Welcome to the War Studies podcast. We bring you world-leading research from the School of Security Studies at King’s College London, the largest community of scholars in the world dedicated to the study of all aspects of security, defence and international relations. We aim to explore the complex realm of conflict and uncover the challenges at the heart of navigating world affairs and diplomatic relations, because we believe the study of war is fundamental to understanding the world we live in and the world we want to live in. If you’ve enjoyed this podcast, please rate and review us on your preferred podcast provider – it really helps us reach more listeners. The School of Security Studies harnesses the depth and breadth of expertise across War Studies and Defence Studies to produce world-leading research and teaching on issues of global security that develops new empirical knowledge, employs innovative theory, and addresses vital policy issues. Visit our website: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/security-studies Sign up to our mailing list: https://kcl.us15.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=cc0521a63c9b286223dea9d18&id=730233761d DISCLAIMER: Any information, statements or opinions contained in these podcasts are those of the individual speakers. They do not represent the opinions of the Department of War Studies or King's College London.
Ethical leadership in international organisations with Dr Maria Varaki and Dr Guilherme Vasconcelos
Once expected to guarantee the ‘salvation of mankind’, by ensuring a peaceful, healthy and prosperous global order, international organisations such as the UN, NATO, the EU have increasingly lost trust and legitimacy over recent decades. They are often accused of corruption, embezzlement, sexual scandals, poor and immoral performance, and their ability to take on pressing global challenges is compromised.
Alongside this, a wave of populism, nationalism, and isolationism threatens the stability of the international legal order and the capacity of international organisations to address policy dilemmas.
But as we have painfully witnessed with Covid-19, global cooperation and leadership is needed now more than ever, with ever mounting and more serious global policy dilemmas, including the influx of refugees, climate change, global health issues, cyber wars, and growing inequality.
So, how do we rehabilitate International organisations to ensure the fulfilment of their missions while respecting integrity and ethical values?
In this episode, Dr Maria Varaki, Lecturer in International Law at the Department of War Studies, and Dr Guilherme Vasconcelos, Associate Professor of Law at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, discuss a new volume they’ve edited - ‘Ethical leadership in international organizations'. It offers an innovative, interdisciplinary approach to looking at the importance of virtue ethics to help better understand the role of leadership in international organisations, and how this can transform approaches to tackling pressing global challenges.
The fall of the Soviet Union 30 years on
“The USSR as a geopolitical reality and subject of international law has ceased to exist.”
In December 1991, the Presidents of Russia, the Ukraine and Belarus came together in the forests of the Polish-Belarussian border to agree this statement. On Christmas Day two weeks later, the USSR, one of the world’s two super powers as well as a centuries-old Russian Empire was dissolved, with no large-scale violence, civil war or nuclear weapons.
But what led to this seismic event in geo-politics? Was the collapse inevitable after the fall of the Berlin Wall? And what were the major consequences of this tidal wave of change for the people of the former Soviet Bloc and Russian relations with the West, that we’re still grappling with today?
In this special bumper episode of the War Studies Podcast marking 30 years since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Professor Sam Greene, Director of King’s Russia Institute, talks to Dr Ruth Deyermond, Senior Lecturer in Post-Soviet Security, and Dr Natasha Kuhrt, Lecturer in International Peace & Security, about how and why the USSR collapsed.
They explain why its death surprised many in the East and the West, the chaotic and overwhelming changes people had to deal with almost overnight, and why the West’s response to the collapse of communism sowed the seeds of rising tensions in relations between Russia and the West today.
Challenges and Solutions of Climate Geoengineering
What is climate engineering? How and why are certain shifting geoengineering policies engendering conflict? How do we differentiate between and prioritise the multitude of governance factors? How does funding affect the outcome of policy implementation and how are traditional concepts still being utilised, in tandem with more modern ideas.
In the fifth and final episode of this five-part mini-series on Climate Change and National Security focuses on these challenges. Dr Duraid Jalili from the King’s Environmental Security Research Group and Professor Matt McDonald from the University of Queensland, speak to Professor Olaf Corry, Professor of Global Security Challenges at the University of Leeds and expert in international politics and geoengineering, and Dr Naho Mirumachi, Reader in Environmental Politics and Convenor of the King’s Water Hub Research Group.
