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Disorder

Goalhanger & Global Enduring Disorder Ltd

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Gone are the days of coherent international coordination. Rather than working together to solve pressing crises, many of the world’s most powerful states are actively making those crises worse. The result? We’re living through a novel historical era: The Global Enduring Disorder. The Disorder podcast teases out the key principles that connect seemingly disparate challenges: from Climate Change to Tax Havens, to Unregulated Cyberspace, to the Wars in Ukraine, Syria, and Libya. Jason Pack, NAT ...
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At the end of the 20th century many world governments sought to lower birth rates – e.g. China’s One Child Policy – but now in 2024… most major world governments are focussed on bringing fertility rates up. In fact, nearly all of the developed world is facing a declining and aging population. Hence, for the first time in human history a majority of…
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Jason is so so so excited he just just just can’t hide it. He sees the hand of a providential mega orderer at work with the UK going to a general election on July 4th. He doesn’t understand why his British friends poopoo his man crush on Starmer, because he sees Sir Keir as truly messianic in his non-messianic-ness and as a better, younger, more co…
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The sun is shining, the flowers are in bloom, there is a dense fog over the Iranian-Azeri border, what time does that make it? Russo-Ukrainian Summer Offensive Time! This episode starts with a short emergency-cast about the crash of the Iranian President’s helicopter due to fog. Jason briefly investigates if the death of this ‘disorderer-in-chief’ …
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Earlier this week, Georgia passed its controversial ‘foreign agent’ law. Under the bill, NGOs and independent media that receive more than 20% of their funding from foreign donors would have to register as organisations "bearing the interests of a foreign power”. The law has been met with mass protests across the country. So what does the passing o…
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Part of the Enduring Disorder is our increasingly divided and partisan narratives. Trump vs. Biden, Leavers against Remainers, Palestinians and Israelis. Many of today’s political actors appear unable to understand and empathise with their opponent’s points of view. Why? Potential because social media, cancel culture, and increased partisanship see…
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Putin’s nuclear threats over Ukraine and the constant potential of an Iranian/Israeli escalation have brought concerns over nuclear proliferation back up the geopolitical agenda. Western-aligned Asian countries – like South Korea and Saudi Arabia – have begun talking openly about whether they might need their own nukes. Meanwhile, even Germany – on…
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Small states like Qatar, Ireland, Singapore, Jordan, and Botswana are thriving in our disordered world. They’re smart, agile, and are implementing novel solutions to the challenges of the 21st century. So what can the globe learn from them? In part 2 of his conversation with Dr Armen Sarkissian - Armenia’s former president and prime minister – Jaso…
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April 24th marks Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, but the tragic Ottoman massacres of Armenians of over a century ago have been largely forgotten in mainstream Western consciousness. Why? In the first of a two-part series, Jason is joined by Dr Armen Sarkissian, a world-renowned theoretical physicist, diplomat, and businessman. He was Armenia’s p…
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In the early morning hours of 19 April, American officials told major news outlets that an Israeli missile had struck central Iran near its nuclear sites. No one was harmed. Officially, the Israelis are not claiming to have attacked; and Iran is not claiming to have been attacked. It is distinctly possible that this pinprick strike combined with de…
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Taiwan is not only the epicentre of the world’s semi-conductor industry and a vibrant democracy. It is arguably the most important square on the chessboard of East Asian geopolitics. And the Taiwanese have watched very carefully how China has absorbed Hong Kong. The ‘one country, two systems’ mantra was a total failure. China is not planning a peac…
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In the early morning hours of April 14th Iranian drones and missiles were launched towards Israel. The launch was framed as retaliation for an Israeli attack on the Iranian diplomatic compound in Damascus on April 1st. Nearly 99% of the projectiles were intercepted. Although little physical or human damage was sustained, regional relations have bee…
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A decisively new kind of maritime terrorism has now emerged. Last weekend, two more British-linked ships were attacked in the Red Sea by Houthi pirates. This comes after the sinking of the Rubymar on March 2nd, which released 21,000 metric tons of ammonium, constituting a major ecological disaster. Jason is joined by Laura Cretney: a Yemen expert a…
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Beneath the Caribbean’s idyllic seafronts and sandy beaches lies a darker truth. Illicit money flows, corruption, and organised crime leave these small states hollowed out and open to state capture. In fact, the failure of Caribbean states to provide services to their populations and to generate income has led some of them to sell their sovereignty…
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In this bonus episode, Alex and Jason catch up after a long absence and chew the fat. They discuss the tradeoffs of life in the US vs UK delving into the Convenience vs Inspiration dichotomy. They try to decide who moved to the more chaotic place and where life is more livable and unpack thorny philosophical problems like have Britain’s public serv…
