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Affairs / Podcast

The Foreign Desk

Presented by Andrew Mueller, this is Monocle 24’s flagship global-affairs show featuring interviews with political leaders and in-depth analysis of the big issues of the day. Featured as a ‘best classic podcast’ in the iTunes best of 2016 collection.

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Latest episode

Does Japan need a military?:

Since the Second World War Japan has been a pacifist nation. But during that time it has built up an impressive defence force that, if it was a fully fledged military, would be the eighth largest in the world. In an ever more unstable region is it time for this global power to fight for itself or will that only add to the instability? Christopher Lord is joined by Alessio Patalano, Yuka Kobayashi and John Nilsson-Wright.

Latest episodes

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22 Nov 2017
5 min

Explainer 92: What next for Angela Merkel?: 

After talks to form a new coalition government collapsed, the chancellor of Germany is facing the biggest crisis of her political career. Andrew Mueller asks what’s next for Angela Merkel?

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20218 Nov 2017
30 min

Does Japan need a military?: 

Since the Second World War Japan has been a pacifist nation. But during that time it has built up an impressive defence force that, if it was a fully fledged military, would be the eighth largest in the world. In an ever more unstable region is it time for this global power to fight for itself or will that only add to the instability? Christopher Lord is joined by Alessio Patalano, Yuka Kobayashi and John Nilsson-Wright.

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16 Nov 2017
5 min

Explainer 91: Should Democrats be feeling confident?: 

With a recent string of electoral successes under their belts and the all-important mid-terms on their way next year, New York bureau chief Ed Stocker asks if the Democrats finally have something to celebrate.

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20111 Nov 2017
30 min

Trouble in the House of Saud: 

After an abrupt and significant week in Saudi Arabia, from shock resignations to missile interceptions, Christopher Lord looks at the state of the House of Saud and the reasons behind its recent change of strategy. Also in the studio: Ahmed Al Omran, Jane Kinninmont and Mohammed Khalid Alyahya.

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8 Nov 2017
3 min

Explainer 90: Should South Korea have better missiles?: 

With Donald Trump taking his first tour of Asia, all eyes are on a region wracked with tensions. But would more missiles be helpful or detrimental to the situation?

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2004 Nov 2017
30 min

A ‘new era’ for China?: 

Xi Jinping is, officially, China’s most powerful leader since Chairman Mao – his doctrine is enshrined in The Party’s constitution forever. But is China really at the start of a ‘new era’? Or have corruption, a slowing economy and the authoritarian regime started to have a negative impact on one of the world’s fastest growing economies? Christopher Lord is joined by Diane Wei Liang, Michael Auslin and Isabel Hilton.

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1 Nov 2017
4 min

Explainer 89: What is the Balfour Declaration?: 

This week marks the centenary of the Balfour Declaration – a short paragraph that paved the way for the establishment of the State of Israel. What did it say and why are we still talking about it 100 years later?

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19928 Oct 2017

Who really runs the White House?: 

As commander in chief of the US and so-called leader of the free world, President Trump has achieved surprisingly little during his time in office. However, the country is still running and decisions are being made – but by whom? Andrew Mueller is joined by former US Senate aide Tom Nichols, chief national correspondent for ‘The Boston Globe’ Annie Linskey and former mayor of Minneapolis RT Rybak.

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26 Oct 2017
7 min

Explainer 88: Why do politicians cry?: 

For some it’s a sign of weakness, for others an outpouring of genuine emotion – something the public can connect with. Toronto bureau chief Tomos Lewis asks when is it ok for a politician to cry?

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19821 Oct 2017
30 min

Gaza’s Future: 

After a decade of isolation from the West Bank, not to mention military bombardment from Israel, Hamas has finally reached an agreement with the Palestinian Authorities. But is it enough to bring The Strip in from the cold – and do the other big regional players even want that to happen? Christopher Lord is joined by Donald Macintyre, Dalia Hatuqa, Atef Alshaer and Farah Baker.

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18 Oct 2017
6 min

Explainer 87: Who is the real Xi Jinping?: 

With the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist party well underway, Monocle’s Hong Kong bureau chief James Chambers asks what is at stake for its leader and what are his aims for the next five years?

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16 Oct 2017
18 min

Bonus feature: A new politics?: 

En Marche holds power in France, the far-right Alternative für Deutschland is challenging Angela Merkel’s uninterrupted grip on power in Germany and Greece’s radical left-wing group, Syriza, is the largest party in the Hellenic Parliament. In fact, newer movements have done pretty well of late. What’s behind their inexorable rise?

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19714 Oct 2017
30 min

Space: soft power’s final frontier: 

Is taking the giant leap into space still a muscle-flexing exercise for competing powers or has it become the blueprint for international co-operation? As Australia gears up to start its own space programme, we ask: what are countries looking for up there and is it worth it? Andrew Mueller talks to Susmita Mohanty, Matthew Agnew, Matthew Goodman and Commander Chris Hadfield.

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11 Oct 2017
5 min

Explainer 86: Is the Dream still alive?: 

Children of illegal immigrants are still fighting for their right to remain in the US – and continue to be used as a bargaining chip by supporters of President Trump’s border wall. But, New York bureau chief Ed Stocker asks, are all hopes lost?

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1967 Oct 2017
30 min

Will Puerto Rico ever be the 51st state?: 

Puerto Rico’s recent referendum on statehood saw 97 per cent vote in favour of joining the US. But it wasn’t legally binding and the devastation of Hurricane Maria has left the island with more pressing issues – and a newfound resentment for the country they voted to join. Will Puerto Rico ever become the 51st state and does anyone really want it to happen? Christopher Lord is joined by José Lopez, Brent Wilkes and Susanne Ramirez de Arellano.

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