They will discuss the challenges, risks and potential controversy facing proposed solution mitigation and adaptation of implementing large and small scale geoengineering policies.
Climate change and the securitization of vulnerable nations
Vulnerable nations are really feeling the negative effects and implications of climate change and the associated security repercussions. To what extent is climate change a security issue in vulnerable states? How are the coalitions between under-developed nations helping in the fight against climate change? What are the key issues and divisions in the approaches of the global north and south?
Recorded just after COP 26, the fourth episode of this five-part mini-series on Climate Change and National Security focuses on these challenges.
Dr Duraid Jalili from the King’s Environmental Security Research Group and Professor Matt McDonald from the University of Queensland, speak to Dr Hillary Briffa, Lecturer in National Security Studies, Assistant Director of the Centre for Defence Studies and Co-founder of the Centre for Grand Strategy at King’s College London and Dr Simon Chin-Yee, Lecturer in International Development at University College London and Research Associate at King’s College London.
They will discuss how we understand the unique challenges facing small island states and the global south more broadly on the existential problem of climate change and securitization, and the struggle of how these nations fight to get their voices heard and their successful influence on higher powers.
Guilty women, foreign policy, and appeasement with Professor Julie Gottlieb
Did British men and women react in the same way to the imminence of the Second World War? How did women feel about the Munich agreement - the notorious false dawn of ‘peace in our time’? Since they had been given the vote in 1928, women’s political power and influence was a matter of concern, coinciding in the 1930s with the deepening anxieties about the potential and increasing probability of another world war.
In this episode we talk to Professor Julie Gottlieb, historian of modern British political history, including women's history and gender studies, from the University of Sheffield, about her book Guilty Women’, Foreign Policy, and Appeasement in Inter-War Britain. Casting new light on the gendered representation of appeasement, it looks at the so-called ‘woman’s peace’ – the perception that women were behind the push for appeasement and that their emancipation through the vote had “sown the seeds of national decline”.
We discuss whether there’s any truth behind these claims as well as how the rhetoric of women’s pacifist movements in the late 1930s started to blur uncomfortably with that of anti-war Nazi-sympathising women on the far right. We also take a look at the turn to international affairs in feminist politics between the wars, and the extent to which it reveals how British women were deeply invested in foreign policy and diplomacy at the time.
China, India and the USA’s different approaches to climate security
The three major powers at the centre of COP26 - China, India and the USA, have differing perspectives on the link between climate and security. Yet how does this impact their climate policy? What are the drivers behind the ways the different countries think about the relationship between security and the environment? How does this impact the vital cooperation needed to make COP 26 a success?
Recorded just as COP 26 was getting underway, the third episode of this five-part mini-series on Climate Change and National Security focuses on these questions. Dr Duraid Jalili from the King’s Environmental Security Research Group and Professor Matt McDonald from the University of Queensland, speak to leading climate security experts including Erin Sikorsky, Director of the Center for Climate and Security and the International Military Council on Climate and Security, Dhanasree Jayaram, Assistant Professor in the department of Geopolitics and International Relations at the Manipal Academy of Higher Education in India, and Karl Hallding, Senior Research Fellow at the Stockholm Environmental Institute.
In this honest discussion, reveals where the governments are going wrong the experts reflect on the barriers and obstacles of different climate security approaches as well as emerging opportunites. Including whether China’s Belt and Road initiative is actually as ‘green’ as they claim, how territorial contestations undermine climate cooperation and how bringing a climate lens to security can help strengthen relationships with partners and allies.
Bring back the Q&As at the end of lectures
Fantastic podcast, but much of the learning comes from the Q&As they no longer post.
Diversity of Opinion?
Is it even possible anymore to have nuanced discussions on issues and not straight pandering to a tribe? This podcast is terrible.
Your Invite to Free Lecture Hall
Hear some of the most influential thinkers gobsmack some of the sharpest students on wide-ranging subjects related to world-wide issues.