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Departures Podcast with Joseph Torigian, author of ‘Prestige, Manipulation, and Coercion’

To rise to power within the rigidly authoritarian party bureaucracies of the Soviet Union and China is a feat accomplished only with great strategic acumen, backhanded political maneuvering, and, sometimes, with a certain level of violence. On this week’s episode of Departures with Robert Amsterdam we are very pleased to feature Joseph Torigian, an assistant […]

Departures Podcast with Victor Shih, author of ‘Coalitions of the Weak’

As China approaches the 20th Party Congress to be held at the end of the year, President and CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping is aggressively promoting his government’s superhuman achievements and infallible contributions to the glory of the state, making his case for an inevitable third term, and perhaps, leadership for life. But the problem […]

Departures Podcast with Lynette Ong, author of ‘Outsourcing Repression Everyday State Power in Contemporary China’

State repression, whether or not it’s outwardly aggressive, invites backlash. So how does the Chinese state maintain control during disruptive periods of intense urbanization, even as heavy consequences impact society?  This week Departures is pleased to feature a discussion with Lynette Ong, a Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto about her excellent […]

Departures Podcast with Adeeb Khalid, author of ‘Central Asia: A New History From The Imperial Conquests To The Present’

Often dismissed as the edge of the Russian or Chinese empires, Central Asia hosts a complex history that informs on present day atrocities including the Russian invasion in Ukraine, and the Uyghur concentration camps in China. It is through these current events that Central Asia has become one of the most important geopolitical regions in […]

Departures Podcast with Joanna Chiu, author of ‘China Unbound: A New World Disorder’

In early December, the administration of US President Joe Biden convened a mostly virtual democracy summit, in which some of the world’s largest economies were invited to participate and provide a clear framing of the agenda – and a clear poke in the eye of China and Russia. In response, Chinese state media trolled Biden […]

Departures Podcast with Shivshankar Menon, author of ‘India and Asian Geopolitics: The Past, Present’

We are no longer living in a unipolar world of US dominance, argues India’s brilliant former Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon in the latest episode of Departures with Robert Amsterdam, but neither have we transitioned to multipolarity or whatever is coming next. Former Ambassador Menon’s new book, “India and Asian Geopolitics: The Past, Present,” is slightly […]

Special Departures Podcast Episode on Afghanistan featuring Alexander Cooley

The rapid collapse of Kabul in the final weeks of the US withdrawal has forced a reckoning of not only Washington’s failure in the region but broader questions about US foreign policy and what the Biden administration wants (or is actually able) to achieve. This week Departures with Robert Amsterdam is pleased to welcome a […]

Departures Podcast with Geoffrey Cain, author of ‘The Perfect Police State: An Undercover Odyssey Into China’s Terrifying Surveillance Dystopia of the Future’

In the Xinjiang region of northwestern China, more than 1.8 million people have been disappeared into a vast network of concentration camps without any clear charges, due process, or fair trial. How are these victims selected? Via state-of-the-art predictive artificial intelligence and surveillance technology systems deployed by Beijing that seek to punish people for political […]

Departures Podcast with Philip Bowring and Hans van de Ven

This July, the Chinese Communist Party celebrated its 100th anniversary, marking a major milestone and underlining some major questions about its future. No other communist party has lasted this long, and certainly no other ruling authoritarian government has held its grip on power for a similar period of time in the modern era. But that’s […]

Departures Podcast with Jing Sun, author of ‘Red Chamber, World Dream: Actors, Audience, and Agendas in Chinese Foreign Policy and Beyond’

Since Xi Jingping rose to power in 2012, China has embarked on a new phase of expanding their role as a global superpower. Gone are the days of the charm offensive and the peaceful rise, here come the ‘wolf warriors.’ Xi’s “Chinese Dream” has been pitched by state propaganda as a visionary plan for a […]