21 episodes

‘Peace Matters’ is a podcast on contemporary geopolitics and international relations. Focusing on current developments around the world, it brings you in-depth analysis from leading experts in Europe and beyond. Hosted by Vienna-based International Institute for Peace, it discusses the most pressing global challenges with decision-makers, academics, diplomats, civil society activists and other stakeholders. Tune in to discussions on issues and threats that concern us all! Since this is a truly global but also Austrian podcast, some episodes are released in English, others in German.

Peace Matters - A Podcast on Contemporary Geopolitics and International Relations InternationaI Institute for Peace in Vienna

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‘Peace Matters’ is a podcast on contemporary geopolitics and international relations. Focusing on current developments around the world, it brings you in-depth analysis from leading experts in Europe and beyond. Hosted by Vienna-based International Institute for Peace, it discusses the most pressing global challenges with decision-makers, academics, diplomats, civil society activists and other stakeholders. Tune in to discussions on issues and threats that concern us all! Since this is a truly global but also Austrian podcast, some episodes are released in English, others in German.

    Israel and Palestine: Imagining peace? Omer Bartov & Hannes Swoboda

    Israel and Palestine: Imagining peace? Omer Bartov & Hannes Swoboda

    The horrific terror attack of Hamas on October 7th and the subsequent war of Israel against Gaza put the decades old conflict between Israel and Palestine back on the international stage. There is no doubt that the horrendous attack of Hamas against civilians (including the abduction of more than 250 Israelis) is a war crime and a crime against humanity. However, many – including the International Court of Justice (ICJ) - now claim that the way how Israel is waging the war against Gaza might amount to genocide – a term which has been highly politicized. Additionally to the ICJ the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court is seeking arrest warrants against the Hamas leadership and against the Prime Minister and Defence Minister of Israel. While the huge trauma of the holocaust will always be part of Jewish identity including the state of Israels identity, Palestinians are also traumatized with what they call the Nakba in 1948 and subsequent occupation and discrimination. While the Holocaust and the Nakba are not comparable, it shouldn`t deprive us to understand the sense of victimhood of others.
    The role of empathy when it comes to the suffering of the other cannot be underestimated but is hardly spoken about. Why is it important to talk about the holocaust, antisemitism, genocide, occupation? What role does international law play today and how are European countries reacting on the events in the Middle East? How can a peace process between Israel and Palestine become a political paradigm again and who could push the Israeli government to end the war in Gaza? What could peace mean for Israel and Palestine? These and other questions have been discussed in our latest episode: Israel and Palestine: Imagining Peace

    Guests:
    Omer Bartov is an Israeli-American historian. He is the Samuel Pisar Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Brown University, where he has taught since 2000. Bartov is a historian of the Holocaust and is considered one of the world's leading authorities on genocide. Born in Israel and educated at Tel Aviv University and St. Antony's College, Oxford, Omer Bartov's early research concerned the Nazi indoctrination of the Wehrmacht and the crimes it committed in World War II, analyzed in his books, The Eastern Front, 1941-1945, and Hitler's Army. He then turned to the links between total war and genocide, discussed in his books Murder in Our Midst, Mirrors of Destruction, and Germany's War and the Holocaust. Bartov's interest in representation also led to his study, The "Jew" in Cinema, which examines the recycling of antisemitic stereotypes in film. His more recent work has focused on interethnic relations in the borderlands of Eastern Europe. Recent publications include Erased: Vanishing Traces of Jewish Galicia in Present-Day Ukraine (2007), Anatomy of a Genocide: The Life and Death of a Town Called Buczacz (2018), winner of the National Jewish Book Award, and Tales from the Borderlands: Making and Unmaking the Galician Past (2022). His many edited volumes include Shatterzone of Empires: Coexistence and Violence in the German, Habsburg, Russian, and Ottoman Borderlands (2013), Voices on War and Genocide: Three Accounts of the World Wars in a Galician Town (2020), and Israel-Palestine: Lands and Peoples (2021).

    Hannes Swoboda is the President of the International Institute for Peace. He started his career in urban politics in Vienna and was elected to the European Parliament in 1996. There, he served as an MEP for eighteen years, including as the Leader of the Social Democratic Group in the Parliament from 2012 until 2014. He was particularly engaged in foreign, enlargement, and neighborhood policies. He is now president of the International Institute for Peace, the Sir Peter Ustinov Institute and the Vienna Institute for Economic Studies.

