190 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
    • 4.4 • 1.6K Ratings

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.

    Why Biden hasn’t reentered the Iran deal — yet

    Why Biden hasn’t reentered the Iran deal — yet

    Zack, Jenn, and Alex break down why the Biden administration hasn’t yet reentered the Iran nuclear deal. They explain that the process of rejoining is more complicated than it might seem, but that it’s still likely the deal will come back eventually. They then debate the pros and cons of rejoining the accord and how well the Obama foreign policy team — many of whom have joined the Biden administration — handled the pact. One point of agreement: The Trump administration’s Iran policy failed.

    References:

    Alex wrote about the impending US-Iran talks over the nuclear deal.

    And he also wrote about Colin Kahl’s under-threat confirmation.

    Foreign Policy asks if Biden took too long to reengage Iran.

    Jenn noted a Politico magazine story detailing how the Obama administration let a Hezbollah criminal enterprise proceed to help strike the 2015 deal.

    Al Jazeera reported on then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s 12 demands on Iran. He achieved none of them.

    Vox has a great visual explainer on the Iran deal.

    Hosts:
    Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox
    Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox
    Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), White House 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.
     
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    • 46 min
    The world’s great powers

    The world’s great powers

    Zack, Jenn, and Alex break down one of the DC foreign policy world’s hottest new catchphrases: “great power competition.” It’s the idea that international politics in the 21st century will be dominated by a struggle for influence between the US, China, and (to a lesser extent) Russia. The gang talks about what the concept actually means and whether it’s a useful framework for understanding international politics today and in the future.

    References:

    Dan Nexon’s Foreign Affairs article inspired the Worldly crew to record this episode.

    The Atlantic had an excellent piece explaining how “great power competition” became a DC buzzword.

    The National Interest had an op-ed detailing why great power competition could be a problem.

    Matthew Kroenig wrote in Foreign Policy on how the US should outline goals for its competition with China.

    The Congressional Research Service has a comprehensive report on what “great power competition” has meant in recent years.

    Hosts:
    Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox
    Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox
    Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), White House 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

    • 54 min
    Protesting farmers, India's democracy, and Rihanna

    Protesting farmers, India's democracy, and Rihanna

    Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss the huge farmers’ protests in India. They explain the very real policy debate over new agricultural reform laws that sparked the protests, and how that debate has now been obscured by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist politics, international celebrity activism, and online trolls. Oh, and they talk about Rihanna. Yes, that Rihanna.

    References:

    Vox’s Jariel Arvin explains the Indian farmers’ protest.

    And he also writes about why India’s government is mad at Rihanna.

    Plus, Vox has a smart video on the protests.

    The India Forum has an excellent deep dive into India’s three farming reforms.

    Scientific American lays out the environmental problems with farming in India.

    The New Yorker in 2019 had an excellent feature on Modi’s Hindu nationalism.

    The Times of India looks into the rise of internet trolls.

    Hosts:
    Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox
    Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox
    Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), White House 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

    • 44 min
    Myanmar’s coup has no heroes

    Myanmar’s coup has no heroes

    Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss the recent coup in Myanmar, in which the Myanmarese military deposed the country’s quasi-democratic government and detained its civilian leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, along with hundreds of members of her political party. They look at why this happened, explain why both sides in this fight are morally compromised, explore what the Biden administration and the international community can (and can’t) do in response, and project what this means for the future of Myanmar's democracy — and the safety of the country’s many persecuted minority groups.

    References:

    Alex wrote an explainer on the Myanmar coup.

    And he also wrote about why the coup is a problem for Biden’s pro-democracy agenda.

    Jen Kirby wrote on why the coup is deeply troubling for Myanmar’s most vulnerable.

    And she wrote about the laughable charges the military leveled against Aung Sang Suu Kyi.

    The AP explains the differences between “Myanmar” and “Burma.”

    The new military leadership has shut down Facebook, Reuters reported.

    Slate has a great piece on why an Obama-era democratization push for Myanmar probably won’t happen this time.

    Here’s the Foreign Policy story with the headline “Who Lost Myanmar?”

    Hosts:
    Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox
    Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox
    Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), White House 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

    • 44 min
    Why Putin wants Alexei Navalny dead

    Why Putin wants Alexei Navalny dead

    Zack, Jenn, and Alex discuss the nationwide demonstrations in Russia in support of dissident opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who returned to the country this week from Germany, where he was recuperating from a poisoning believed to be an assassination attempt directed by the Kremlin. Navalny was immediately arrested upon his arrival, sparking protests across the country. The gang discusses who Navalny is, why President Vladimir Putin views him as a threat to his grip on power, and what the protests might mean for the future of Russia.


    References:

    Vox has a piece on last weekend’s protests.

    Alex wrote about the Biden-Putin call and Navalny’s arrest.

    You can find Navalny’s platform here.

    Check out Pod Save the World’s interview with a Russian journalist about Navalny.

    Russian reporter Alexey Kovalev writes that “something special just happened in Russia.”

    This is the Time piece Zack mentioned.

    Political scientist Timothy Frye wrote about Putin’s “repression trap” for the Washington Post.

    The Atlantic profiles some of Navalny’s most unsavory views.

    Jenn noted that Russia has an Internet repression problem.

    Hosts:
    Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox
    Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox
    Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), White House 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

    • 46 min
    Biden’s World

    Biden’s World

    Zack, Jenn, and Alex host the first Worldly episode of the Biden administration, the show’s first-ever episode when Donald Trump is not president. They discuss how US foreign policy will differ under Biden — and surprising ways it might stay the same — on topics ranging from China to Middle Eastern alliances to climate change.

    References:

    Alex has a thorough explainer on Biden’s foreign policy.

    Zack wrote that it’s okay to feel hope after Biden’s inauguration.

    Here’s Biden putting the US back in the Paris climate agreement.

    And here’s Biden having the US rejoin the World Health Organization.

    Vox wrote up how the confirmation hearings for Biden’s key national security Cabinet picks went this week.

    Hosts:
    Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox
    Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox
    Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), White House 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

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
1.6K Ratings

1.6K Ratings

Jorge92745 ,

More conceptual?

I enjoy stepping away from the politics of the moment and hearing about things that are more conceptual. That being said, one of the big challenges in news these days is hearing about what’s going on around the globe. So probably a mix of both current news and conceptual framework‘s is helpful.

Sadie Foote ,

Great Topics - needs more equal input

I really enjoy the topics that Vox puts out on worldly.
Any discussion on US foreign policy is very biased, but this is more of just a discussion among colleagues of their opinions, so I find it interesting.
My only complaint is that I wish Alex piped up more. Most of the show is a dialogue between Zack and Jen. I enjoy Alex’s perspective because he tends to be more neutral and just analyze an issue based on all factors.
I will say - Jen knows the Middle East very well. I do enjoy listening to her on this topic.

Hotsexypants ,

Good subjects, annoying hosts

Very good podcast for in-depth learning about current world events, but the hosts are just too annoying. They try to have inside jokes and live in an imaginary world where their proposed actions would have few negative consequences. I just wanna be informed about current events without the self righteousness and bad humor.

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