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India is arguably the world’s only rising great power. As the world’s largest democracy and soon to be third largest economy it is the globe’s most serious aspirant for becoming the 6th permanent member of the UN Security Council. Despite this economic and foreign policy heft, since independence in 1947, India has stridently resisted being aligned …
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Can we ever truly achieve Order in the international system? Or is life itself just a deterministic jumble of uncontrollable events? Do humans crave order so much that they perceive it even when it is absent – leading to conspiracy theories? And should policymakers avoid optimization and prediction and embrace experimentation, resilience, and slack…
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Every year, Freedom House releases an annual ‘global democracy health check’. According to it, the world is getting sicker. In this year’s ‘Freedom in the World’ report -- which reviews the state of democracy, civil, and political rights in every country -- political and civil liberties have got worse in 52 countries, while in only 21 countries hav…
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In this year of monumental elections, there is none which looms larger than the grandaddy of them all: the 2024 US Presidential Elections. With the US Primary season all but over, the match up appears set between the “disorderer-in-chief” Donald Trump and Joe Biden. But in the wake of Super Tuesday is that match up really set? Or might an open conv…
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When it comes to working together to face external challenges, no challenge could be greater than extraterrestrial life… and this seemingly abstract problem could be more pressing than you think. In 2023, Air Force Colonel David Grusch spoke before Congress to present his firsthand evidence of alien spacecraft remains and non-human ‘biologics’. In …
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In the days following Navalny’s murder, Western leaders have made all too predictable speeches and issued all too predictable condemnations. But as of yet, very little concrete action has been taken to respond to the murder of Russia’s most prominent opposition politician. The West talks the talk, but has yet to walk the walk. How should Biden, Sun…
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Wars are raging in Ukraine and the Middle East. Russia’s most famous opposition politician (Alexei Navalany) has just been murdered. Meanwhile, the international institutions set up after World War 2 to uphold peace and security no longer seem fit for purpose. Into this space comes the annual Munich Security Forum. Its flagship event, which took pl…
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In late January 2024, New Hampshire residents received a strange phone call. The voice of Joe Biden was telling them not to vote in the Democratic Primaries. But it wasn’t actually the President on the line… It was a deep faked robot. This was part of an unlawful attempt to disrupt the New Hampshire Presidential Primary Election. That disinformatio…
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As Alex turns 60, she and Jason look back at how the world has changed since she first decided to enter the diplomatic service. Meanwhile, Jason explains how his ‘lived experiences’ across the Middle East have shaped the way he views American foreign policy. The Boomer vs Gen X dynamics are laid bared for all to see. Then the duo answer listener qu…
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Much ink has been spilled about the legal definition of the crime of Genocide and if Israel has committed it in Gaza or if Hamas committed it on October 7th. In this pod, we are not examining those legal or moral issues. Adopting a non-legal, and non-humanitarian frame of mind, we are going to examine what are the underlying geopolitical, historica…
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In April 2022, undeterred by his previous two poisonings, Russian opposition politician, historian, and free speech advocate Vladimir Kara-Murza made the incredibly courageous decision to re-enter Russia – despite his known opposition to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine two months earlier. What happened next was as tragic as it was predictable. A year l…
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We wanted to let you all in on a well guarded secret: there are actually other podcasts out there that try to Order the Disorder. The team behind the New European magazine produce a podcast called ‘The Two Matts’. We were really inspired by their recent treatment of how Germany is dealing with its neopopulism problem. In this bonus episode of Disor…
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This week we examine the regional roles played by Egypt and Iran and discuss British diplomacy towards those countries over the last decade or so. Iran and Egypt offer a fascinating study in contrasts – in terms of their dealings with Israel and Hamas, as well as their posturing relative to the outside world. So who better to help us understand the…
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In this episode, Jason Pack and Alexandra Hall Hall open with their thoughts on the EU’s strengths and weaknesses – concluding that the old adage, ‘The EU is an economic colossus and a political pygmy’, is not too far off. To investigate how the EU leverages its trade clout, Alex interviews John Clarke – a British national who worked for more than …
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As the Houthis attack ships in the Red Sea, Arthur Snell and Jason explore: 1) How this horrible crisis is actually an opportunity to create a coalition of orderers; 2) how Iran is not really able to use the Houthis as a proxy; 3) how one interpretation of the Houthi actions is as ‘global disordering’ rather than specifically supporting the Palesti…
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In this episode, Jason Pack and Alexandra Hall Hall disentangle the related concepts of corruption, illegality, embezzlement, and bribery. They discuss what happens when the laws of a given country allow legalized versions of ‘corruption in plain sight’ to flourish. They’ll look at two different case studies of this phenomenon: Britain and Libya. F…
