World Affairs
World Affairs

World Affairs is a nationally syndicated radio broadcast that airs every Monday at 8:00 pm on KQED public radio and uploaded to for rebroadcast by NPR stations across the nation. World Affairs brings you, the listener, informative and engaging conversations that explore issues and opportunities that transcends borders. Tune in to hear thought leaders, change makers and engaged citizens share ideas and learn from one another in conversations that matter. Founded in 1947, following the San Francisco conference that established the United Nations, World Affairs remains one of the most vibrant global affairs organizations in the United States.

Airs on:
MON 8pm-9pm, TUE 2am-3am, SAT 4am-5am
59 min

MS-13 and El Salvador's World of Violence

How did El Salvador become one of the most violent countries on earth? And what role did the United States play in creating the notorious MS-13 gang? In this episode, we revisit and update a program we recorded in January about the origins of El Salvador’s bloody gang war with journalist William Wheeler and Joanne Elgart Jennings. Wheeler spoke with gang members, frustrated reformers, crime investigators and government officials to better understand the violence in the country and what is driving Salvadorans northward. His book is: “State of War: MS-13 and El Salvador’s World of Violence.”    Guest:  William Wheeler, journalist and author of State of War: MS-13 and El Salvador’s World of Violence Moderator: Joanne Elgart Jennings, executive producer & co-host   If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.
29 min

Putin's Russia and the War in Afghanistan

After nearly twenty years of conflict, the United States is, once again, attempting to extricate itself from Afghanistan. This year, the US and the Taliban signed an agreement that was intended to be a first step towards an intra-Afghan peace deal and US forces began withdrawing troops. But for the time being, the peace process remains tenuous, and Afghanistan is still being used by Russia and the US as proxy war. Over the past few years, Russia has tried to present itself as an ascendant global power, expanding its influence in Syria, Ukraine, as well as Afghanistan. But Putin's government is also grappling with a raging pandemic and an economic crisis. Markos Kounalakis recently discussed Russia's delicate political moment with Steven Pifer.  He was ambassador to Ukraine, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, and was a senior director for Russia and Eurasia at the National Security Council.   Guest: Steven Pifer, William J Perry Fellow at Stanford, nonresident Brookings fellow and former US Ambassador to Ukraine   If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.
33 min

America’s Longest War

United States forces have been fighting in Afghanistan for almost twenty years, making it the longest war in American history. But for many Americans, the conflict only became top of mind again after hearing reports that a Russian military intelligence unit offered bounty money to the Taliban for killing US soldiers. In this episode, we take a closer look at how the war in Afghanistan has served as a proxy conflict between the US and Russia and how it fits into Russia’s global agenda. Former US Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry joins co-host Ray Suarez, followed by a conversation with Jennifer Glasse of Al Jazeera.   Guests:  Jennifer Glasse, Senior Managing Editor at the Americas at Al Jazeera Karl Eikenberry, former US Ambassador to Afghanistan, retired US Army Lieutenant General   If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.
59 min

Why Hong Kong is Protesting Again

Protesters are back in the streets in Hong Kong to fight against a new security law that tightens the Chinese government’s  grip over the city. On this week’s episode, we look at how Hong Kong’s new security law will impact US-China relations, and what it means for the millions of people who live there. First, we’ll hear from Human Rights Watch’s China Director, Sophie Richardson, who argues that US-China relations are at their worst point since the Cold War. Will this new law make them worse? Next, an activist and artist from Hong Kong discusses the evolution of her city’s protest movement. Then, we revisit a conversation with journalist Mary Kay Magistad and professor Jeffrey Wasserstrom, a historian specializing in modern China. They unpack the history of Hong Kong and how the city got to where it is today.    Guests:  Mary Kay Magistad, former East Asia correspondent for NPR & Director of Audio Journalism at UC Berkeley Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Professor at UC Irvine and author of Vigil: Hong Kong on the Brink Sophie Richardson, China Director at Human Rights Watch and author of China, Cambodia, and the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence Claire, artist and activist from Hong Kong If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.
29 min

