Weekly podcast on the events, policies and ideas that will shape the world.
World in 30 minutes is curated by Mark Leonard, Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), and features top-level speakers from across the EU and beyond to debate and discuss Europe’s role in the world. It was awarded “Best podcasts on EU politics” by PolicyLab in 2019.
Member of the EuroPod network.
The geopolitics of technology
The EU is often described as a “regulatory superpower” benefitting from the so-called “Brussels effect.” But is the bloc also able to set its own rules and standards when it comes to new technologies, and let the rest of the world adapt? This week, host Mark Leonard is joined by ECFR senior policy fellows Ulrike Franke and Jose Torreblanca, as well as Marietje Schaake, international director of policy at Stanford’s Cyber Policy Center. How ready are Europeans to prevail in a world of fierce geopolitical tech competition? And what role does Europe play in the Sino American competition?
This podcast was recorded on 16 July 2021.
· “Geo-tech politics: Why technology shapes European power” by Ulrike Franke & José Ignacio Torreblanca https://ecfr.eu/publication/geo-tech-politics-why-technology-shapes-european-power/
· “Europe’s digital sovereignty: From rulemaker to superpower in the age of US-China rivalry” by Carla Hobbs (ed.) https://ecfr.eu/publication/europe_digital_sovereignty_rulemaker_superpower_age_us_china_rivalry/
· “I, Warbot: The dawn of artificially intelligent conflict” by Kenneth Payne
· “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau
· “Mistrust: Why losing faith in institutions provides the tools to transform them” by Ethan Zuckerman
A social democratic vision of German foreign policy
With Angela Merkel stepping down as Chancellor, the next German federal elections scheduled for this September promise to mark a turning point for Germany. Foreign policy issues promise to be a crucial part of the election campaign. In this week’s podcast, host Mark Leonard talks to Niels Annen, Minister of State in the German Federal Foreign Office and member of the Bundestag for the SPD to find out what a social-democratic foreign policy looks like. What would SPD foreign policy look like unbound by the grand coalition with Merkel’s Christian Democrats? What are social democratic policy ideas when it comes to China, Russia or European security and defence? And how deep are the divides between the SPD’s foreign policy and that of the parties they’re running against?
This podcast was recorded on 15 July 2021.
- ECFR German Election 360: https://buff.ly/3gJNvr2
- A foreign policy for a Green Germany: https://buff.ly/3vxdTcd
- “The Arab of the Future” by Riad Sattouf
The EU and France in the Sahel
In June this year, French President Emmanuel Macron announced the end of Operation Barkhane – a military offensive launched in 2013 against Islamist militants in the Sahel. France has determined, he said, it could no longer maintain a “constant presence” in West Africa. In this week’s episode, host Mark Leonard discusses European interests in the region and what might change after France’s Africa policy shift, together with Emanuela Del Re, former Italian deputy foreign minister and the new EU special representative for the Sahel; Sylvie Kauffmann, editorial director, lead writer, and columnist for Le Monde; as well as ECFR’s Andrew Lebovich. What does the end of Operation Barkhane in its current form mean for the Sahel? What could further European and international engagement in the region look like?
This podcast was recorded on 7 July 2021.
• “After Barkhane: What France’s military drawdown means for the Sahel” by Andrew Lebovich: https://t.co/xxZ11TiM24
• ”La Guerre de vingt ans. Djihadisme et contre-terrorisme au XXIe siècle” by Marc Hecker & Elie Tenenbaum
• “Jihadists of North Africa and the Sahel” by Alexander Thurston
• “Être etudiant au Mali: chroniques d'une vie d'étudiant” by Boubacar Sangaré
• “Moral Letters to Lucilius“ by Seneca
•“From Empires to NGOs in the West African Sahel. The Road to Nongovernmentality” by Gregory Mann
• “Half of a Yellow Sun” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
• “L'Islâm in Europa: riflessioni di un imâm italiano “ by Yahya Sergio Yahe Pallavicini
The strike back against economic blackmail
Globalisation and economic interdependence are increasingly weaponised by various state actors. Europe faces ever greater threats of economic blackmail, sanctions against its lawmakers, and consumer boycotts of its companies. Later this year, the European Commission will launch the Anti-Coercion Instrument, a tool that could enable the EU to protect citizens and businesses by countering economic blackmail from China, Russia, and Turkey – and even the US. In what circumstances could such a tool be triggered? What kind of countermeasures could protect Europe, keep markets open and support a functional global trade order? And how can such a tool be both credible and effective?
To find out, host Mark Leonard talks to policy fellows Jonathan Hackenbroich and Pawel Zerka, who worked with the ECFR Task Force for Protecting Europe from Economic Coercion on our latest publication: https://buff.ly/3zTgkZo
This podcast was recorded on 1 July 2021.
