Episodes

The Maghreb: The Era of Gaddafi

Mar. 4, 2024 – Across the dunes of time, the winds of change have often reshaped nations. Welcome to “The Looking Glass.” I’m Kosi Ogbuli, your guide through the intricate maze of history and politics. Today, we step back into 1969, when a young Muammar Gaddafi changed Libya forever. This is Episode 2: “The Winds of Change.”

Dirk Vandewalle, a renowned expert from Dartmouth College with extensive knowledge in US-Libya relations, joins us to unravel the complexities of this era. Professor Vandewalle, we are honored to have you here.

Talos x TLG: What Role(s) can the UN Play?

Feb. 20, 2024 – Welcome on Talos, a new podcast in partnership with the Looking Glass. My name is Mathilde Barge and I will be taking you on a journey across different technology policy profiles, asking real questions about what it entails, what we can do about it, and how it is evolving. 

This week’s episode, I had the pleasure of talking with Eleonore Fournier Tombs, Head of Anticipatory Action and Innovation at United Nations University, about the potential role the UN can take as a new body for a global governance of Artificial Intelligence. She is also a professor, lead researcher for multiple projects across the UN System as well as a writer.

The Maghreb: The Birth of Libya

Feb. 14, 2024 – In the inaugural episode of this mini-series, we journey back to the early 20th century to witness the birth of a nation–Libya. It’s a tale of independence, monarchy, and the shaping of a country’s identity amid the waves of change sweeping through Africa and the Middle East.

We are joined by Hafed Al Ghwell, a respected voice on North African affairs and the Executive Director of the North Africa Initiative at the SAIS Foreign Policy Institute, to explore this pivotal period.

“The Left in 2024” with Vijay Prashad

Jan. 9, 2024 – Renowned historian, intellectual, and journalist Vijay Prashad joins the pod to discuss how the political left sees the year ahead.

Vijay Prashad is an Indian historian and journalist. Prashad is the author of forty books, including Washington Bullets, Red Star Over the Third World, The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World and The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South. His latest book, The Withdrawal: Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and the Fragility of U.S. Power (2022), was written with Noam Chomsky.

Gaza Situation Report with Jason Terry

Dec. 29, 2023 – Jason Terry (He/Him), Director of Strategic Programs at UNRWA USA,  joins the pod to discuss the harrowing situation unfolding in Gaza.

Things will have changed by the time you have listened to this episode. 

The World Bank and your Livelihood

Dec. 10, 2023 – Today, we’re exploring the critical role of the World Bank Inspection Panel in protecting livelihoods through its 30 years of operations. We’ll be discussing the insights and experiences gained from various inspection cases, particularly focusing on a recent investigation in Togo, West Africa.”

Don’t Call it a Farmer-Herder Conflict

Dec. 8, 2023 – Today, we’re joined by two experts: Laura Sanders from Cetus Global and Dougoukolu Alpha Oumar, a geopolitics analyst, clinical psychologist, and a  SAIS alum and someone who can speak truth to power regarding Fulani communities across West Africa. “Don’t Call it a Farmer Herder Conflict.”

Is Oat Milk, Milk [TLG-Archives]

Dec. 7, 2023 – Dr. Marsha A. Echols is the Director of The World Food Law Institute and a Professor at Howard University School of Law, where she teaches commercial, international business and trade, and world food law. She is a recognized expert in the fields of international food regulation, international trade and dispute settlement.

Shell Shocked: The Untold Story of Environmental Ruin in the Niger Delta

Sept. 20, 2023 – The politics of disaster series continues with a dive into the devastating environmental and human rights abuses perpetrated by the Royal Dutch Shell oil company in the Niger Delta region. 

For decades, the local communities have suffered from massive oil spills, gas flaring, and deforestation, leading to loss of livelihoods, contaminated water, and severe health impacts.

Despite ongoing legal battles and international pressure, Shell continues to avoid accountability, highlighting the need for a global response to corporate environmental negligence.

13 Years Underwater: The Lingering Impact of Deepwater Horizon

June 12, 2023 – In a special series, The Looking Glass and The Politics of Disaster Podcast will explore powerful stories at the intersection of policy and climate disaster. This episode explores the Lingering Impact of Deepwater Horizon. On the mic are:

Guest(s):
Ben Casselman, NY Times Reporter
Allen Lindsay Jr., Attorney

Jeffrey Gorham (MAIR 2024/narrator)
Rowan Humphries (MAIR 2024/interviewed Ben Casselman)
Nathan Felmus (BA/MAIR 2024/interviewed Allen Lindsay Jr.)