    Moderation:
    Stephanie Fenkart, Director of the IIP

    The episode was recorded on 24 June 2024.

    • 42 min
    EU Elections: The EU’s Role in the World after 2024. Misha Glenny & Christos Katsioulis

    EU Elections: The EU’s Role in the World after 2024. Misha Glenny & Christos Katsioulis

    In this episode, we discuss the EU’s global foreign policy. How has the EU been faring in its attempt to remain (or become?) a global power amid the declining liberal world order? Can the EU diminish its dependency on China’s market and rare materials? How should it position itself towards the United States after the presidential elections in November? Is it capable of avoiding being dragged into the US-China rivalry? How can it become a credible partner in the eyes of the so-called Global South? Does the Franco-German leadership of the European Union still hold? Misha Glenny and Christos Katsioulis elaborate on these and many other pressing issues.



    Guests:

    Misha Glenny is an award-winning journalist, author and public intellectual. He is the Rector of the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) - the role he assumed in May 2022.
    He covered the 1989 revolutions and wars in the former Yugoslavia for The Guardian and was the BBC’s Central Europe Correspondent. In 1993, he received the Sony Gold Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting, and in 2012 he was named BT Information Security Journalist of The Year.
    His publications have been met with considerable international acclaim, including his account of Yugoslavia's descent into civil war.
    In more recent years, Misha Glenny has dedicated his journalistic activities to the uncovering of geopolitical and cybersecurity issues. His books McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld and DarkMarket: Cyberthieves, Cybercops and You were shortlisted for several awards. McMafia has been adapted into a major television drama, and the adaptation of his latest book, Nemesis: One Man and the Battle for Rio, will follow soon.
    Glenny is also a regular contributor to major publications in Europe, North America and Japan.



    Christos Katsioulis is the Director of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation's Regional Office for International Cooperation. Born in Böblingen, Germany, he studied History and Political Science at the University of Trier and the Aristotle-University in Thessaloniki. He obtained his MA in International Relations from the Institute for Political Science in Trier, where he taught international relations and foreign policy from 2003 to 2005.
    After that he joined the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, starting as policy officer in the EU-Office in Brussels and from 2007 to 2012 as expert on foreign policy in the International Policy Analysis Unit in Berlin. In 2012 he founded and headed the FES Office in Athens, later he headed the EU Office in Brussels as well as the London Office of FES.
    Christos has been a regular commentator on European affairs in the German as well as international media and a regular contributor for the journal Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft.




    Moderation:
    Marylia Hushcha, Researcher and Project Manager at the IIP.

    The episode was recorded on 29 May 2024.

    • 50 min
    EU Elections: Enlargement for Peace? Kristof Bender & Milena Mihajlovic

    EU Elections: Enlargement for Peace? Kristof Bender & Milena Mihajlovic

    The unprovoked and illegal war of aggression of Russia against Ukraine ended the assumption that a conventional war within Europe is a relict of the past. With the European Security Architecture in crisis, if even still existing, the EU member states understood the importance of their neighboring countries in South Eastern Europe and in Eastern Europe for their own security. With the granting of EU candidate status to Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, the nearly two decades long period of enlargement-fatigue came to an end. However, six states in the so-called Western Balkans have been in the process for many years and yet Croatia was the last country to become a member of the EU in 2013. Challenges are still manifold when it comes to the rule of law, corruption, nationalism, emigration on the side of the candidate countries. On the other hand, especially in the countries of the Western Balkans the EU has lost its credibility due to not following its own promises after reforms. The way into the EU is still long and technical, but there are many attempts to make the process more feasible and merit-based. However, the EU also needs to address the most crucial questions on how it wants to deal with an enlarged EU. How is this possible when decision-making processes on foreign policy decisions are still based on unanimity? While the decision to grant the countries in the east a European perspective has widely been acknowledged as a geopolitical decision, what does that imply for the values of the EU, codified in Art 2 of the EUV? How credible is this European perspective for the candidate countries who are all on different tracks and made different reforms? What is the cost of non-enlarging the EU? With an expected shift towards right-wing parties in the upcoming EU elections in June, what does that mean for a “New EU”? These and other questions have been addressed in this Podcast with the excellent experts Kristof BENDER and Milena MIHAJLOVIĆ.