"Xi, Merkel phone call ‘timely to stabilise ties’" in Global Times
"Defending Europe’s Economic Sovereignty: new ways to resist economic coercion" by Jonathan Hackenbroich, Janka Oertel, Philipp Sandner & Pawel Zerka: https://buff.ly/37FRvEQ
- An account of the life of Dick Leonard, who passed away this week, written by his son Mark Leonard: https://www.facebook.com/markhleonard/posts/10159900328587642
- "Learning Empire: Globalization and the German Quest for World Status 1875-1919" by Erik Grimmer Solem
- "The passions and the interests: Political arguments for capitalism before its triumph” by Albert O. Hirschman
The election of President Ebrahim Raisi and the future of Iran
After an election which saw the lowest turnout and highest number of spoiled ballots in the history of the Islamic Republic, the ultraconservative regime veteran Ebrahim Raisi was elected as the newest president of Iran. Does the election of Raisi represent a significant change of direction following the term of President Rouhani? Could unified hardliner control of Iran paradoxically lead to a more durable nuclear deal and greater dialogue with regional adversaries such as Saudi Arabia? Will Raisi’s own human rights record prove a barrier to talks with Western powers?
To find out, this week’s host Anthony Dworkin, senior research fellow and acting research director at ECFR, talks to Narges Bajoghli, assistant professor of Middle East Studies at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, Esfandyar Batmanghelidj, founder and CEO of the Bourse & Bazaar Foundation and visiting fellow at ECFR, and Julien Barnes-Dacey, director of ECFR´s MENA programme.
This podcast was recorded on 23 June 2021.
Council of despair: Iran’s uncompetitive presidential election https://ecfr.eu/article/council-of-despair-irans-uncompetitive-presidential-election/
A familiar victory: Iran’s divides under a new president https://ecfr.eu/article/a-familiar-victory-irans-divides-under-a-new-president/
Four steps to support Europe-Iran trade under a revived JCPOA https://ecfr.eu/article/four-steps-to-support-europe-iran-trade-under-a-revived-jcpoa/
Syria and the Neutrality Trap: The Dilemmas of Delivering Humanitarian Aid through Violent Regimes by Carsten Wieland http://www.carsten-wieland.com/books.html
Television and the Afghan Culture Wars: Brought to You by Foreigners, Warlords, and Activists by Wazhmah Osman https://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/29bgf5br9780252043550.html
Christ Stopped at Eboli by Carlo Levi https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/christ-stopped-at-eboli-1945-by-carlo-levi-a-remarkable-memoir-1.4551169
New Energies: The European Green Deal and the EU-Turkey relationship
The meeting between US president Biden and the Turkish president Erdogan, as well as the upcoming European Council Summit on Turkey come at a critical moment in the EU-US-Turkey relationship. After years of heightened tensions, there appears to have been a thawing in relations since the beginning of this year. The renewed focus on climate policy by the EU, however, makes many aspects of this relationship uncertain. Are carbon border taxes a threat to Turkish trade? How can Turkey and the EU cooperate on green energy? To find out, host Susi Dennison, director of ECFR´s European Power programme, talks to Asli Aydıntaşbaş, senior policy fellow at ECFR and in-house expert on Turkey, and Simone Tagliapietra, senior fellow at Bruegel focusing on European Union climate and energy policy. They discuss the outcomes of the Biden-Erdogan summit and the prospects for the EU-Turkey relationship, particularly in relation to the EU’s climate policies.
This podcast was recorded on 17 June 2021.
- "Europe’s Green Moment: How to meet the climate challenge" by Susi Dennison, Rafael Loss and Jenny Söderström:
- "The geopolitics of the European Green Deal" by Mark Leonard, Jean Pisani-Ferry, Jeremy Shapiro, Simone Tagliapietra and Guntram Wolff: https://buff.ly/3tpyKxG
- "Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman" by Robert K. Massie
- "The New Climate War" by Michael E. Mann
Very interesting discussion but I was not convinced. Maybe my views are coloured by being in Australia. After last week's Communist Party Congress American power seems to be seeping away just as China is becoming more confident in its economic heft and strategic power.
Truly informative and necessary.
Few resources have been as instrumental in my understanding of our often chaotic world than Mark Leonard's thought-provoking discussions with an exalted list of knowledgeable guests. As an Australian interested in global issues, it is also fantastic to hear conversations about foreign affairs and international relations that aren't so America-centric.
Must-listen on Europe
I listen to this podcast as it comes out and frequently dip into the archives. It's an excellent resource for those interested in European issues and the continent's role in the world. ECFR's ability to access experts from their offices around the EU is incredibly valuable and the analysis is uniformly excellent.