500 episodes

The Institute of World Politics is a graduate school of national security and international affairs, dedicated to developing leaders with a sound understanding of international realities and the ethical conduct of statecraft, based on knowledge and appreciation of the principles of the American political economy and the Western moral tradition.

**Please note that the views expressed by our guest lecturers do not necessarily reflect the views of The Institute of World Politics.**

The Institute of World Politics The Institute of World Politics

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The Institute of World Politics is a graduate school of national security and international affairs, dedicated to developing leaders with a sound understanding of international realities and the ethical conduct of statecraft, based on knowledge and appreciation of the principles of the American political economy and the Western moral tradition.

**Please note that the views expressed by our guest lecturers do not necessarily reflect the views of The Institute of World Politics.**

    Book Review: MAOISM -- A Global History by Julia Lovell

    Book Review: MAOISM -- A Global History by Julia Lovell

    About the book review: In certain ways China has moved off its Maoist model. But Maoism has had strong and unexpected roles in the violent underground in many places outside China. The best known cases may be the revolutionary wars of the latter 20th c. in Malaya, Vietnam, and Cambodia. But other contests by ideological Maoists opened up in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and even the western hemisphere's Peru.

    What is Maoism's appeal to foreigners?
    To what degree has it been exportable?

    In this new podcast, Professor Christopher C. Harmon will offer his insights into "Maoism Overseas" and discuss the admirable new book on the topic by Julia Lovell.

    About the Speaker: Dr. Harmon holds the Bren Chair of Great Power Competition at Marine Corps University and is also a professor at IWP, where he teaches courses on Military Strategy and Terrorist Advocacy and Propaganda.

    • 24 min
    Foreign Threats to the US Federal Elections

    Foreign Threats to the US Federal Elections

    About the lecture: Ethan S. Burger will share his views of the most surprising feature of the long-awaited unclassified version of the National Intelligence Council’s Intelligence Community Assessment “Foreign Threats to the 2020 US Federal Election,” March 10, 2021, principally that is it contained few if any surprises. Perhaps its discussion of China and Iran influence campaigns are noteworthy — the former country did not “take sides” in the presidential contest and the latter engaged in an effort targeting individual voters. To date, no one has systematically examined what if any impact foreign influence campaigns have there been on the 2020 Congressional elections.

    Compared with its efforts in 2016, Russia’s actions seemed not to affect the election outcome in the form of influencing opinions or suppressing turnout. In a sense, this reflects that its objective of sowing further discord within American society has achieved a level of success previously not anticipated. Nonetheless, at least throughout the summer, the Russian leadership seems to believe that Mr. Trump would be re-elected.

    Shortly before being fired by President Donald Trump after the election, Christopher Krebs, the Department of Homeland Security Director saw that his agency, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, had achieved its goal of ensuring “the most secure [presidential election] in American history.” Indeed “t]here is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”

    Mr. Burger will seek to put China’s, Iran’s, and Russia’s efforts into a historical context, where their objectives are similar to those of many countries’ attempts to sway voters in foreign countries to place into power a “friendly government,” albeit with less sophisticated tools. In the future, the principal cybersecurity threats are likely to be attacks on infrastructure, governmental institutions, and financial crimes.

    About the Speaker: Ethan S. Burger, Esq., is a Washington-based international legal consultant and an cyber instructor with IWP's Cyber Intelligence Initiative, where he teaches a seminar about the international law governing cyber operations. His lectures at the IWP have included: The Application of International Law to Cyber Operations, Better Understanding Russian Use of Mercenaries to Advance Foreign Policy Goals, and Contextualizing Russian Interference in the 2016 UK Brexit Referendum and the U.S. Presidential Election. His areas of interests include corporate governance, transnational crime (corruption, cybercrime, and money laundering), and Russian affairs. After working as an attorney on Russian commercial, investment, and risk issues, he segued into academic, and advisory roles.

    He has taught at Vilnius University about cybersecurity issues while on a Fulbright Foundation grant during which time he participated in the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence’s, a seminar on the international law governing cyber operations. He was a full-time faculty member at the Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (American University — School of International Service) and the Centre for Transnational Crime Prevention (Wollongong University — Faculty of Law).He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.

    • 41 min
    Fear and Insecurity: Addressing North Korean Threat Perceptions

    Fear and Insecurity: Addressing North Korean Threat Perceptions

    This event is sponsored by the Asia Initiative Lecture Series at The Institute of World Politics.

    About the lecture: Diplomacy with North Korea must factor in an understanding of the Kim regime’s fears and insecurity. Pyongyang’s military actions and negotiating gambits jeopardize the United States, South Korea, and other nations’ vital interests and policy goals. Accordingly, the study of North Korean threat perceptions—how Kim Jong-un thinks about the utility of force and about threats to his regime—is essential for averting strategic surprise and buttressing diplomacy. Dr. Cronin will address North Korean threat perceptions by examining the ruling elite’s basic instincts of fear and insecurity. Drawing on the more than seven-decade of war and cold war on the Korean peninsula, he will offer constructive ideas for diplomacy, crisis management, and security policy.

