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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. Winner in the ‘best current affairs’ category of the 2018 British Podcast awards.

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Latest episode

Could Colombia’s generosity to migrants inspire others?:

Colombia’s president Iván Duque Márquez has announced that the country will grant nearly one million undocumented Venezuelan migrants the right to stay for 10 years, arguably a surprising move by a conservative government. Might other governments take notice of this compassionate and pragmatic pitch? In a world rebuilding itself, could a more enlightened, albeit opportunistic, policy towards migration make sense? Andrew Mueller is joined by Anastasia Moloney, Panu Poutvaara and Tessa Szyszkowitz.

Latest episodes

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3 Mar 2021
5 min

Explainer 255: Sentencing Sarkozy: 

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been convicted for attempted bribery and potentially faces more legal consequences for other crimes of corruption. While the domestic ramifications are likely to be small, Andrew Mueller explains how it may be significant for countries struggling with corruption.

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37427 Feb 2021
30 min

Could Colombia’s generosity to migrants inspire others?: 

Colombia’s president Iván Duque Márquez has announced that the country will grant nearly one million undocumented Venezuelan migrants the right to stay for 10 years, arguably a surprising move by a conservative government. Might other governments take notice of this compassionate and pragmatic pitch? In a world rebuilding itself, could a more enlightened, albeit opportunistic, policy towards migration make sense? Andrew Mueller is joined by Anastasia Moloney, Panu Poutvaara and Tessa Szyszkowitz.

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24 Feb 2021
6 min

Explainer 254: Genocide – why won’t world leaders call it what it is?: 

To enact genocide is to commit the most heinous of crimes deserving the strongest of consequences. But calling it out comes with ramifications. Andrew Mueller explains why most leaders will call it anything but ‘that’.

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37320 Feb 2021
30 min

Modi’s agricultural reforms: the last straw?: 

For the past six months, Indian farmers have been protesting against agricultural reforms that they say will destroy their way of life. This week, the arrest of a young environmental activist who supported them sparked international outrage. We examine what the protests are about and ask how Narendra Modi’s response fits into a pattern of government by disruption. Andrew Mueller is joined by Shruti Kapila, Joanna Slater and Kapil Komireddi.

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17 Feb 2021
7 min

Explainer 253: Guantanamo Bay – here to stay?: 

The terrorist detention facility is arguably the most controversial prison in the world. Obama proclaimed he’d close it; Trump swore to add to it. Neither got what they wanted. Why? And what can Biden do with it now?

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37213 Feb 2021
30 min

Is something shifting in Russia?: 

​In the wake of widespread winter protests across Russia, we look at how Alexei Navalny became the figurehead for opposition to Vladimir Putin. Are the ongoing protests building momentum? And, if so, is real change becoming more likely? Andrew Mueller is joined by Nataliya Vasilyeva, Andrei Kolesnikov and Mark Galeotti.

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10 Feb 2021
5 min

Explainer 252: Somalia’s political problem: 

Somalia failed to hold elections before the term of incumbent president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ended on Monday. Andrew Mueller explains the ramifications for the already fragile country.

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3716 Feb 2021
30 min

Who is the ‘international community’?: 

On Monday morning, the military seized control of Myanmar and detained the country’s elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, along with other politicians. The international community responded with condemnation and threats of consequences. But what do we actually mean by “the international community”? What power does it have? And do Myanmar’s generals – or anyone else – really care what it thinks? Andrew Mueller is joined by Aye Min Thant, Daniel Russel and Paul Rogers.

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3 Feb 2021
6 min

Explainer 251: The Greene party: 

The Trump era is over but congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has sprinted forward to take the baton. Is the GOP able to distance itself from her QAnon conspiracy theories or is her popularity too valuable? Andrew Mueller explains.

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37030 Jan 2021
30 min

Tahrir Square, 10 years on: 

Ten years after Egyptians rose up against long-ruling dictator Hosni Mubarak during the first hopeful weeks of the Arab Spring, we look at why it didn’t work out as the protesters might have hoped and ask if the energy of Egypt’s revolution is still alive anywhere. Andrew Mueller is joined by Nancy Okail, Ahmed Naji and Lyse Doucet.

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27 Jan 2021
8 min

Explainer 250: Jerry Rawlings: 

Andrew Mueller looks back on the eventful life of Ghana’s longest-serving president.

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36923 Jan 2021
30 min

What’s next for Uganda?: 

Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, has been declared the winner in a general election. We look at what it means for the future of Ugandan politics and the country's youthful population. What will Museveni’s sixth term look like? And where does this leave his opponent, Bobi Wine, and his supporters? Plus: a short history of Museveni’s rise to power. Andrew Mueller is joined by Angelo Izama, Ingrid Nantege and Frederick Golooba-Mutebi.

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20 Jan 2021
5 min

Explainer 249: The future of migrant caravans : 

A migrant caravan travelling from Central America to the US has been halted by military personnel in Guatemala, prompting speculation about the success of future migrations under the Biden administration. Andrew Mueller explains.

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36816 Jan 2021
30 min

Vacci-nations: 

As coronavirus vaccine programmes begin rolling out around the world, we explore a nation’s duties, interests and opportunities to do it quickly and efficiently. What is a government’s duty towards its citizens – and, in a global crisis, to the world? Who should get it first? And how might vaccines be used to pursue national and diplomatic advantages? Andrew Mueller asks Arthur Caplan, Sarah Wheaton and Allison Kaplan Sommer.

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13 Jan 2021
6 min

Explainer 248: Qatar: the end of the Gulf’s grudge match: 

After years of being ostracised by its fellow Arab countries, Qatar has rapidly been welcomed back into the fold. Andrew Mueller explains the reasons behind this sudden change of heart.

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