ReConsider, by Xander and Erik, is a twice per month podcast in which we take on, in-depth, one pressing political issue facing western Democracies with a fresh, researched, and challenging perspective. We help listeners see the full context behind the issue and make up their own minds.
In this episode we do a big listener Q&A! We’ve gathered a few questions over the past few months and we decided to run with the juiciest ones. We’ll do this again, keep sending questions in! Here’s what we cover:
Sports in diplomacy
Sweden, immigration, and sexual crime
China's history is long. Like, really long. Its memory is, too. Want to understand how China sees the world today? You need to understand how it sees its place over the last 3600 years.
We're lucky enough to welcome Chris Stewart of The History of China Podcast to help us scratch the surface. But really, if you want to dive in, go check out his podcast: http://www.thehistoryofchina.wordpress.com
Trade war’s on, baby. Why is it happening? What’s at stake? How does free trade even work?
Are tariffs against China The Art of the Deal, or the tantrums of a madman? Is China a trade cheater or is Trump just pandering to the base?
Time to get some context.
Is the Chinese economy a powerhouse, or a house of cards ready to fall down? Is it going to overtake the US, or crash terribly and burn?
In this episode we'll talk about the incredible complexities inherent in understanding China's economy, some of the forces behind its miraculous growth, and the undeniable risks it faces.
Trump just reimposed the sanctions on Iran that had been previously lifted by the nuclear deal--the deal is dead. Trump wants a new deal. Rouhani is under pressure and claiming he wants a fight. Is scrapping the deal a good idea or a bad idea? What does it mean for Iran and the Middle East?
We're having a trade war! How exciting. So China is... our friend? Enemy? FRENEMY? They... want to take over Asia? Taiwan? The US? THE WORLD? Are they a fair trading partner or a cheater? A reasonable place or a dictatorship?
There are many conceptions and misconceptions about China. Let's start taking them on.
Since we've been talking about economics for 6 months, a lot has happened throughout the world! And people have wanted to know about it. So today we're covering interesting events in South Africa, North Korea, Iran, and Turkey. All great opportunities to ReConsider.
Erik and Xander podcast together for the 3rd time ever in Boston! We grab a map and go: no agenda, no plan. It's a ton of fun. You'll find out all there is to know about the world as of precisely March 22nd, 2018.
Santa's workshop is underwater, and new shipping lanes emerge in an area once thought of as an insignificant edge on the global map. What happens when the Arctic starts getting wet in the summer? How does climate change affect the conflict between NATO and Russia, global shipping lanes, and habitation patterns?
You've heard of the Fracking Revolution. You may also know that your fuel bill is a little lower than it was in the 2000s.
But man oh man, the picture is much bigger than that. The Middle East, Europe, Russia, and the foreign policy of the United States may be substantially different--for decades to come--than they would have been without the Revolution.
So yeah. Big deal.
Join us as we pick a war out of a hat and chat about how--and whether--realism can explain how it came to be. Make sure to listen to the Realism Toolbox Talk first.
Why do certain countries go to war, where others don't? How do the domestic policies and the personalities of leaders get involved?
In this episode you'll learn the most widely-used lens for understanding the causes behind international affairs: realism. In one hour you'll be able to view the international order with greater structure than ever before.
Is Venezuela's government going to fall? Is North Korea going to fire nukes? Is the US going to fire nukes? Are Maduro and Kim just madmen? Is Trump?
Two brutal leftist dictatorial regimes, both hate the US, both entering crises and both facing substantial constraints about how they can try to navigate them. And the US, attempting to deal with the North Korean crisis, has its own constraints as well. In this episode you'll understand the forces that are pushing Venezuela into a domestic crisis and North Korea into conflict with the US. You'll learn what options are available to everyone and why they're limited. And you'll learn a little more about how to analyze the global stage beyond the rhetoric.
The US and the world seem like they're in a really odd, perhaps dangerous place right now. Are we in a major departure from history?
AKA, "The Bromance of the Bad Hombres"
In this episode we interview Prof. Stephen Sestanovich, a Colombia professor, think tank big wig, and prolific writer. Formerly ambassador-at-large and special advisor to Madeleine Albright.
Prof. Stestanovich puts the Putin-Trump relationship in context by warming us up with understanding the evolving US/Russia Presidential relationship since the end of the Cold War. Strap in for this info-packed episode!
What is Russia's current interest on its borders, and what considerations will shape its behavior over the next 20 years?
Much hubbub over the Syrian airstrike--everything from patriotic fervor to seemingly-genuine terror about World War 3. What happens when we take a step back from the hype and political spin, and look at the strike in the context of geopolitics, international relations, and history?
We're joined by Mark Schauss to give us a whirlwind tour of Russian history. Mark is the host of the Russian Rulers History Podcast: http://russianrulers.podhoster.com/
We walk through how Russia has dealt with its neighbors and the world, through the Mongols, the Great Northern War, the Napoleonic War, the later 1800s, WWI, WWII, the Cold War, and post-Cold War. It's a ton of fun.
(Not the news source.)
Joining us is Sean Guillory of Sean's Russia Blog and Podcast, at seansrussiablog.org. He has a PhD in Russian History from UCLA.
Sean helps us dive into the nitty gritty about what's actually going on with Russia today. We ask:
-Who's in charge? How does Russia's leadership work?
-Why is United Russia so popular?
-What's the economy really look like?
-How corrupt is Russia?
-How do Russians feel about the world?
-What's the plan in Ukraine? How's it going?
-What about the Syria intervention?
-Did Russia manipulate US elections?
-Why is Russia picking a fight with NATO?
-What common narratives about Russia just don't make sense?
Russia is a scary place--and very misunderstood. We decided it deserves 4 whole episodes unto itself. We'll be teaming up with 4 big-wigs that know their stuff about Russia to help you dive deep and understand Russia a whole lot better.