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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

Living with the past: the legacy of empire:

In this episode of our series looking at how countries reach an understanding with difficult aspects of their history, we look at empire – how we think about it, talk about it, teach it – and try to answer the question at the heart of the subject: what does a former coloniser owe the formerly colonised?

Latest episodes

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27116 Mar 2019
30 min

Living with the past: the legacy of empire: 

In this episode of our series looking at how countries reach an understanding with difficult aspects of their history, we look at empire – how we think about it, talk about it, teach it – and try to answer the question at the heart of the subject: what does a former coloniser owe the formerly colonised?

DownloadPlay
13 Mar 2019
4 min

Explainer 156: What is a recession?: 

With Turkey’s economy officially in recession, Andrew Mueller asks what the phrase actually means, which other countries are experiencing one and whether the global economy should be worried.

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2709 Mar 2019
30 min

Living with the past: Indigenous reconciliation: 

In the second episode of our series, we hear from Indigenous people in Australia, New Zealand and Canada about what reconciliation means in theory – and how it can work in practice.

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6 Mar 2019
4 min

Explainer 155: Why have Air India’s crew become cheerleaders?: 

Air India’s crew has been asked to bark patriotic exclamations at the end of cabin announcements. Andrew Mueller explores a strange new manifestation of Narendra Modi’s nationalism as India’s election approaches.

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2692 Mar 2019
30 min

Living with the past: the Second World War: 

There is probably no period in history more discussed than the Second World War. Every country involved suffered but Allied nations were able to console themselves that their losses were sustained in a noble cause. It hasn’t been as straightforward for the nations they defeated. In the first part of our series on living with uncomfortable pasts Andrew Mueller is joined by Jennifer Lind, Michael Sontheimer and Shihoko Goto to discuss whether Germany and Japan are reconciled to their histories.

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27 Feb 2019
4 min

Explainer 154: Does Okinawa need the US military?: 

Why has Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe promised to push ahead with a controversial plan to relocate the US military base on the island of Okinawa, despite an overwhelming referendum result to the contrary? Monocle 24’s Rhys James explains.

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26823 Feb 2019
30 min

Centrism: the new populism?: 

As Brexit draws nearer, British politics is facing another shake-up. This week, several members of both the Conservative and Labour parties left the government and opposition benches to form a new Independent Group. Andrew Mueller, Nina Schick, Sean Kemp and one of those very MPs, Chris Leslie, ask whether centrism could be the antidote to today’s fractured politics.

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20 Feb 2019
9 min

Explainer 153: Why is Australia so worried about refugees?: 

How did Australia’s infamous asylum-seeker policies begin? Ben Rylan explains how the Tampa Affair in 2001 radically shifted the nation’s politics.

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26716 Feb 2019
30 min

The Sudanese Spring?: 

Sudan’s cities have been gripped in recent months by large-scale demonstrations, originally sparked by an increase in the price of bread. Now some are demanding the departure of long-time president Omar al-Bashir. Since independence in 1956, Sudan’s people have overthrown two military dictators – could al-Bashir be next? Andrew Mueller is joined by Nesrine Malik, Magdi El-Gizouli and Phil Clark.

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13 Feb 2019
4 min

Explainer 152: Will Spain see its third prime minister in a year?: 

Spain’s government has hit a dead end on its budget reforms, meaning a snap election looks all but certain. Will this help secure a fresh mandate for PM Pedro Sánchez or will it create less stability in the already fractured parliament?

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2669 Feb 2019
30 min

Russia in Africa: 

Russia’s slow but steady spread across Africa has hardly gone unnoticed. Its projects include precious metals, diamonds, oil and nuclear research, as well as arms trading and military training. But is Russia just in it for the resources and economic gains or is there something else at stake? Andrew Mueller is joined by Henry Foy, Nastassia Astrasheuskaya, Anzetse Were and Alex Vines.

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6 Feb 2019
5 min

Explainer 151: Ireland and Brexit: 

As the UK prepares to leave the EU, those caught in the crossfire are starting to feel understandably irritated that the government isn't getting its act together.

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2652 Feb 2019
30 min

Venezuela: a solution at last?: 

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has long outstayed his welcome – and it appears that the world’s patience is wearing thin, as countries and institutions begin recognising a rival leader. Andrew Mueller is joined by Lucinda Elliot, Francisco Toro and Stephen Kinzer as we ask if Maduro’s time is finally up.

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30 Jan 2019
4 min

Explainer 150: Has Donald Trump’s presidency benefited Taiwan?: 

The presence of US warships in the Taiwan Strait has buoyed leaders in Taipei. Monocle 24’s Rhys James asks if the self-ruled island can rely on Washington?

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26426 Jan 2019
30 min

Church and state: 

The church’s influence on politics has been in decline in countries around the world for years. But as populism continues to rise, so does the chance for religious organisations to push their own agenda. Andrew Mueller is joined by Antonio Sampaio, Marat Shterin and Siobhan Garrigan to discuss the changing role of Christianity in society and politics.

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