The best of the best: Top 4 podcast episodes of 2021 (so far…)

To help you make sense of what is going on in foreign policy this August, listen to several of our most popular podcast episodes from this year

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel pictured during a press conference after a bilateral meeting with Chancellor of Germany Merkel, Tuesday 05 June 2018, in Berlin, Germany. BELGA PHOTO MIKA SCHMIDT Foto: Mika Schmidt/BELGA/dpa
Image by Mika Schmidt/BELGA/dpa
©

While we take a short break until new podcast episodes, the world and the news keep spinning. To help you make sense of what is going on in foreign policy – and particularly why it’s happening – this August we are featuring several of our most popular podcast episodes. We hope this will provide you with useful background information and insightful analysis.

And, if ECFR staff’s entertainment recommendations weren’t enough, we certainly hope you find some inspiration for what to read next in these episodes’ bookshelf segments!

“A foreign policy for a Green Germany” (first aired on 30 April 2021)

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It is still unclear whether the German Green party will be in power after the parliamentary election in September. But one cannot deny that the party’s influence has been growing steadily in recent years, and that its policy positions are increasingly appealing to the German public.

Listen to this episode in which Franziska Brantner, spokesperson for European policy and parliamentary secretary of the Greens’ parliamentary group, and ECFR’s Janka Oertel discuss the Greens’ foreign policy goals and their broader vision for Germany’s place in Europe. And follow up with another episode on the social-democratic vision of a German foreign policy!

How Europeans see Biden’s America” (first aired on 22 January 2021)

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When Joe Biden was elected as US president, a big sigh of relief went through Brussels corridors. However, as seen in several opinion polls ECFR conducted this year, Europeans remain sceptical about the restoration of America’s global leadership and feel that there can be no return to the West of the cold war era. So, what form should the transatlantic relationship take in the future?

Listen to this episode to find out about some core fears and hopes for European-American relations. ECFR’s Susi Dennison, Mark Leonard, and Jeremy Shapiro explain why there was such a fuss about Biden’s visit to Europe this summer and why the departing German chancellor, Angela Merkel, was the first European leader invited to the White House.

“Between war and order: What has shaped Europe’s geopolitics?” (first aired on 16 April 2021)

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What are different models for thinking about global order? How do ideas about war shape leaders’ behaviour? In today’s world of increasing great power competition, it is important to look at our history and uncover the ideas that shape geopolitics. How have conflicts influenced human society and, in turn, brought about political, technological, and ideological change?

Margaret MacMillan (professor of history at the University of Toronto), Robert Cooper (a distinguished British and European diplomat), and Gideon Rachman (chief foreign affairs commentator at the Financial Times) help you to see the bigger picture.

“Belarus’s brutal politics” (first aired on 5 March 2021)

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In summer 2020, protests erupted in the aftermath of a fraught presidential election in Belarus. Since then, the political demonstrations have continued but have not led to a change in government. The European Union has not recognised the election result, and has imposed economic and personal sanctions on the country and its leader. How did we get here?

Listen to this episode for insights into the time before the 2020 protests, post-Soviet Belarus, and the many faces of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

What implications do developments in Belarus have for the wider European neighbourhood? Follow up with another topical episode that sheds light on the next steps for the EU and the United States: “How the EU should respond to Belarus”.

The European Council on Foreign Relations does not take collective positions. ECFR publications only represent the views of its individual authors.

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