- The Crack-Up: Egypt & the Wilsonian Moment, with Erez Manela
For about 18 months after World War I there was what historian Erez Manela calls the "Wilsonian moment"--a brief period when President Woodrow Wilson led people around the world to believe that he would champion a new world order of self-determination and rights for small nations. How did this actually play out, particularly in the case of Egypt, which was a British Protectorate at the time?
- Jailing of Journalists Worldwide, with CPJ's Elana Beiser
Elana Beiser of the Committee to Protect Journalists discusses the latest CPJ report, which finds that for the third year in a row, 251 or more journalists are jailed around the world, suggesting the authoritarian approach to critical news coverage is more than a temporary spike. Also for the third year running, Turkey, China, and Egypt were responsible for about half of those imprisoned, with Turkey remaining the world's worst jailer.
- Global Ethics Weekly: Women's Employment & Working in a War Zone, with Mariel Davis
Education for Employment's Mariel Davis discusses some of the many issues surrounding women's employment in the Middle East and North Africa, focusing on the story of a young Palestinian working in the hospitality industry. Plus, she details the struggles of working--and trying to work--in war-torn Yemen.
- Global Ethics Weekly: Youth Unemployment & Refugees in the Middle East & North Africa, with Mariel Davis
The Middle East and North Africa has a huge youth and young adult population--65 percent of the people in the region are under 30--but unfortunately unemployment among this group remains high. Education for Employment's Mariel Davis details how the organization is working to change this. She also discusses the challenges facing refugees, with a focus on Jordan.
- The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of Chemical Weapons
"Chemical weapons have been used in almost every decade since their advent just over a century ago. They are not a specter, like nuclear weapons. We know their effects, and how numerous states have employed them, and how they might do so in the future. In fact, after a few decades of relative non-use, chemical-weapons attacks have again exploded onto the scene--as a weapon of war, terror, and as a tool of state assassination."
- The Peacemakers: Leadership Lessons from Twentieth-Century Statesmanship, with Bruce Jentleson
What are the qualities and conditions that enable people to become successful peacemakers? At a time when peace seems elusive and conflict endemic, Bruce Jentleson makes a forceful and inspiring case for the continued relevance of statesmanship and diplomacy and provides practical guidance to 21st-century leaders seeking lessons from some of history's most accomplished negotiators, activists, and trailblazers.
- The Living Legacy of WWI: Chemical Weapons from the Great War to Syria, with Zach Dorfman
"What you stopped seeing after World War I was great power conflict involving chemical weapons, and what you started seeing was asymmetric conflicts or regional conflicts that involved chemical weapons. That actually disturbed me even more because what I started realizing was that as time went on the weaker you were, the more likely that another state would use chemical weapons against you or your people."
- Tunisia: An Arab Anomaly with Safwan M. Masri
Did you know that Tunisia started championing women's rights in the eighth century, and is still far ahead of most Arab and Muslim-majority countries? Indeed Tunisia's trajectory on many fronts has been radically more progressive than that of other Arab nations. So while it it may serve as an inspiration, its unique history probably makes its success impossible to duplicate, says Safwan Masri.
- Slowing the Proliferation of Major Conventional Weapons with Jonathan D. Caverley
Although today's hot topic is nuclear proliferation, let's not forget that wars like Syria are being fought with conventional ones, such as aircraft and artillery. Jonathan Caverley has an intriguing and practical proposal to slow down the spread of these deadly weapons.
- False Dawn: Protest, Democracy, and Violence in the New Middle East, with Steven A. Cook
Half a decade after Arabs across the Middle East poured into the streets to demand change, hopes for democracy have disappeared in a maelstrom of violence and renewed state repression. How did things go so wrong so quickly across a wide range of regimes? What role can and should the United States play? Don't miss this conversation with Steven Cook, an expert on Arab and Turkish politics as well as U.S.-Middle East policy.
- No Place for Eritreans
Eritreans are fleeing their repressive homeland at the rate of 5,000 a month. Yet once they manage to leave, new dangers await these hapless refugees, from extortion to violence and death. How can the world turn its back?
- Foreign Fighters, Homegrown Terrorism, and the Prevention of Violent Extremism
What are the driving forces behind the increase in homegrown terrorism and what can be done to stop it? Ali Soufan and Seamus Hughes, veterans in preventing violent extremism, explain the complexities and challenges of this global threat.
- Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle over Islam Is Reshaping the World
Many liberals hope that Islam will follow the same trajectory as Christianity and the West: a reformation and eventually secularization. But we should beware of assuming that all societies will follow the same path, says Shadi Hamid. Indeed, he has come to the reluctant conclusion that Islam will be resistant to secularization for a long time to come.
- Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World
In today's connected world--a "cosmopolis" dominated by the "four superpowers" Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon--what we need is to have more but also better free speech, declares Garton Ash. The West, particularly the U.S., should strive to promote global free speech, and we must foster a "robust civility" despite our differences.
- A Rage for Order: The Middle East in Turmoil, from Tahrir Square to ISIS
In this memorable conversation, "New York Times" journalists Robert Worth and Roger Cohen discuss Worth's latest book about the Arab Spring and its aftermath. Was its collapse inevitable? Could/should the U.S. have done more, especially regarding Syria? Despite all, Worth concludes the talk on a hopeful note.
- The Last Supper: The Plight of Christians in Arab Lands
There are 7.5 million Christians in the Middle East, who live under constant threat of death and humiliation. Danish journalist Klaus Wivel (not a Christian himself) asks: What is the story on the ground and why are so few journalists covering it? Why aren't we in the West doing more to defend the human rights of this beleaguered minority?
- Islamism: What It Means for the Middle East and the World
Until the mid-19th century, Islam was the sole basis of both political legitimacy and social identity across the Middle East. Islamists--a term that doesn't exist in Arabic--believe Islam should continue to be the region's primary identity. In opposition are nationalists and secularists who view Islamism as a serious threat. What will be the outcome?
- A Conversation with Sarah Chayes on Corruption and Global Security
Around the world from Afghanistan to Nigeria, systemic corruption is fueling instability, declares Sarah Chayes in this electrifying conversation. And the United States and other enablers are part of the problem. "If we don't prioritize corruption more—and that means here as well as there—the world is going to become an increasingly dangerous place."
- What Went Wrong in the Arab Spring?
In the early days of the Arab Spring, non-violent civil resistance helped topple authoritarian governments in Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen. Yet these apparent triumphs were followed by disasters. What went wrong? Was the problem rooted in the popular movements themselves, or in their societies? And what's the best way forward now?
- Bearing Witness to War and Injustice: Ron Haviv, Photojournalist
From the Balkan Wars to both invasions of Iraq to the current refugee crisis, photojournalist Ron Haviv has been at the center of many of the world's most dangerous conflicts over the last three decades. In this fascinating talk, Haviv walks us through some of his most striking photographs and discusses the complicated ethics of being a journalist in a war zone.