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 Moisés Naím, author of ‘The Revenge of Power: How Autocrats Are Reinventing Politics for the 21st Century’

Today there are currently fewer global citizens living in open and free democratic systems than in 1989, a sobering fact underlining the rapid global expansion of authoritarian regimes around tthe world. According to Moisés Naím, the world has made itself safer for tyrannical leaders to install themselves, often using the “three Ps” of populism, polarisation […]

Departures Podcast with Linda Kinstler, author of ‘Come to This Court and Cry: How the Holocaust Ends’

“Imagine that all of humanity stands before you and comes to this court and cries. These are our laws, let them prevail.” -Sir Hartley Shawcross, War Crimes Trials, Nuremberg, Germany, July 27, 1946 After discovering a former Nazi who belonged to the same killing unit as her grandfather and was the subject of a posthumous criminal investigation […]

Departures Podcast with Jamie Martin, author of ‘The Meddlers’

“If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em,” is often a colloquial proverb tossed around to express a reluctant surrender to whatever dominant force one may be facing – but it might also be a decent way to express how many states have found their domestic political options increasingly constrained by in the age of globalization, […]

Departures Podcast with Chenayi Mutambasere

When one thinks of Zimbabwe, the concept of “free and fair elections” is not the first to come to mind. And yet, like many post-Cold War authoritarian states, elections are nevertheless organized and manipulated to produce something adjacent to public legitimacy, which becomes all the more treacherous when the opposition is able to actually win […]

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 John Arquilla, author of ‘Bitskrieg: The New Challenge of Cyberwarfare’

War doesn’t always look like it used to, with just tanks, missiles, ships, and planes. It also takes place online, and observers in the West are becoming increasingly aware of the need to increase cyber defense capacities as authoritarian states like Iran and China rapidly advance.  This poses important questions for democracies around the world: […]

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 Helen Thompson, author of ‘Disorder: Hard Times in the 21st Century’

We can all agree that the global world order has become rather disorderly. We also seem to have trouble coming up with consistent and convincing explanations of what brought about this disorder, pointing uselessly at shocks such as the passage of Brexit to the Trump to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But for political scientist […]

Departures Podcast with Joby Warrick, author of ‘Red Line: The Unraveling of Syria and America’s Race to Destroy the Most Dangerous Arsenal in the World’

Before Russia invaded Ukraine, it intervened in Syria in 2015 to shore up the beleaguered regime of their ally, Bashar al-Assad. How did this experience inform upon Vladimir Putin’s catastrophic decision to invade and attempt regime change of the democratically elected government in Kyiv? This week’s episode of Departures features Joby Warrick, a Pulitzer Prize-winning […]