Policing After Apartheid: Lessons From South Africa

The United States is in the midst of a national conversation about the role systemic racism plays in law enforcement, but police brutality is not just an American problem. In this episode, we look at how South Africa has grappled with its own legacy of white supremacy and police violence. Under Apartheid, South Africa’s white leaders used the police as an instrument of control, enforcing a web of laws that bound black lives. When liberation came with the end of Apartheid, the police were supposedly reformed. Now, a quarter-center later, has anything changed? Co-host Ray Suarez talks with Stan Henkeman, Executive Director of the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation in South Africa, and John Steinberg, Professor of African Studies at Oxford University, about South Africa’s cautionary tale of police reforms made after Apartheid.   Guests:  Stan Henkeman, Executive director of the Institute and Reconciliation in South Africa Jonny Steinberg, African Studies Professor, at Oxford University Credits: Philip Yun, President and CEO, WorldAffairs Ray Suarez, co-host, WorldAffairs Teresa Cotsirilos, producer, WorldAffairs Jarrod Sport, senior producer, WorldAffairs Joanne Elgart Jennings, executive producer, WorldAffairs   If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.
29 min

Jinho’s Journey: Fighting Police Violence From the Inside

Black Lives Matter might be the largest social movement in American history. Last month, an estimated 15-25 million people took to the streets to protest police violence, launching a national conversation about the role systemic racism plays in law enforcement. In this episode, producer Teresa Cotsirilos tells the story of a man whose past experiences with the police drove him to fight for justice from the inside. Jinho Ferreira, also known as “The Piper,” discusses his childhood in West Oakland, his experiences working in law enforcement and what it means to be an artist in a moment of radical change. Guest:  Jinho Ferreira, artist, actor and former Alameda County Sheriff’s Deputy Credits: Teresa Cotsirilos, producer Jarrod Sport, senior producer Joanne Elgart Jennings, executive producer Philip Yun, President and CEO If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.
59 min

The Global Economy After COVID-19

Over the past few months, we’ve had to reimagine everything we do. From shopping, to eating and socializing, the ways we spend money have completely changed. And as each country manages the pandemic differently, the already fragile global economy has been disrupted by broken supply chains and shifts in demand. Now we’re questioning the role of the government, the future of capitalism and changing our values. The choices we make now could change the world for decades. On this week’s episode, we tackle these big issues and examine our new digital economy with James Manyika, Chairman and Director of the McKinsey Global Institute, Mohamed El-Erian, Chief Economic Advisor at Allianz, and Gillian Tett, Editor at Large at the Financial Times.     James Manyika, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company; Chairman and Director, McKinsey Global Institute   Mohamed El-Erian, Chief Economic Advisor, Allianz   Gillian Tett, Chair of Editorial Board and Editor-at-Large, US, Financial Times   If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.
59 min

Is the United Nations Still Relevant at 75?

Seventy-five years ago, delegates from 50 countries met in San Francisco to sign the UN Charter. Initially, the purpose of the United Nations was to maintain peace and security through international cooperation and to essentially prevent another world war.  Today’s UN has 193 member countries and is facing a time of uncertainty and open disdain from US President Donald Trump, who has cut funding to the world body and declared, “The future does not belong to globalists. The future belongs to patriots.” On this week’s episode, we look at the UN’s achievements, its shortcomings and what the future holds for international cooperation with journalist James Traub. Then Ray Suarez talks with former Prime Minister of Canada The Rt. Hon Kim Campbell and former Foreign Minister of Mexico Jorge Castañeda about how the United States is viewed by its neighbors.    Jorge Castañeda, former Foreign Minister of Mexico and author of America Through Foreign Eyes The Hon Rt. Kim Campbell, Canada's 19th Prime Minister James Traub,  fellow at New York University’s Center on International Cooperation, author of The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power and regular contributor to Foreign Affairs and the New York Times Magazine If you appreciate this episode and want to support the work we do, please consider making a donation to World Affairs. We cannot do this work without your help. Thank you.