Defeating the Dictators: A conversation with Charles Dunst

June 5, 2023 – Back in March, we had the pleasure of Speaking with Charles Dunst about his new book,  Defeating the Dictators: How Democracy Can Prevail in the Age of the Strongman.

In a world where democracy is in decline and autocracy is on the rise, Dunst argues autocracy is not the solution despite being an attractive alternative for those disillusioned with current democratic institutions. He argues that the only way to defeat dictators is to have better democracy. We cover his life, his book, and his fandom for New York sports teams on this episode of The Looking Glass.

Guest: Charles Dunst, Deputy Director of research & analytics at The Asia Group, an adjunct fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and a contributing editor of American Purpose.

Unpacking Digital Authoritarianism: Definitions and Considerations

March 27, 2023 – Digital Authoritarianism is a wide-ranging and, at times, difficult to define area of international security analysis. To help us tease out some key terms and analytical frameworks in this ever-evolving domain, we brought on international security expert and analyst Mr. Erol Yayboke, Director of the Project on Fragility and Mobility and Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

In 2020, Mr. Yayboke and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Plans and Posture Samuel Brannen jointly published a CSIS brief, “Promote and Build: A Strategic Approach to Digital Authoritarianism.” The publication puts forth a useful set of analytical concepts to develop a deeper understanding of the modern landscape of digital authoritarianism as a threat to global democracies and a force for the subversion of human rights, while also highlighting some specific key actors, models, and methods of the practice, and other overlapping challenges in our rapidly digitizing world. You can read Mr. Yayboke and Deputy Assistant Brannen’s full CSIS brief here.

Guest: Erol Yayboke, Director, Project on Fragility and Mobility and Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Obi or Not Obi: The 2023 Nigerian Elections

Feb. 28, 2023 – At the posting of this episode, Nigeria’s tightest presidential election in a generation has yet to be decided. However, Nigeria’s political map will never be the same after this election. This phenomenon has been years in the making. Joining us to discuss these dynamics is Ebenezer Obadare, Douglass Dillon senior fellow for Africa at the Council on Foreign Relations. Before joining CFR, Obadare was a political lecturer in international relations at the Obafemi Awolowo University from 1995 to 2001. His primary areas of interest are civil society and the state, and religion and politics in Africa.

Guest: Ebenezer Obadare, Douglas Dillon Senior Fellow for Africa Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

https://open.spotify.com/episode/0Xt9u8uQjDtaf2jWrEZ3Pg?si=462f13ee95784922
International Law and the Global South

Feb. 13, 2023 – Perhaps the most important critique of modern international law has been the charge that it is a Eurocentric regime, which has helped to erect and defend a world of deep injustice characterized by violence, exploitation, and inequality. To reorient the discussion on international law, this episode of The Looking Glass explores International Law and the Global South with Professor Obiora Chinedu Okafor. Professor Okafor is the Edward B. Burling Chair in International Law and Institutions at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Professor Okafor has served, since August 2017, as the UN Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity (one of the principal groups of human rights experts who advise and report annually to the UN Human Rights Council and General Assembly) and a former Chairperson of the United Nations Human Rights Council Advisory Committee (a Geneva-based committee of experts elected by the Human Rights Council to serve as its think tank and principal subsidiary organ).This episode was produced by Kosi Ogbuli. Articles/ Reports referenced: Re-defining legitimate statehood: international law and state fragmentation in Africa The third world and international order.

Guest: Obiora Okafor, Edward B. Burling Chair in International Law and Institutions at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Surveillance.com: Authoritarianism in a Digital Age

February 6, 2023— This episode of The Looking Glass follows the rise of digital authoritarianism through China’s use of technology for mass surveillance, including the use of biometrics, artificial intelligence, and big data.

We discuss the export of digital authoritarianism to other parts of the world, the role of democracies in providing a better use case of technology, and technology’s relationship with human rights.

Joining us in this episode is Maya Wang. Maya Wang is the Associate Director in the Asia Division at Human Rights Watch. Wang has researched and written extensively on the use of torture, arbitrary detention, human rights defenders, civil society, disability rights, and women’s rights in China. In recent years, her original research on China’s use of technology for mass surveillance has helped galvanize international attention on these developments in China and globally.

Guest: Maya Wang, Associate Director in the Asia Division, Human Rights Watch