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Departures Podcast with Margarita Balmaceda

Throughout the most recent intensifying conflict between Russia and the West over Ukraine, there is a common assumption that the Russian leadership is wielding its “energy weapon” to break apart European unity and advance its interests. While that may be partly true, it would be a huge mistake to assume that such a vast industrial […]

Departures Podcast with Hakan Bulgurlu, author of ‘A Mountain to Climb’

Several years ago, Hakan Bulgurlu was at the top of his game. He was serving as CEO of Arçelik, a multi-billion dollar corporation. He and his family, including three young children, were enjoying a great life with frequent international travel. But he was also deeply troubled by the raw data he was seeing professionally documenting […]

Departures Podcast with Seth Jones, author of ‘Three Dangerous Men: Russia, China, Iran and the Rise of Irregular Warfare’

Forget tanks, missiles, and soldiers. The forms of warfare predominantly being used against the United States today are much more often unconventional and irregular, such as large-scale offensive cyber actions, disinformation campaigns, spying, economic subversion, and smaller armed conflicts via proxies.  This is a deeply worrying trend, argues Seth Jones, author of the terrific book […]

Departures Podcast with Ilya Ponomarev

The saber-rattling from Moscow over Ukraine has grown deafening in recent weeks. Hours before we recorded this episode, Vladimir Putin appeared on television threatening “retaliatory military-technical” measures while amassing some 175,000 troops on the border of Ukraine, asserting that Russia “has every right” to invade and start a war. Evelyn Farkas, a former Obama administration […]

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 Daniel Deudney, author of ‘Dark Skies: Space Expansionism, Planetary Geopolitics, & the Ends of Humanity’

Faced with challenging and intractable problems from climate change to civil conflicts to terrorism, it is tempting for many of us to look to the heavens, with billionaires pouring their resources into space exploration, expansion, and even dreams of colonization.  But this is a major mistake, argues Professor Daniel Deudney of Johns Hopkins University in […]

Departures Podcast with Rebecca Tapscott, author of ‘Arbitrary States: Social Control and Modern Authoritarianism in Museveni’s Uganda’

Yoweri Museveni’s 35 years of iron-gripped ruthless authoritarianism in Uganda did not take place in a vacuum. It has instead been a years-long process of converting the country’s institutions into instruments of arbitrary power, which has been fueled by a series of targeted moves to destabilize the social coordination that would be needed to hold […]

Departures Podcast with Klaus Dodds, author of ‘The New Border Wars: The Conflicts That Will Define Our Future’

It was once the dream of starry-eyed proponents of globalization that the increasing pace of trade, travel, and exchanges of ideas would lead to a “borderless” world of reduced conflict and cosmopolitanism. Instead, the opposite has happened, as the lines and demarcations between nations struggling to manage their conflicts have become paramount and subject to […]

Departures Podcast with David Claydon, founder of Kaya Group

As world leaders gather in Scotland for the COP26 climate change summit this week, there’s a tremendous level of scrutiny not over the ambitions but the shortcomings of the world’s biggest sources of emissions. This week, Departures is pleased to invite David Claydon, the founder of Kaya Group, which is an advisory firm which helps […]

Departures Podcast with Douglas London, author of ‘The Recruiter: Spying and the Lost Art of American Intelligence’

Many of us have wondered what it would be like to be a real spy. Not necessarily the James Bond-esque car chases and shootouts, but the real practice of exercising tradecraft in the field, recruiting and handling assets, and maintaining such a complex web of relationships between your colleagues, family, and sources. There could possibly […]