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March 18, 2021

Oceans and Seas
Gone Fishing

Industrial overfishing and other man-made factors have pushed one-third of the world’s fish stocks to be threatened with extinction, and many other species are not far behind. The problem represents …

Podcast A large trawl with fish was dragged onto the deck of the ship

March 3, 2021

Coronavirus
A Global Shot in the Arm, With Anthony Fauci

Successful vaccine rollouts in the United States and other wealthy nations have made many people hopeful that the end of the COVID-19 pandemic is in sight. But the majority of the world’s population …

Podcast A hand holds a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine

February 18, 2021

Currency Reserves
The Dollar Privilege

The dollar is the world’s primary reserve currency, accounting for $6.7 trillion in foreign reserves. This has given the United States what some have called “an exorbitant privilege,” allowing it to …

Podcast A one dollar bill

November 24, 2020

Brazil
A Climate Bomb in the Amazon

The Brazilian Amazon is burning, threatening the world’s largest repository of biodiversity. If the fires are not controlled soon, they could release a “climate bomb” of stored carbon that would acce…

Podcast The outline of a man standing in front of a forest fire

October 28, 2020

Election 2020
Make America Vote Again

The United States trails far behind most advanced democracies when it comes to voter turnout, with just 55 percent of eligible voters participating in the 2016 election. What are other countries doin…

Podcast A man in a mask at a polling place

July 15, 2020

Olympics
Hey, Remember the Olympics?

Hosting the Olympics is a monumental undertaking that often leaves behind rusted stadiums and financial losses. So why do nations compete to do it? This episode examines the political history of the …

Podcast People pose for pictures in front of the Olympic rings in the Olympic Park in London, United Kingdom.

July 1, 2020

Political History and Theory
Living in History

Whether you think we are making history or repeating it, it’s safe to say we are living in a historic time. In this episode, Why It Matters asks three historians to weigh in on how to use the past to…

Podcast Hong Kong protester reads book while sitting

June 17, 2020

Demonstrations and Protests
The World Is Watching Us

The killing of George Floyd, the anti-racism protest movement that followed, and the Donald J. Trump administration’s response have shaken the United States and captivated the world. Why It Matters s…

Podcast Demonstrators protest killing of George Floyd Madrid Spain

June 3, 2020

Human Trafficking
The Human Cost of Labor Trafficking

It is estimated that twenty to forty million people around the world are victims of human trafficking. Of these, the majority are trafficked for labor, and many of them are exploited in the United St…

Podcast A woman washes dishes in a kitchen

May 20, 2020

China
Exporting Authoritarianism

China is undertaking massive infrastructure projects across the world and loaning billions of dollars to developing nations. On paper, the objective is to build a vast trade network, but is China als…

Podcast Chinese president Xi Jinping greets crowd alongside Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete