Departures Podcast featuring Olivier Roy, author of “The Crisis of Culture: Identity Politics and the Empire of Norms”

The tremendous velocity with which modernity and technology has encroached on our social lives is underappreciated, shaping our understanding not only of critical events but also ourselves, as the world is flattened. A teenager in France or Brazil may see violent footage of the Ukraine war fed to them on TikTok, only to be replaced […]

Departures Podcast featuring Jakob Edberg, Co-Founder of The GR Company

On this week’s episode of Departures with Robert Amsterdam we’re pleased to invite our friend and colleague of many years Jakob Edberg, the co-founder of The GR Company, a government relations consultancy headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, and with offices in Osaka, Seoul, London, and Washington DC. Jakob’s unique perspective on the rapidly evolving leadership role […]

Departures Podcast Featuring Christopher Miller, author of ‘The War Came to US’

Among the slew of books that have come out recently on the war in Ukraine, there are few which take as broad a scope of the human experience of the soldiers, victims, and communities living on the front than the latest entry written by the war correspondent Christopher Miller. In his book, “The War Came […]

Departures Podcast featuring Richard Cockett, author of ‘Vienna: How the City of Ideas Created the Modern World’

From the late-nineteenth century until the mid-1930s, Vienna was Europe’s undisputed powerhouse of ideas. But along with the exhilirating achievements of Freud, Wittgenstein, Mahler, and Klimt, there were also darker forces emerging in parallel which have had their own negative impact on modernity, from organized anti-Semitism to ethnonationalism ideologies. These complex tensions are explored in […]

Departures Podcast featuring Volodymyr Ishchenko, author of ‘Towards the Abyss: Ukraine from Maidan to War’

The tremendous velocity of history that Ukraine has experienced since independence to the Maidan revolution to the catastrophic war brought on by Russia’s aggression often tends to be sold and told in neatly packaged narratives to the West – a heroic tale of a plucky democracy breaking from from the yoke of an authoritarian past. […]

Departures Podcast featuring CY Huang

It was just three years ago when the Economist magazine ran a cover story on Taiwan, describing it as “the most dangerous place in the world.” With intensifying competition with China and deteriorating global security following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there are many arguments that continue to support that negative outlook. But that’s not the […]

Departures Podcast featuring Nicolai Petro, author of ‘The Tragedy of Ukraine’

As the war in Ukraine rages on into its second year, there remains little consensus or understanding of how the conflict could be resolved outside of military outcomes, and a persisting misunderstanding on behalf of the West regarding Ukraine’s own internal preexisting social divisions. This week we’re pleased to have a special guest, Dr. Nicolai […]

Departures Podcast featuring Karl Schlögel, author of “The Soviet Century: Archaeology of a Lost World”

From the Russian Revolution of 1917 to the chaotic disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, there is a dazzling and disorienting array of histories. While many books detail the lives and politics of Soviet leaders, Karl Schlögel invites us to better understand the experience of the country through the lives lived by more common […]

Departures Podcast featuring Oren Kessler, author of ‘Palestine 1936’

There is a strong argument to be made that the root of Palestinian identity can be traced back to the 1936-1939 Great Revolt, which united rival families and communities, melded urban with rural, and joined rich and poor together in a struggle against Zionism and the British Empire. This is the starting point in Oren […]

Departures Podcast featuring Susan L. Shirk, author of ‘Overreach: How China Derailed Its Peaceful Rise’

Formulated by PRC think tanks in the mid-1990s, China’s official slogan of the “peaceful rise” sought to calm Western fears regarding its blossoming economic, military, and political power as the nation resumed an outsized role in global affairs. However the mood did not last long, as in the later years of President Hu Jintao’s administration, […]