In our conversation, Sherman discusses the current state of foreign policy under the Trump administration, with a focus on the current diplomatic calculus with North Korea.

The second half features Orville Schell and Philip W. Yun. They discuss whether the US and North Korea can pivot from searing rhetoric, and instead work toward strengthening diplomacy. This interview was previously aired in August.


Wendy Sherman, Senior Counselor at Albright Stonebridge Group

Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director, Center on US-China Relations, Asia Society

Philip W. Yun, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, Ploughshares Fund


Jane Wales, CEO, World Affairs and Global Philanthropy Forum; Vice President, The Aspen Institute

Direct download: 12_11_17_Sherman_Schell_Yun.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 3:37pm PST

His Excellency Anatoly Antonov was recently appointed by President Putin to serve as the Russian Ambassador to the United States. A career diplomat, he has served for more than thirty years in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2004, he was the Director of the Department for Security and Disarmament. Ambassador Antonov was formerly the Deputy Minister of Defense and, before his recent appointment, held the position of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. Please join us for this special event to hear Ambassador Anatoly Antonov discuss the importance of diplomacy and Russia’s role in the world.


Anatoly Antonov
Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United States, Russian Federation


David Holloway
Raymond A. Spruance Professor of International History, Professor of Political Science, Senior Fellow Freeman Spogli Institute, Stanford University

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1783

Direct download: 11_29_17_Ambassador_Anatoly_Antonov.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:37pm PST

President Trump will meet with President Duterte during his first visit to the Philippines next month. What can be expected for the future of US-Philippine relations? Although the two countries have historically been strong allies, the elections of Trump and Duterte, as well as policy shifts in both nations, have raised questions about the stability of the relationship. The Philippines has benefited from significant US military aid for several decades. Recently both training and intelligence sharing were especially helpful as Philippine armed forces fought to regain control of Marawi following terrorist attacks by ISIS affiliates. While military aid is considered a symbol of the continued alliance between the two countries, Duterte’s renewed economic and political relations with China are causing tension. Is the Philippines looking to pivot toward China for a stronger alliance and veer away from the US, therefore shifting the strategic balance in the region? As for Filipinos as home, how are they impacted by the rise of a populist leader, one who is focused on fighting corruption and targeting drug offenders? What do these tactics reveal about Duterte as a leader? What issues can Trump and Duterte come together on and where might they disagree?

Richard Heydarian, a Filipino academic and columnist, will join us for a discussion on the Philippines under Duterte and his latest book "The Rise of Duterte: A Populist Revolt Against Elite Democracy."


Richard Heydarian
Resident Political Analyst, GMA Network


Maria Ortuoste
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, California State University East Bay

For more information about this event please visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/event-calendar/event/1777

Direct download: 11_01_17_Richard_Heydarian.mp3
Category:News & Politics -- posted at: 2:40pm PST