    About the speaker: Patrick M. Cronin is the Asia-Pacific Security Chair at Hudson Institute. Dr. Cronin’s research program analyzes the challenges and opportunities confronting the United States in the Indo-Pacific region, including China’s total competition campaign, the future of the Korean peninsula, and strengthening U.S. alliances and partnerships.

    Dr. Cronin was previously senior advisor and senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), and before that, senior director of the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) at the National Defense University, where he simultaneously oversaw the Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs.

    Dr. Cronin has a rich and diverse background in both Asian-Pacific security and U.S. defense, and foreign and development policy. Prior to leading INSS, Dr. Cronin served as the director of studies at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). At IISS, he also served as editor of the Adelphi Papers and as the executive director of the Armed Conflict Database. Before joining IISS, Dr. Cronin was senior vice president and director of research at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

    In 2001, Dr. Cronin was confirmed by the United States Senate to the third-ranking position at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). While serving as Assistant Administrator for Policy and Program Coordination, Dr. Cronin also led the interagency task force that helped design the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

    From 1998 until 2001, Dr. Cronin served as director of research at the U.S. Institute of Peace. Prior to that, he spent seven years at the National Defense University, first arriving at INSS in 1990 as a senior research professor covering Asian and long-range security issues. He was the founding executive editor of Joint Force Quarterly, and subsequently became both deputy director and director of research at the Institute. He received the Army’s Meritorious Civilian Service Award upon his departure from NDU in 1997.

    He has also been a senior analyst at the Center for Naval Analyses, a U.S. Naval Reserve intelligence officer, and an analyst with the Congressional Research Service and SRI International. He was associate editor of Strategic Review and worked as an undergraduate at the Miami Herald and the Fort Lauderdale News.

    Dr. Cronin has taught at Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program, Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and the University of Virginia’s Woodrow Wilson Department of Government.

    He read international relations at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, where he received both his M.Phil. and D.Phil. degrees, and graduated with high honors from the University of Florida. He regularly publishes essays in leading publications and frequently conducts television and radio interviews.

    • 1 hr 25 min
    How to Best Leverage U.S. Alliances and Partnerships against the PRC

    How to Best Leverage U.S. Alliances and Partnerships against the PRC

    This event is part of the China Series sponsored by The Institute of World Politics.

    About the lecture: The United States is party to several security alliances and partnerships in the Indo-Pacific Theater. These relationships vary in scope and commitment, but they are all rooted in shared concerns about the PRC’s hegemonic ambitions. Collectively, they have the potential to provide the United States with clear, long-term advantages over the PRC, diplomatically, economically, and militarily. Leveraging these advantages will require sustained U.S. leadership and innovative statecraft.

    About the speaker: The Honorable James H. Anderson is a former Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and a twice confirmed presidential appointee. In August 2018, the U.S. Senate confirmed Dr. Anderson as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities. In June 2020, the U.S. Senate confirmed him as Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

    Prior to his most recent Pentagon service, he served as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Marine Corps University and Dean of Academics at the Marine Corps War College. He has also worked as Professor at the George C. Marshall Center for European Security Studies, Director of Middle East Policy at the Pentagon, Project Manager at DFI International, Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, and Associate Professor at Command and Staff College, Marine Corps University.

    Dr. Anderson is the co-author of Leading Dynamic Seminars: A Practical Handbook for University Educators (Palgrave Macmillian, 2013), and the author of America at Risk: The Citizen’s Guide to Missile Defense (Heritage Foundation, 1999). He has written more than eighty articles and op-eds on a wide range of national security topics.

    Earlier in his career, Dr. Anderson served three years on active duty as an intelligence officer in the United States Marine Corps.

    Dr. Anderson earned his Doctorate in International Relations and Masters of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School, Tufts University.

    He is a recipient of numerous professional awards, including the Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the Department’s Highest Award for non-career Federal employees.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    “The Pygmy Among the Giants”? – Polish Eastern Policy

    “The Pygmy Among the Giants”? – Polish Eastern Policy

    Full title: “The Pygmy Among the Giants”? – Polish Eastern Policy in the Eyes of the British Political Elite (1919–1923)

    This lecture event is part of the 11th Kościuszko Chair Spring Symposium in honor of Lady Blanka Rosenstiel sponsored by the Kościuszko Chair in Polish Studies and the Center for Intermarium studies.

    Lady Blanka Rosenstiel and the American Institute of Polish Culture (AIPC) established the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies at IWP in 2008. The Kościuszko Chair serves as a center for Polish Studies in the broadest sense, including learning, teaching, researching, and writing about Poland's culture, history, heritage, religion, government, economy, and successes in the arts, sciences, and letters, with special emphasis on the achievements of Polish civilization and its relation to other nations, particularly the United States. We remain grateful for Lady Blanka’s leadership in founding this Chair at IWP.

    About the lecture: The Treaty of Versailles established the new order in Western Europe, but its clauses did not bring peace to independent Poland. The young state was struggling with external threats. First of all, from Soviet Russia, the Ukrainian national self-determination was endangering the Polish state’s security; in 1919, the Polish-Lithuanian antagonism sprang to life. In reality, its political, social, and military situation was anything but “stable.” Those conditions made the Polish-British inter-state diplomatic relation the essential factor in Polish foreign policy.