    Guests:

    Kristof Bender (Austria) is the Deputy Chirman at the European Stability Initiative (ESI). He leads various ESI research projects on EU enlargement and on South Eastern Europe. Educated in sociology in Vienna and Paris, he has worked in South East Europe in various capacities since 1997, including managing higher education projects in Bosnia for the World University Service, as Attaché for Humanitarian Affairs in the Austrian Embassy in Belgrade, as a researcher for the International Centre for Migration Policy Development and as a consultant for various institutions, including the Austrian Federal Chancellery, DFID and SIDA. Part of the ESI team since early 2000, Kristof has been living in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, and is currently based in Vienna. He is also a Europe’s Futures fellow at the IWM Vienna (Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen), a board member of the Kosovo Civil Society Foundation (KCSF) and an advisory board member of Institute Alternativa (Montenegro).

    Milena Mihajlovic is one of the founders and Programme Director at the European Policy Centre (CEP), independent, non-profit think-tank based in Belgrade, Serbia. Milena is a proven expert in the field of public administration reform, in Serbia and in the Western Balkan region. Before co-founding CEP, Lazarevic worked for almost six years as a civil servant in the Serbian administration, first in the EU Integration Office of the Serbian Government (SEIO) and later in the Ministry of Public Administration. She is a Soros scholar and has an MA degree in European studies from the College of Europe and an MA in European Administrative Law from Belgrade University.

    Moderation:

    Stephanie Fenkart, Director of the IIP

    The episode was recorded on 13 May 2024.

    • 43 min
    EU Elections: The Orbánization of Europe? Péter Krekó & Paul Schmidt

    EU Elections: The Orbánization of Europe? Péter Krekó & Paul Schmidt

    In the upcoming European Union parliamentary elections, a shift towards the conservative and right-wing forces is expected. Why are right-wing populist parties so successful these days and what implications does this have for the foreign policy and enlargement-agenda of the European Union? What is Hungary`s role within the European Union and what relevance does Victor Orbán`s anti-western, anti-woke and anti-liberal democracy narratives have for the work of the EU? In times of increasing multipolarity and the understanding that geopolitics are back on the agenda, how can the EU step up its efforts in dealing with multiple crises? How are right-wing parties cooperating on various issues within the EU parliament and what implications does this have for the EU as a peace maker? Are we heading towards an Orbanization of the European Union and what specific role plays Victor Orban in its immediate neighborhood, especially in the Western Balkan countries?
    These and other questions are addressed in the 18th episode of the podcast PEACE MATTERS with PÉTER KREKÓ and PAUL SCHMIDT.

    Guests:

    Péter Krekó is a social psychologist and a disinformation expert with a focus on the psychological drivers of belief in disinformation and the impact of political-institutional contexts. He holds a PhD from the Eötvös Loránd University of Sciences, where his dissertation topic was the social psychology of conspiracy theories. He is a Research Affiliate at the CEU Democracy Institute, a senior fellow at the Washington-based CEPA think tank, and a PopBack Fellow at the University of Cambridge. Additionally, he is a fellow of Rijeka University for Advanced Studies. He has also worked as a guest researcher at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna and as a non-resident Associate Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University SAIS Bologna Institute of Policy Research. In addition, he has served as a Fulbright Visiting Professor at Indiana University and is the owner and director of the Political Capital Institute. Krekó is also the head of the EC-funded hub against disinformation (HDMO-Lakmusz)

    Paul Schmidt has been Secretary General of the Austrian Society for European Politics since 2009. Previously, he has worked at the Oesterreichische National Bank, both in Vienna and at their Representative Office in Brussels. His current work mainly focuses on the analysis and discussion of topical issues regarding European integration.

    Moderation:

    Stephanie Fenkart, Director of the IIP


    The episode was recorded on 8 May 2024.

