Season Five Trailer

Why It Matters is back for a fifth season, asking the important questions about the global issues, problems, and trends that will affect the future. What role does American music play in international relations? Will the global supply chain put the path to clean energy at risk? What the heck is quantum computing? 

Play Button Pause Button
0:00 0:00
  • Gabrielle Sierra
    Director, Podcasting

Asher Ross - Supervising Producer

Markus Zakaria - Audio Producer and Sound Designer

Rafaela Siewert - Associate Podcast Producer

Show Notes

Get caught up on the first four seasons: 


Season four: 


Hyperventilating Over Hypersonics


The Climate for Nuclear Energy




Sexual Assault in the U.S. Military


Spying 101


Perspective on Afghanistan, With Richard N. Haass


Japan’s Population Problem


Water Scarcity


When the Microchips Are Down


Season three:


Gone Fishing


A Global Shot in the Arm, With Anthony Fauci


The Dollar Privilege


The Most Persistent and Lethal Threat




China’s Starring Role in Hollywood


The Future Is African


A Climate Bomb in the Amazon


Let’s Talk About Toilets


Make America Vote Again


Season Three Trailer


Season two:


Treasures Looted in War


Why We Need International Students


Pricing Our Climate


Hey, Remember the Olympics?


Living in History


The World Is Watching Us


The Human Cost of Labor Trafficking


Exporting Authoritarianism


WhatsApp With India?


Wearing the World Out


Bonus Episode: ‘A Medically Induced Economic Coma’


Season Two Trailer


Season one:


The Big Red Button


China Doesn’t Want Your Trash




Space Jam


Prescription for Disaster


New Years Special: 2020 Hindsight


Robots That Kill


Voter, You’ve Been Hacked


Dimming the Sky


The One Where We Talk About NATO at a Party




West Africa

West Africa is losing many of its best and brightest. Across the region, doctors, lawyers, and engineers are leaving, depriving some of the world’s youngest countries of the minds they need to develop sustainably. At the same time, coups have rocked the nearby Sahel, threatening to create a corrosive cycle of instability. Can West Africa quell the tide of emigration?

Maternal and Child Health

In the past thirty years, sixty countries have expanded access to abortion care as an underpinning of maternal health. The 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade made the United States the fourth country ever to decrease access to abortion—and the world took notice. Some countries have since reinforced protections for abortion care, while others have moved to further restrict it.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the most popular man in India. On track to be elected for a third term, he has boosted the country’s global standing and propelled strong economic growth while consolidating power and galvanizing majoritarian support for his Hindu nationalist agenda—all while growing closer to the United States. How could Hindu nationalism reshape India?

Top Stories on CFR



The closely watched elections on July 28 will determine whether incumbent President Nicolás Maduro wins a third term or allows a democratic transition.

International Law

The high court’s decision could allow future U.S. presidents to commit grave abuses of power with impunity, with serious implications for U.S. foreign policy and national security.