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February 23, 2021

Sub-Saharan Africa
U.S. Policy Toward Africa, with Landry Signé

Landry Signé, senior fellow in the Global Economy and Development Program and the Africa Growth Initiative at the Brookings Institution, sits down with James M. Lindsay to discuss U.S. interests in A…

Podcast A street vendor sells regalia depicting South African President Cyril Ramaphosa outside the venue for the African National Congress (ANC) 107th anniversary celebrations at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on January 12, 2019.

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

January 11, 2021

Transition 2021
Transition 2021 Replay: Biden’s CIA Director Nominee on U.S. Diplomacy

President-Elect Joe Biden recently nominated Ambassador William J. Burns to serve as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency. In June of 2019, Ambassador Burns and James M. Lindsay discussed …

Podcast Then-U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns makes remarks at a session of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue at the State Department in Washington July 11, 2013.

August 12, 2020

Education
Why We Need International Students

For decades, international students have enjoyed bipartisan support in the United States, with strong consensus that they fuel American innovation, job creation, and competitiveness. But in recent ye…

Podcast Students cheer during commencment ceremonies at Columbia University May 18, 2005 in New York City. This is the 251st class to graduate from Columbia.

July 29, 2020

Climate Change
Pricing Our Climate

As the effects of climate change move from scientific predictions to daily headlines, some investors have begun sounding the alarm about impending dangers to financial markets. In this episode, exper…

Podcast Tewkesbury Abbey and a children's playground at the confluence of the Rivers Severn and Avon, is surrounded by flood waters on February 27, 2020 in Tewskesbury, England.

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

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

May 5, 2020

Public Health Threats and Pandemics
Epidemics in World History, With Frank M. Snowden

Frank M. Snowden, Andrew Downey Orrick professor emeritus of history and history of medicine at Yale University, sits down with James M. Lindsay to discuss how epidemics have shaped world history. Sn…

Podcast A lab technician prepares a medium to grow a virus at the Eijkman Institute, one of the only two facilities in Indonesia capable of diagnosing Zika, in Jakarta, Indonesia.

February 26, 2020

NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)
The One Where We Talk About NATO at a Party

You’re making the rounds at a party when someone asks you about NATO. Is it still important? The alliance is credited with preventing a third world war, but a lot of us don’t know what it is or how i…

Podcast NATO leaders meet at summit in Britain around a table.