    This discussion attempts to explain the evolution of the British political elite’s perception of Polish Eastern policy. The speaker will introduce the British attitude towards Poland since the Peace Conference in Paris, which commenced its proceedings from 18th January 1919 until 15th March 1923, when Britain recognized Polish Eastern borders. The talk seeks to answer the following questions: what kind of factors—a geopolitical theory or a strategic necessity—determined British policy towards Polish Eastern policy? Moreover, what factors influenced the British approach towards Poland? Finally, according to the British officials, what role did the Eastern border’s recognition play in the Anglo-Polish reciprocal relationship? What was the importance of this fact in the perception of Poland’s role as one of the factors of stability in East-Central Europe?

    About the speaker: Dr. Jolanta Mysiakowska carried out her graduate work at the University of Warsaw (2005). She has a doctorate in modern history from the Polish Academy of Sciences (2010). In 2015, she won a research grant from the Polonia Aid Foundation Trust. In 2020, she won a research grant from Lanckorońskis’ Foundation. Currently, she works with the Institute of National Remembrance, Warsaw, Poland. She is also editor-in-chief of Glaukopis—a scholarly periodical produced in cooperation with The Institute of World Politics (Washington, D.C., USA).

    She is a historian of 20th century Poland, with a particular interest in developing independent Poland after the First World War, its political and domestic situation, and its inter-state diplomatic relationship with Great Britain. She also has research interests in political ideology from the late 19th to the first half of the 20th century—Member of British International Study Association and Britain and the World association.

    Much of her recent research is focused on the perception of independent Poland among the British political and intellectual elite (1919–1926).

    • 32 min
    The Art of Provocation

    The Art of Provocation

    This lecture event is part of the 11th Annual Kościuszko Chair Spring Symposium in honor of Lady Blanka Rosenstiel sponsored by the Kościuszko Chair in Polish Studies and the Center for Intermarium studies.

    Lady Blanka Rosenstiel and the American Institute of Polish Culture (AIPC) established the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies at IWP in 2008. The Kościuszko Chair serves as a center for Polish Studies in the broadest sense, including learning, teaching, researching, and writing about Poland's culture, history, heritage, religion, government, economy, and successes in the arts, sciences, and letters, with special emphasis on the achievements of Polish civilization and its relation to other nations, particularly the United States. We remain grateful for Lady Blanka’s leadership in founding this Chair at IWP.

    About the lecture: Revolutionary history abounds with ruse, deception, disinformation, manipulation, diversion, and a variety of devious mechanisms in the struggle by political visionaries, from gnostics to secret societies to anarchists to Marxists and others, to impose their utopian schemas on the unsuspecting. A technique encompassing that genre of mayhem that stands out and has been raised to the level of art is provocation (provokatsiya in the Russian). Provocation was a mainstay of the Tsarist counterintelligence service, the Okhrana, and then perfected up to the strategic level by the Soviet security services from the Cheka, through the KGB, and now to the FSB, SVR, the GRU of the Russian Federation. And, of course, it prospers in other counterintelligence-state cultures as well, such as Islam and China.

    Simply put, provocation is a key element of political warfare and is a characteristic of the counterintelligence-state. Provocation connotes operational counterintelligence techniques that create conditions to instigate real or imagined opponents — especially notional ones — into some action that will further the state’s objectives at the expense of the opponent(s). The idea here is to instigate something that otherwise would not occur, control the opponent, and ultimately put him out of action – or, better yet, keep controlling him long-term for some other political or operational purpose. This may be at the tactical level (a double agent operation aimed at discrediting an enemy intelligence service) or at the strategic level (the Trust and WiN operations focused on both domestic enemies and foreign intelligence services simultaneously).

    This presentation will focus on foundational examples of provocation up through recent instances where the art of provocation produced grand scale political, military and strategic outcomes beneficial to Marxist movements and regimes, and state-related terrorist structures. It will also briefly examine how the art of provocation has entered into the ethos of western security/intelligence services as well.

    About the speaker: Dr. Jack Dziak is a consultant in the fields of intelligence, counterintelligence, counter-deception, and national security affairs. He has served over five decades as a company president and as a senior intelligence officer and senior executive in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and in the Defense Intelligence Agency, with long experience in counterintelligence, hostile deception, counter deception, strategic intelligence, weapons proliferation intelligence, and intelligence education. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Institute of World Politics, and has taught at the National War College, National Intelligence University, Georgetown University, and The George Washington University; and lectures on intelligence, military affairs, and security issues throughout the US and abroad.

    • 59 min

Customer Reviews

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34 Ratings

34 Ratings

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Great School, Great Podcasts

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Fine content, poor audio

I periodically enjoy relevant and timely topics, but content is sometimes dry. Often important things that are not covered elsewhere. But please improve the audio quality. It’s an embarrassment.

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Top-Notch

These lectures reassure me that there are still institutions around dedicated to critical thinking and the value of democracy. The range and depth of experience the Institute of World Politics musters for these presentations is amazing.
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