- What the Tunisian Revolution Taught Me about Democracy
"The rights and protections that democracy endows can be dangerous if a country is not prepared for it. If a country lacks alternative political leaders to take the helm after a democratic transition, it will be led incompetently. If it does not have a political elite that is well-versed in the workings of competitive party politics and democratic policymaking, there would be no respect for the democratic process. If its people are not active participants in governance, democracy will be sabotaged by populists and opportunists."
- China Steps Out, with Joshua Eisenman
In this illuminating conversation, China scholar Joshua Eisenman discusses his two latest books: "Red China's Green Revolution," which overturns the conventional wisdom (both in China and abroad) that Chairman Mao's commune system was a failure; and a co-edited volume "China Steps Out," which explains why for China (unlike the United States), developing regions are a cornerstone of its foreign policy.
- Top 10 Podcasts for the 2017-2018 Program Year
The number one most accessed Carnegie Council podcast in 2017-2018 was Scott Sagan on nuclear weapons (video), followed by Qin Gao on poverty in China (video), Ambassador Derek Mitchell on Burma (audio), Amy Chua on political tribes (video), and Andreas Harsono on Indonesia (audio).
- India in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know, with Mira Kamdar
What are the challenges that will have the most impact on India's future? Award-winning author Mira Kamdar puts climate change and environmental degradion at the top of the list, including rising sea levels and scarcity of resources. Next is the problem of poverty and unemployment--India has to generate nearly a million new jobs a month for young people joining the workforce. Kamdar also discusses the rise of Hindu nationalism and much more.
- Guatemala's German Connection & Latin American Unity, with Henning Andrés Droege
What is Guatemala's German connection and how has it changed over time? What is Guatemala's role in geopolitics? Could Latin America form a similar organization to the EU and thus tap into the tremendous potential for synergy among Latin American countries? Learn more, in this fascinating conversation with entrepreneur and former diplomat Henning Andrés Droege.
- Roadmap to Hell: Sex, Drugs and Guns on the Mafia Coast, with Barbie Latza Nadeau
Rome-based journalist Barbie Latza Nadeau tells the horrifying story of the thousands of Nigerian women and girls duped into being trafficked to Italy, where they are forced to become sex slaves, drug mules, or weapons smugglers. How can this be stopped? The Nigerian government turns a blind eye, Libya, the transit point, is a failed state, and Italy is overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of migrants--plus prostitution is legal there.
- Poverty Reduction & Social Welfare in China, with Qin Gao
Professor Qin Gao, director of Columbia's China Center for Social Policy, explains the workings of the Chinese "Dibao" (limited income guarantee) system. "Dibao is doing relatively better than many other similar programs in developing countries," says Gao, yet it has limitations and some negative aspects. She also discusses Xi Jinping's ambitious goal to eradicate poverty by 2020, and the benefits of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) system.
- Promoting Human Rights in the Developing World, with American Jewish World Service's Robert Bank
Growing up in Apartheid-era South Africa, Robert Bank cared about social injustice from an early age. Today he travels the world for AJWS, working with local activists on a range of issues such as women's rights in India and LGBT rights in Uganda. "My job—very much like a conductor of an orchestra in some way—is to ensure that every instrument has its beautiful voice heard and that this melody is given the opportunity to really soar."
- It's Better than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear, with Gregg Easterbrook
Today, many feel paralyzed by the constant stream of bad news. Yet as Gregg Easterbrook shows, statistics on crime, poverty, and longevity prove that things are actually getting better, both in the United States and most of the world. So why do we see the world in such a negative light? Is it a coincidence that this trend started in 2004, the same year that Facebook was created?
- "Modern Slavery" with Siddharth Kara
In his third book on slavery, which took 16 years of research, Siddharth Kara calculates that there are roughly 31 million slaves worldwide, at least half of them in South Asia. We need to apply much more resources and compassion to end "this horrible indignity."
- Tackling Inequality in the United States, with "Born on Third Base" Chuck Collins
Chuck Collins grew up in a wealthy family and gave away his fortune at the age of 26, yet he realizes that he still has advantages accrued over generations. The current level of inequality is bad for society as a whole, he declares. "It is not in anyone's interest to keep moving toward a sort of economic and racial apartheid." But it doesn't have to be this way. It can be reversed.
- Extreme Poverty in the United States, with the UN's Philip Alston
The UN's Philip Alston traveled across the U.S. recently and found appalling conditions, from homelessness in California to open sewage in rural Alabama. He discusses the political choices that allow this to continue and proposes solutions.
- #Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media
How is today's Internet driving political fragmentation, polarization, and even extremism—and what can be done about it? Legal scholar Cass Sunstein shares the results of his research.
- Duterte's Drug War and Human Rights in the Philippines and Southeast Asia
President Duterte has created a human rights calamity, says Phelim Kine of Human Rights Watch. In just over over eight months, 7,000 of the poorest, most marginalized Filipinos have been killed. What's needed is a UN special investigation. Without one, and without sustained exposure of these killings, things are only going to get worse.
- Cultural Relations and their Effects on Politics and Economics
J. P. Singh describes himself as working at the intersection of culture and political economy, examining how ways of life and their symbolic representations bleed over into politics and economics. This discussion ranges from cultural politics in the U.S. and the UK, to Singh's book "Sweet Talk" on post-colonialism paternalism in trade deals, and more.
- Kumi Naidoo on Human Rights and the Impact of Climate Change
Kumi Naidoo's activism began at 15 years old, when he risked his life to protest against apartheid in his native South Africa. The former Greenpeace executive hasn't stopped since. Learn more about this inspiring man and find out why he considers climate change to be the most important human rights issue of our time.
- The Philippines, the South China Sea, and the Many Sides of President Duterte
Richard Heydarian, of Manila's De La Salle University, discusses the Philippines' landmark legal victory against China in the South China Sea dispute, and why the Sea is so important. He also examines President Duterte's multiple dimensions, and why he seems to be very popular among Filipinos.
- Ethics on Film: Discussion of "Food, Inc."
This documentary takes a close look at the U.S. food industry and finds that cheap food is costly and sometimes deadly to the environment, consumers, and workers in farms and factories. Taking aim at the U.S. government and big corporations like Monsanto, this film reveals disturbing truths about our fast food-obsessed society.
- Ethics on Film: Discussion of "Selma"
This stirring film gives a behind-the-scenes look at the Selma-to-Montgomery march and illustrates how and why King's strategy worked. It also shows the devastating consequences of this civil disobedience and the countervailing forces on both sides. Seeing King in this way—as a human being, with flaws and doubts—will only add to his legacy.
- International Student Photo Contest, 2016: Cities/Urbanization
Across the world, there is an ongoing mass migration from the countryside to the cities. Please submit photos that depict urbanization and city life, showing either the advantages or the drawbacks. All students of every nationality are eligible. Non-students will be disqualified. The minimum age is 13.