Departures Podcast featuring Kimberly Kay Hoang, author of ‘Spiderweb Capitalism: How Global Elites Exploit Frontier Markets’

In international finance, the difference between what is legal and normal and what is criminal and corrupt is often unclear, a disparity made worse by an overlapping series of laws and regulations which in some cases can put U.S. competition at a disadvantage. These networks of illicit finance, shell corporations, and offshore structures used by […]

Departures Podcast featuring Raffaello Pantucci, author of ‘Sinostan: China’s Inadvertent Empire’

Though we often view China’s increasingly activist foreign policy in its trade wars, territorial disputes, and frequent collisions with Western states, less attention is paid to its gradual and quiet expansion of influence in the ‘Stans of Central Asia. But it is here, among the populations of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan […]

Departures Podcast featuring Jeremy L. Wallace, author of ‘Seeking Truth and Hiding Facts: Information, Ideology, and Authoritarianism in China’

China’s recent political history has taken place at breakneck speed. A historic economic transformation, the consolidation of centralized power not seen since Mao, and the eager but then later truculent participation in the global economy. How do we measure this progress and its costs, and how do we measure its shortcomings? The numbers matter, and […]

Departures Podcast with Stefan Aust and Adrian Geiges, authors of ‘Xi Jinping: The Most Powerful Man in the World’

As Xi Jinping concludes the 20th Party Congress and becomes the first Chinese leader to secure a third term, there is arguably no one in a position quite so powerful and influential in global politics. But who is Xi Jinping and what does he really want?  This is the question tackled by two veteran German […]

Departures Podcast featuring Frank Dikötter, author of ‘China After Mao: The Rise of a Superpower’

Is Xi Jinping the most powerful political figure in the world? Or are his efforts to secure tighter control at home and project influence abroad more a sign of underlying weakness? As Xi sails toward an unprecedented third term at the 19th Party Congress in China, Departures is pleased to feature special guest author Frank […]

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 […]