49 episodes

Today’s world order is in unprecedented flux. The United States is navigating a new international system in which cannot dictate global rules. Conflict continues to destabilize the Middle East and attract an outsized share of policy attention around the world and in Washington. Host Thanassis Cambanis interviews activists and analysts about the most pressing issues in international policy. This podcast is produced by The Century Foundation, a progressive think tank that for more than one hundred years has worked to foster opportunity, reduce inequality, and promote security at home and abroad.

Order From Ashes The Century Foundation

    • News

Today’s world order is in unprecedented flux. The United States is navigating a new international system in which cannot dictate global rules. Conflict continues to destabilize the Middle East and attract an outsized share of policy attention around the world and in Washington. Host Thanassis Cambanis interviews activists and analysts about the most pressing issues in international policy. This podcast is produced by The Century Foundation, a progressive think tank that for more than one hundred years has worked to foster opportunity, reduce inequality, and promote security at home and abroad.

    A New World Order after the Pandemic?

    A New World Order after the Pandemic?

    The global crisis unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic will prompt a period of reflection and, potentially, a once-in-a-generation chance for sweeping policy change and reform. But the United States and the rest of the world have a checkered record during similar hinge points in modern history. 
    After World War II, policymakers responded to widespread social collapse and upheaval with bold, visionary investments in a new international and domestic order, spending money on long-term institutions and programs that produced deep and lasting stability. But other critical moments ended up as missed opportunities, characterized by chauvinism and isolationism: the end of World War I, the end of the Cold War, and 9/11. 
    On this episode of Order from Ashes, Ilan Goldenberg and Mieke Eoyang assess this history and argue that we aren’t necessarily condemned to repeat past mistakes. Today, Americans have a rare opportunity to dramatically transform government, society, and the international order for the better—or else risk worsening the defects that have left the world so vulnerable to the pandemic in the first place.
    Participants include:
    Mieke Eoyang, vice president, Third Way
    Ilan Goldenberg, senior fellow, Center for a New American Security
    Thanassis Cambanis, senior fellow, The Century Foundation

    • 38 min
    Virus and Oil Price Shocks Buffet the Gulf

    Virus and Oil Price Shocks Buffet the Gulf

    The COVID-19 epidemic hit Iran and its neighboring countries early, and has tested health systems and governments across the region. A second crisis hit the region in early March, when oil prices plummeted after a decision by oil producers to flood the market. Our guest on this episode, Karen Young, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, has been following both crises.
    These twin shocks have shaken vulnerable people across a region already buffeted by conflicts and political crises. Countries like Iraq and Iran seem ill-positioned to handle a health emergency—and falling oil prices threaten to make the Iraqi state insolvent. The virus and the spiralling effects of an oil price war also highlight the deep connections among countries in the MIddle East, and between the Middle East and the world economy.
    Participants include:
    Karen Young, resident fellow, American Enterprise Institute
    Thanassis Cambanis, senior fellow, The Century Foundation

    • 33 min
    What’s the Price of Giving Up on Human Rights and International Law?

    What’s the Price of Giving Up on Human Rights and International Law?

    During the Cold War, the United States promoted international law and human rights as a way to constrain its global rivals. Since the 1990s, however, Washington has more and more often dispensed with even the rhetorical cover of international law. The United States and its allies have habitually considered themselves exempt from international legal constraints.
    The decades since the 2003 invasion of Iraq have witnessed an acceleration of this trend. What is the cost of a full-fledged abandonment of the norms promoted by international law and human rights? International law and Middle East policy scholar Aslı Ü. Bâli discusses the many disturbing practical outcomes of our current state of eroded international law, including the impact on sanctions regimes, assassinations, and wars.
    Participants include:
    Aslı Ü. Bâli, UCLA professor of law
    Michael Wahid Hanna, senior fellow, The Century Foundation
    Thanassis Cambanis, senior fellow, The Century Foundation

    • 38 min
    Rupture in the Iraq–America partnership

    Rupture in the Iraq–America partnership

    Years of tension and slights between the governments of Iraq and the United States came to a head after the United States breached the terms of its partnership with Iraq with the assassination of a group of government officials outside Baghdad International Airport.
    Now Iraq is asking the United States to withdraw its troops, and the United States is threatening sanctions against Iraq—one of its most important strategic partners in the Arab world.
    How will this crisis affect security in Iraq and the resurgence of the Islamic State? How much of the relationship can be salvaged? What will be the costs for Iraq, the United States, and the surrounding region?
    Participants include:
    Sajad Jiyad, managing director, Bayan Center
    Maria Fantappie, special adviser, Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue
    Thanassis Cambanis, senior fellow, The Century Foundation
    Sajad Jiyad is the managing director of Al-Bayan Center for Planning and Studies in Baghdad.
    Maria Fantappie is a special adviser on the Middle East–North Africa region at the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Switzerland.

    • 37 min
    Dubai Ports World and a New Form of Imperialism

    Dubai Ports World and a New Form of Imperialism

    A new report out today from TCF report examines Gulf expansionism through a case study of the Emirates-based company Dubai Ports World (DP World). This multinational is one of the world’s leading global port operators and logistics giants—and a source of power for the United Arab Emirates. 
    A close look at its operations in the Horn of Africa reveals the ways that a government can exert control through a modern state-chartered company. A closer look at the operations of DP World also casts light on a key driver of disastrous state fragmentation in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea. 
    DP World functions like a modern-day version of the British East India Company, serving as both a foreign policy tool and a profit engine. The analysis in Advani’s report, and our discussion with him here, help explain how governments exert political power outside the confines of traditional statecraft.
    Participants include:
    Rohan Advani, researcher
    Michael Wahid Hanna, senior fellow, The Century Foundation
    Thanassis Cambanis, senior fellow, The Century Foundation

    • 31 min
    A Better Explanation for Powerful Armed Groups: Hybridity

    A Better Explanation for Powerful Armed Groups: Hybridity

    From Libya to Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and beyond, countless militias, parties, “brigades,” “forces,” “battalions,” and “detachments” have emerged to directly challenge the formal state. 
    These groups form a new category of actor, which draws power from the state, and at the same time competes with the state or even undermines it. The authors of a new report from The Century Foundation discuss the concept of “hybrid actor,” which allows us to make better sense of the pivotal players in conflict zones and shaky states across the Middle East, and beyond. 
    Participants include:
    Renad Mansour, research fellow, Chatham House
    Dina Esfandiary, fellow, The Century Foundation
    Michael Wahid Hanna, senior fellow, The Century Foundation
    Thanassis Cambanis, senior fellow, The Century Foundation

    • 34 min

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