Another Year of Living Dangerously

In 2022, several colossal events dominated the headlines, most prominently the war in Ukraine and the worldwide inflation that it helped spark. But beyond Ukraine, events with global implications continued to unfold. In this episode, Why It Matters checks in with three CFR fellows and CFR President Richard Haass to understand the least-covered stories of 2022 and to take a peek at what could await the world in 2023.

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  • Gabrielle Sierra
    Director, Podcasting

Asher Ross - Supervising Producer

Markus Zakaria - Audio Producer and Sound Designer

Molly McAnany - Associate Podcast Producer

Episode Guests
  • Steven A. Cook
    Eni Enrico Mattei Senior Fellow for Middle East and Africa Studies and Director of the International Affairs Fellowship for Tenured International Relations Scholars
  • Richard Haass
    President Emeritus, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Shannon K. O'Neil
    Vice President, Deputy Director of Studies, and Nelson and David Rockefeller Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies
  • Ebenezer Obadare
    Douglas Dillon Senior Fellow for Africa Studies

Show Notes

In 2022, several major events reverberated around the world: a war in Europe, a global economic downturn, historic protests in Iran, the death of a queen. But these stories couldn’t cover everything that happened in our interconnected world. 


To find out what else happened this year, Gabrielle Sierra sat down with CFR President Richard Haass and three of CFR’s regional specialists to break down stories from Latin America, the Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa. 



From CFR


Manjari Chatterjee Miller, J. Andrés Gannon, Inu Manak, Ebenezer Obadare, and Christopher M. Tuttle, “Visualizing 2023: Trends to Watch


James M. Lindsay, “Ten Anniversaries to Note in 2023,” The Water’s Edge


Diana Roy, “Ten Graphics That Explain the U.S. Struggle With Migrant Flows in 2022


From Our Guests


Steven A. Cook, “How Israel and Turkey Benefit From Restoring Relations,”


Ebenezer Obadare, “Escalating Violence Is Putting Nigeria’s Future on the Line,”


Shannon K. O’Neil, The Globalization Myth, Yale University Press


Read More


2022 in Review Fast Facts,” CNN


Simon Robinson, “What Happened in 2022? The Year in Review - From Russia-Ukraine War to U.S. Midterms,” Reuters


Watch and Listen

Why Global Supply Chains May Never Be the Same,” Wall Street Journal


In a wide-ranging conversation, Foreign Affairs Editor Dan Kurtz-Phelan joins Why It Matters to discuss nonpartisan publishing in a polarized political climate, the state of press freedom around the world, and the future of journalism.

Genocide and Mass Atrocities

Thirty years ago, Rwanda’s government began a campaign to eradicate the country’s largest minority group. In just one hundred days in 1994, roving militias killed around eight hundred thousand people. Would-be killers were incited to violence by the radio, which encouraged extremists to take to the streets with machetes. The United Nations stood by amid the bloodshed, and many foreign governments, including the United States, declined to intervene before it was too late. What got in the way of humanitarian intervention? And as violent conflict now rages at a clip unseen since then, can the international community learn from the mistakes of its past?


Many Americans are losing faith in the benefits of internationalism. But whether it’s wars in the Gaza Strip and Ukraine, worsening extreme weather as a result of climate change, or the trade-offs of globalization, events abroad are increasingly having a local impact. At the same time, more state and local officials in the United States are becoming involved in global affairs, conducting their own form of diplomacy on international issues and driving investment home. What role should the United States play in the world economy? And how do states and cities fit in?

Top Stories on CFR



Ebrahim Raisi was more loyal to hard-line Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei than previous presidents, and whoever succeeds him is likely to be just as conservative.  

United States

A proposed Japanese takeover of U.S. Steel is facing domestic political pushback that could challenge Biden administration foreign policy aims.