    • 43 min
    EU Wahl und die Zukunft Europas: Evelyn Regner & Lena Schilling

    EU Wahl und die Zukunft Europas: Evelyn Regner & Lena Schilling

    Die EU-Wahlen klopfen an der Tür. Und stehen in dieser Episode von Peace Matters im Mittelpunkt. In einer Zeit, in der Europa mit einem direkten Krieg in seiner Nachbarschaft und zahlreichen anderen Krisen konfrontiert ist, wird die Bedeutung einer feministischen Außenpolitik diskutiert. Lena Schilling, bekannt als Klimaaktivistin und die jüngste Spitzenkandidatin für die Grünen, reflektiert über die Vereinbarkeit von Aktivismus und politischem Engagement und teilt ihre Vision für die Zukunft Europas. Evelyn Regner, Abgeordnete im Europäischen Parlament für die SPÖ, diskutiert konkrete Maßnahmen, um das Wissen über die EU bei jungen Menschen zu verbessern. Die Rolle des Europäischen Parlaments bei der Annäherung der EU an die Bürger wird kritisch hinterfragt, ebenso wie die Bedrohung durch den Aufstieg des Rechtsextremismus. Die Rolle Österreichs in der EU und die Fortschritte sowie Herausforderungen in Bezug auf Geschlechtergleichstellung werden ebenfalls beleuchtet. Inmitten all dieser Themen steht die zentrale Frage: Kann Europa weiterhin als Friedensprojekt bestehen? Diese und andere Fragen diskutiert Dennis Miskic, Project Assistant am IIP gemeinsam mit Evelyn Regner und Lena Schiling.


    Gäste:
    Evelyn Regner - Seit 2009 Abgeordnete zum Europäischen Parlament und seit Jänner 2022 auch Vizepräsidentin des Hauses. Darüber hinaus stellvertretende Delegationsleiterin der SPÖ im EU-Parlament.

    Lena Schilling - österreichische Klimaaktivistin, die mit der Fridays for Future-Bewegung in die Öffentlichkeit getreten ist. Bei den EU-Wahlen 2024 tritt sie als Spitzenkandidatin für Grünen an.

    Moderation:
    Dennis Miskić - Project Assistant, IIP

    Diese Folge wurde aufgezeichnet am 30.04.2024.

    • 39 min
    Russia`s War against Ukraine: Where are We Now? Mangott & Grieveson

    Russia`s War against Ukraine: Where are We Now? Mangott & Grieveson

    The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine entered its 3rd year and an end still seems to be far away. While the destruction of infrastructure is ongoing, millions of people were forced to flee, the population is traumatized and, on the battlefield, there seems to be a stalemate. Yet, the EU - countries are still voicing their support for Ukraine. However, in the US the narrative is slowly shifting towards the necessity of entering negotiations in light of US elections later this year. On the other hand, the sanctions regime is still upheld and, at least in the short-term, the expected results have not materialized. How could an end to the war look like? Who could be negotiating considering Russia still didn`t abandon its maximalist demands. What role has the so-called global South and how is the economic relationship between Russia and China developing? What does the destruction and the loss of population mean in the long-term for Ukrainian economy and what role does the EU-perspective man in this context? With the global shift of attention towards the war of Israel against Hamas in Gaza, is peace still possible in Ukraine?

    Guests:
    Gerhard Mangott is Professor of Political Science at the Department of Political Science at the University of Innsbruck since October 2015. Specialization on International Relations and Security in the Post-Soviet region. He is scientific Adviser on Post-Soviet Affairs at the Austrian Institute for International Affairs (OIIP) in Vienna February 2009-2015 October and from1991–June 2008 served as Permanent and Senior Research Fellow on Eastern Europe and the former USSR at the Austrian Institute for International Affairs (OIIP) in Vienna. He is also a Lecturer at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna since 1995 and a Lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences in Vienna since 2004.

    Richard Grieveson is Deputy Director at the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw) and a member of the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG). He coordinates wiiw’s analysis and forecasting of Central, East and Southeast Europe. In addition, he works on European policy analysis, European integration, EU enlargement, economic history, and political economy. He holds degrees from the universities of Cambridge, Vienna and Birkbeck. Previously he worked as a Director in the Emerging Europe Sovereigns team at Fitch Ratings and Regional Manager in the Europe team at the Economist Intelligence Unit.

    Moderation:
    Stephanie Fenkart, IIP Director.


    The episode was recorded on 27 March 2024.

    • 43 min

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