World Affairs
World Affairs

The world as we knew it is undergoing a rapid transformation…so what's next? Welcome to WorldAffairs, your guide to a changing world. We give you the context you need to navigate across borders and ideologies. Through sound-rich stories and in-depth interviews, we break down what it means to be a global citizen on a hot, crowded planet. Our hosts, Ray Suarez, Teresa Cotsirilos and Philip Yun help you make sense of an uncertain world, one story at a time.

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

Where in the World Are All the Vaccines?

With the rapid spread of Omicron and CDC guidelines changing on a near-daily basis, the pandemic can feel more confusing than ever. To help make sense of it all, we bring you this week’s episode two days ahead of schedule. Even in the face of a highly infectious variant, COVID vaccines still offer the best protection from severe illness and death, but 40% of the world’s population, mostly in low income countries, have yet to receive a first dose. With so many people unvaccinated, new variants will continue to emerge. So, what can be done to break vaccine gridlock and bring this pandemic to an end? On this week’s episode, Dr. Luciano Cesar Azevado, an ICU doctor in São Paulo, explains how Brazil went from being a COVID hotspot to a world leader in vaccinations. Then, Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, talks with Ray Suarez about overcoming the challenges of vaccine distribution in hard to reach areas. Guests:  Dr. Luciano Cesar Azevado,  ICU physician and professor of critical care and emergency medicine, Sírio-Libanês Hospital in São Paulo, Brazil Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO, GAVI, The Vaccine Alliance Hosts: Philip Yun, CEO, World Affairs Ray Suarez, co-host, World Affairs
59 min

How the Far Right is Changing World Politics

When footage of rioters storming the US Capitol streamed live in 2021, some far-right extremists in Germany watched it like a soccer game. The European nation has spent decades confronting its dark history, but neo-Nazi and conspiracy theorist movements continue to rise in Germany, and around the world.   In this rebroadcast from last year, Ray Suarez talks with two domestic intelligence agents: one in Germany and the other in the United States. What have they learned in their fight against violent extremism?   Guests: Stephan Kramer, chief of intelligence for the German state of Thuringia Michael German, Brennan Center for Justice at NYC Law School and former FBI agent   Host: Ray Suarez, co-host of 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.
59 min

The Return of the Strongmen

One year after supporters of former President Donald Trump violently stormed the Capitol,  how do we make sense of the January 6 insurrection? Historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat returns to WorldAffairs to discuss modern authoritarians and the “leader cult” created around former president Donald Trump. With a majority of Republicans believing the false claim that voter fraud helped Joe Biden win the 2020 election, could Donald Trump be reelected in 2024? If weaknesses in our democratic institutions aren’t addressed, Ben-Ghiat warns, the real danger lies in the blueprint left for future leaders.   Guest: Ruth Ben-Ghiat, professor of history and Italian studies at New York University and author of Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present Host: Ray Suarez, co-host of 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.
59 min

War and Peace

H.R. McMaster, a retired Army lieutenant general and former national security advisor,  says the last twenty years of US foreign policy have been characterized by a belief that the world revolves around us. The result? A series of strategic blunders, from interminable wars in the Middle East to missing out on crucial opportunities to build peace. But author and peacebuilding expert Severine Autesserre says the US isn’t the only political power player guilty of what the retired general would call “strategic narcissism.”   In an episode originally aired in April, we look at what happens when you think you know what you’re doing… and don’t listen to the people you are trying to help.    Guests:   H.R. McMaster, Retired lieutenant general, former national security advisor and author of BattleGrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World Séverine Autesserre, Professor of Political Science at Barnard College, Columbia University and author of The Frontlines of Peace: An Insider’s Guide to Changing the World   Hosts:   Philip Yun, CEO, World Affairs Ray Suarez, co-host, 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.
59 min

The Changemaker’s Playbook

The world is changing quickly around us. So, how can we help lead the change? Former Obama campaign Chief Operating Officer, Henry De Sio, Jr., shares his insights on how to approach the unique challenges and opportunities of our time. With an approach rooted in empathy, ethics, and co-creative teamwork, De Sio offers tools for navigating a post-pandemic landscape in which change may be one of the only things we can count on.   In a discussion with KQED’s Silicon Valley senior editor Rachael Myrow, De Sio shares lessons learned from leading change makers in business, social entrepreneurship, education and politics.   Guests:    Henry F. De Sio, Jr., Author and former Deputy Assistant to the President in the Obama White House   Hosts:   Rachael Myrow, Senior Editor of KQED's Silicon Valley News Desk   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

What in the World Happened in 2021?

This week, we’re looking back at 2021’s biggest stories from around the world. As we turn another corner, we ask: what’s happening with the Iran nuclear negotiations? Where does the European Union come down on defending Ukraine against Russian incursion? And as China’s economic leadership grows in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, can the rising superpower stay out of regional entanglements?   Ray Suarez speaks with Trita Parsi, the executive vice-president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, Joanna Kakissis, international correspondent based in Athens, Greece, and Bob Davis, a veteran Wall Street Journal editor and China reporter about why these stories matter for the road ahead.   Guests:    Trita Parsi, executive vice president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft Joanna Kakissis, contributing international correspondent for NPR Bob Davis, author, reporter and former editor at the Wall Street Journal   Hosts:   Ray Suarez, co-host, World Affairs   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

Tracing the Peace Line in Northern Ireland

Noel Large was a cold-blooded gunman for a Protestant paramilitary group during “The Troubles,” a period of bombings, shootings, and political turbulence that rocked Northern Ireland in the 20th century. Today, he’s a reconciliation activist, working alongside Catholics to keep the peace. Although the situation is more stable today, Catholic and Protestant communities remain divided in cities across Northern Ireland, by physical barriers known as “Peace Walls.”   On the centenary of Northern Ireland’s birth, we look at the lines and borders that define it. We tag along with Noel on a tour of Belfast’s “Peace Walls.” Then, Ray Suarez speaks with historian Margaret O’Callaghan and journalist Susan McKay about Northern Ireland’s past, and what changes the future may hold in a post-Brexit world.   Guests:    Noel Large, tour guide, Ex-Prisoners Interpretive Center   Susan McKay, journalist and author of “Northern Protestants: On Shifting Ground” Margaret O’Callaghan, historian, Queen’s University, Belfast   Host:   Ray Suarez, co-host, 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.
59 min

World as Family

It's holiday season. And for many of us, that means spending more time—whether in person or virtually—with our loved ones. This week, we revisit an episode from earlier this year that helps us make sense of the isolation brought on by the pandemic, and mistrust sown by our political differences.   Drawing from an ancient Sanskrit phrase, “the world is one family,” author Vishakha Desai challenges us to consider a different way of looking at each other and the world we share. Desai joins co-host Ray Suarez on the podcast to talk about her new book World as Family: A Journey of Multi-rooted Belongings.   Guest: Vishakha Desai, Author and Scholar at Columbia University   Hosts: Philip Yun, CEO, WorldAffairs Ray Suarez, co-host, 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.