170 episodes

We live in a confusing time, bombarded every day with news from around the world that can be hard to follow, or fully understand. Let Worldly be your guide. Every Thursday, senior writer Zack Beauchamp, senior foreign editor Jennifer Williams, and staff defense writer Alex Ward give you the history and context you need to make sense of the moment and navigate the world around you. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Worldly Vox

    • Politics
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

We live in a confusing time, bombarded every day with news from around the world that can be hard to follow, or fully understand. Let Worldly be your guide. Every Thursday, senior writer Zack Beauchamp, senior foreign editor Jennifer Williams, and staff defense writer Alex Ward give you the history and context you need to make sense of the moment and navigate the world around you. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

    The new politics of energy (ft. Daniel Yergin)

    The new politics of energy (ft. Daniel Yergin)

    Zack, Jenn, and Alex are joined by a special guest — eminent energy politics expert Daniel Yergin — to talk about the way that the shale revolution and rise of renewables are changing global politics. In the first half, the hosts discuss the big picture: America’s shift from a net importer to a net exporter of energy, among other things, has made the Middle Eastern oil cartel far less central to global politics than it once was. In the second half, Alex talks with Yergin about his new book on this subject, The New Map, and drills down (pun intended) on what all of this means for 21st-century geopolitics.

    References:
    You find Daniel Yergin’s book The New Map here, and his essay version of the book at the Wall Street Journal. 
    NPR has a good primer on America’s energy boom.
    The Washington Post explains why Joe Biden pledged not to ban fracking.
    You can find all of Vox’s climate change coverage here.

    Hosts:
    Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox
    Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox
    Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox
     
    Consider contributing to Vox:
    If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts
     
    Survey:
    We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes no more than five minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: voxmedia.com/podsurvey.
     
    More to explore:
    Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.
     
    About Vox:
    Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.
     
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    • 55 min
    Trumped-up intelligence

    Trumped-up intelligence

    Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss a striking new whistleblower complaint about US intelligence under Trump from DHS official Brian Murphy. They run through a series of examples of twisting intelligence, including at least one potentially criminal offense, on topics ranging from immigration to Russian election interference to white nationalist terrorism — and zoom out to discuss how credible these complaints are and why, if true, they paint such a damning picture of US foreign policy under Trump.

    References:
    Here is the whistleblower complaint.
    Jenn referenced a Center for Public Integrity report on Guatemala.
    She also mentioned that former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, accused of perjury in the whistleblower complaint, lied about the administration’s family separation policy before. 
    Alex wrote on the US intelligence community’s findings in 2019 that contradict Trump’s worldview.
    Zack referenced how some top Department of Homeland Security officials mentioned in the whistleblower complaint are in their roles illegally.
    This is the statement by top US intelligence official Bill Evanina on election interference, which mentions China’s efforts before Russia’s.
    Zack has a great Vox explainer on what antifa actually is, and isn’t.
    Alex reported the comments from the senior White House official implicating National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien on Twitter.

    Hosts:
    Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox
    Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox
    Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox
     
    Consider contributing to Vox:
    If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts
     
    Survey:
    We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes no more than five minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: voxmedia.com/podsurvey.
     
    More to explore:
    Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.
     
    About Vox:
    Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.
     
    Follow Us:
    Vox.com 
    Newsletter: Vox Sentences 
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 46 min
    Europe’s second coronavirus wave

    Europe’s second coronavirus wave

    Zack, Jenn, and Alex talk about the second Covid-19 wave hitting Spain — and to a lesser extent, Europe in general. They break down the specifics of what happened in Spain: how too-fast reopenings and a decentralized political system helped the virus come roaring back. Then they analyze a strange fact about the European second wave: Though cases are increasing, the death rate remains low (for now).

    References:
    The New York Times has a great story on Spain’s second wave which the gang cited a few times.

    Alex wrote about Spain’s first outbreak.

    Spain’s El País has many stories in English detailing what’s going on with the country’s newest outbreak.

    Spain has again banned nightclubs and closed bars over coronavirus concerns.

    The Washington Post explains why there are many coronavirus cases but few deaths in Europe.

