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Affairs / Podcast

The Foreign Desk

​Presented by ​Andrew Mueller, Monocle 24’s flagship global-affairs show features​ expert guests ​and in-depth analysis of the big issues of the week. Nominated for ‘Best Current Affairs’ show and the ‘Spotlight Award’ in the 2022 British Podcast Awards.

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Latest episode

Nato’s Madrid summit: the most important yet:

In this special episode, the team travels to Madrid for Nato’s most important summit in generations. How much stronger has Russia made the alliance, if only by accident? Andrew Mueller speaks to Lithuania’s foreign minister, Gabrielius Landsbergis; the head of policy planning in the office of the secretary general at Nato, Benedetta Berti-Alberti; and Slovenia’s minister of foreign affairs, Tanja Fajon.

Latest episodes

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4442 Jul 2022
30 min

Nato’s Madrid summit: the most important yet: 

In this special episode, the team travels to Madrid for Nato’s most important summit in generations. How much stronger has Russia made the alliance, if only by accident? Andrew Mueller speaks to Lithuania’s foreign minister, Gabrielius Landsbergis; the head of policy planning in the office of the secretary general at Nato, Benedetta Berti-Alberti; and Slovenia’s minister of foreign affairs, Tanja Fajon.

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29 Jun 2022
6 min

Explainer 322: The capriciousness of the Supreme Court: 

Roe vs Wade was just the beginning. Now the current US Supreme Court appears to be overturning a whole host of previous rulings. Andrew Mueller explains how two different Supreme Courts can read the same constitutional text and get two different answers.

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44325 Jun 2022
30 min

Mark Esper: 

Andrew Mueller sits down with former US secretary of defence Mark Esper to discuss his tumultuous tenure in the Trump administration, the ongoing Capitol Hill committee hearings, and how he thinks other Western militaries ought to respond to current challenges.

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22 Jun 2022
8 min

Explainer 321: Belgium returns a Congolese hero’s golden tooth: 

Belgium has returned a tooth, the last remains of the murdered Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba, to members of his family. Andrew Mueller explains why.

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44218 Jun 2022
30 min

The evolution of Putin: 

The course of recent world history and the future of Ukraine rests on the whim of one man: Vladimir Putin. Was Putin’s rule of Russia always going to end up like this? In this episode, we hear from people who understand the evolution of Putin better than most. Andrew Mueller speaks to the former deputy energy minister of the Russian Federation Vladimir Milov; the president of Montenegro, Milo Đukanović; former president of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski; and the former president of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid.

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15 Jun 2022
7 min

Explainer 320: The Rwanda deportations: 

Andrew Mueller explains the UK government’s plan to deport certain migrants to Rwanda.

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44111 Jun 2022
30 min

Globsec 2022 Bratislava Forum, part two: 

In the second of our special episodes recorded at Globsec, Andrew Mueller sits down with Romania’s state secretary, Simona Cojocaru, former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt and Ukrainian MP Maria Mezentseva.

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8 Jun 2022
5 min

Explainer 319: The BJP and the contagious nature of indignation: 

Andrew Mueller explains how two throwaway, ill-thought-out comments from members of India’s BJP party sparked mass indignation around the world.

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4404 Jun 2022
30 min

Globsec 2022 Bratislava Forum, part one: 

A special episode at the Globsec 2022 Bratislava Forum. Andrew Mueller talks to Belarus’s opposition leader, the former president of Estonia and the ambassador-at-large at Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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1 Jun 2022
6 min

Explainer 318: The Japanese Red Army: 

Following the release of Fusako Shigenobu, the co-founder of the Japanese Red Army, Andrew Mueller explains the origins of the terrorist group.

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43928 May 2022
30 min

Kevin Rudd: How to Avert a Conflict Between China and the US: 

In this special episode, Andrew Mueller sits down with the former prime minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, to discuss the volatile relationship between superpowers China and the United States, the possibility of a catastrophic war between them – and how to avert such a conflict – and what he learned during his lengthy meetings with Xi Jinping.

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25 May 2022
7 min

Explainer 317: Why is Africa divided over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?: 

As the president of Senegal prepares to visit Moscow and Kyiv in the coming weeks on behalf of the African Union, Andrew Mueller explains why African nations are divided over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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43821 May 2022
30 min

Finland and Sweden bid to join Nato: why now?: 

Sweden and Finland have submitted their applications to become Nato’s 31st and 32nd members. We ask what Sweden and Finland would bring to the alliance, and if this expansion would make Nato’s mission of defending the west easier or harder. Andrew Mueller speaks to Jukka Siukosaari, the Finnish ambassador to the UK, Mikaela Kumlin Granit, Sweden’s ambassador to the UK, and to former Nato chief General Sir Richard Shirreff, among others.

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18 May 2022
30 min

Explainer 316: A Davos special in association with Finnish Flow: 

Following a Covid delay, the annual World Economic Forum at Davos is finally taking place again from 22 to 26 May. This year, there will be some new participants – representatives from eight cutting-edge Finnish companies that are innovating within energy, technology, healthcare and education under the banner Finnish Flow. They are aiming to take Davos by storm with their solutions to everything from the green-energy transition to helping children catch up on their Covid-struck education. In this special edition of ‘The Foreign Desk Explainer’, we hear from five Finnish Flow members, and their messages to the leaders of the world.

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43714 May 2022
30 min

Children of giants: 

In this special episode of ‘The Foreign Desk’, we speak to the descendants of major political figures. What’s it really like to be the child of a head of state? How weird is it when everyone else’s president is your parent? And are the descendants of villains able to move on from their ancestor’s crimes? Andrew Mueller speaks to Josina Machel, Gerald Posner and Nina Khrushcheva.

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