    Euronews has handy charts tracking the newest surges across the continent.

    If you find yourself in Barcelona, Alex wants you to try out his favorite bar with the “no singing” sign.

    Hosts:
    Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox
    Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox
    Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox
     
    Consider contributing to Vox:
    If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts

    Survey:
    We are conducting an audience survey to better serve you. It takes no more than five minutes, and it really helps out the show. Please take our survey here: voxmedia.com/podsurvey.
     
    More to explore:
    Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.
     
    About Vox:
    Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.
     
    Follow Us:
    Vox.com 
    Newsletter: Vox Sentences 
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 44 min
    How Donald Trump sees the world

    How Donald Trump sees the world

    Zack, Jenn, and Alex move from Biden’s foreign policy to Trump’s — examining the record the incumbent president has racked up in his first term and what might happen if he wins a second. They debate what accomplishments the president can claim (if any) and discuss the ways his reelection could transform the world. Come for the foreign policy analysis, stay for the monologue about Jean Baudrillard.

    References:
    The Council on Foreign Relations has a good overview of Trump’s first-term foreign policy moments.

    Alex wrote a story about how Trump could plausibly tout some foreign policy successes during the campaign.

    Jenn mentioned how Trump ordered the killing of Qassem Soleimani.

    Zack cited the book The Gulf War Did Not Take Place by Jean Baudrillard.

    Hosts:
    Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox
    Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox
    Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox
     
    Consider contributing to Vox:
    If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts
     
    More to explore:
    Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.
     
    About Vox:
    Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.
     
    Follow Us:
    Vox.com 
    Newsletter: Vox Sentences 
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 47 min
    How Joe Biden sees the world

    How Joe Biden sees the world

    Zack, Jenn, and Alex take the Democratic National Convention as an opportunity to talk about Joe Biden’s foreign policy. They go deep into his long and seemingly contradictory record as a policymaker, discuss what he’s said he’s going to do if elected, and contrast his worldview with the views of Trump and Obama. Ultimately, it seems like Biden wants to take the world back to the way that it was before Trump was elected — but has a very personal way of trying to get there.

    References:

    Here’s Alex’s feature on what Joe Biden’s foreign policy would look like

    And this is Alex and Tara Golshan’s story on Joe Biden’s complicated Iraq war history

    Jenn mentioned this Politico story, which noted Biden’s lack of preparation for meetings

    And she referenced Biden’s detailed answers to foreign policy questions in this New York Times interview 

    The Council on Foreign Relations has a useful guide on where the two presidential and two VP candidates stand on foreign policy

    Joe Biden’s foreign policy speech during the Democratic primary last year is definitely worth a read

    The New York Times has a great story on Biden’s personal touch to foreign policy and his use of “strategic empathy”

    Hosts:
    Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox
    Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox
    Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox
     
    Consider contributing to Vox:
    If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts
     
    More to explore:
    Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily news podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.
     
    About Vox:
    Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.
     
    Follow Us:
    Vox.com 
    Newsletter: Vox Sentences 
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 43 min
    Vaccine nationalism

    Vaccine nationalism

    Alex and returning guest Jen Kirby talk about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that Moscow has developed a coronavirus vaccine. They discuss how Russia skipped several safety steps and how the announcement highlights the troubling problem of “vaccine nationalism.” Basically, it’s every country for itself when creating a Covid-19 vaccine instead of working together — which could make it harder for the world to stop the pandemic.

    References:
    Here’s Jen Kirby’s excellent “vaccine nationalism” explainer
    Science Magazine explains why Russia’s vaccine announcement isn’t as impressive as it seems
    Harvard Business Review details why vaccine nationalism is so dangerous
    Yes, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he wanted to take the Russian-made vaccine, but has since walked back his boast
    Vox’s Umair Irfan outlined why Covid-19 trials show promise, but are still rife with complications

    Hosts:
    Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox
    Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox
    Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox
     
    Consider contributing to Vox:
    If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts
     
    More to explore:
    Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily news podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.
     
    About Vox:
    Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.
     
    Follow Us:
    Vox.com 
    Newsletter: Vox Sentences 
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 40 min

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