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In this episode, Jason Pack is joined by Arthur Snell, and they speak to Professor Naho Mirumachi. Naho is a specialist on the politics of the environment. She is particularly interested in ‘the wars that were not fought’ over water usage. The trio discuss: what lessons can be learnt from international governance of water usage and other related co…
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On the 1st of January 2024, BRICS (an international forum of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), are welcoming in new members to form BRICS+. In this episode, Alex Hall Hall talks with Anjali Bhatt about what the bloc aims to achieve and what the addition of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, and the UAE might entail for the organiza…
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In our Christmas special, Jason Pack and Alex Hall Hall look back at the first year of the disorder pod, and forecast a bit about the next. They discuss 2024 as a record-breaking year of global elections, answer some listeners’ questions about topics like Central Asia, Gaza, Western hypocrisy, and Palestinian History. They also share a bit about th…
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In this episode, Alex and Jason investigate if major Islamic nations can exercise global leadership over the Israel-Palestine conflict and propose implementable solutions. They also examine the leverage that Arab Gulf States now have over the West, in general, and Britian, in specific. Jason talks to James M. Dorsey, host of the Turbulent World pod…
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In this week’s episode, Jason and Alex are joined by Kurt Volker, former US Ambassador to NATO and former US’s Special Representative to Ukraine. The wide-ranging discussion tries to unpick NATO’s role in our increasingly disordered world. They also examine what makes NATO successful where the UN and other international organizations falter. They d…
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In this bonus episode, Jason discusses his mom’s Thanksgiving stuffing recipe as he is joined by our roving correspondent – David Patrikarakos – who missed Turkey Day in London choosing to go to Ukraine and Gaza instead. The pair ‘drone’ on about the use of Iranian Shahid drones in both conflicts, the similarities and differences in the moral and m…
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Disinformation and culture wars are an existential problem for democracies. They foster negative feedback loops: whereby internal divisions inside democracies make us more vulnerable to hostile external actors spewing misinformation, who then exploit those divisions to create more vulnerability to misinformation, culminating in culture wars. These …
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Climate change is the perfect example of what happens on a pressing global challenge when no one leads, or even takes responsibility, for a collective action problem – nothing happens, the crisis builds until it becomes seemingly unmanageable/unfixable. Without strong collective action and tough compromises, climate change will get more and more ge…
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In a special Thanksgiving bonus episode of the podcast, Jason is joined by Alessandro Politi, the Director of the NATO Defense College Foundation in Rome. They discuss: Alessandro’s Axis lineage, what role if any NATO has in the Middle East, what Europe’s unique role should be in the Israel-Hamas war (potentially as a counterbalance to America), ho…
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In this week’s episode, Alex and Jason are joined by former US congressman Tom Malinowski (D-NJ). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Malinowski. In addition to talking about why Tom ziplined to his wedding, they discuss: how to end the war in Ukraine, smear campaigns in American elections, Russian misinformation, why democracy seems to be on the bac…
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Diplomacy is a game, and geopolitics is a psychological sport. Though we may root for the ‘democratic good guys’, it is often the disordering ‘autocratic bad guys’ that achieve their aims through effective use of psychological tactics like bluffing and intimidation. In this episode, we meet Jonathan Powell, Tony Blair’s former Chief of Staff, who h…
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In this episode, Alex Hall Hall talks to Tom Fletcher, the former British Ambassador to Lebanon. Tom and Alex discuss the Palestinian refugee and surrounding Arab states narratives as an entry point to examine whether there’s any risk of the war spreading. They delve deeper into: the rationale for humanitarian de-escalation, the interests and motiv…
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As the Israeli-Hamas war enters a new phase, Alex and Jason discuss how hard it is to speak publicly and diplomatically about an issue that’s become so partisan and so emotive. Plus: the pair talk about Jason’s idea for interim post-war governance of Gaza involving a Qatari-Saudi-Egyptian-Emirati condominium which would need to be mediated by Ameri…
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Across the world, there are vast swathes of the planet (especially our oceans and atmosphere) that have been left without governance, and into that space have stepped terrorist groups, disordering non-state actors, drug cartels, and polluting and exploitative corporations. So how can global institutions help bring a semblance of order back to these…
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From London to Miami, illicit cash has been flowing through the West’s financial systems. Coordination failures have allowed disruptors like Russia to prop up a transnational kleptocracy – while groups like the UN, IMF and NATO are ill-equipped to deal with this problem, especially as key players in Britain and America, actively encourage the finan…
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On Saturday October the 7th the world awoke to the most horrific, chaotic, and game changing Arab-Israeli war in 50 years. But despite how tragic the news was, it wasn’t at all surprising. Internal divisions and partisan dysfunction inside previously functioning democracies (like Israel) have left previously secure and united societies, divided and…
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Nation states no longer work effectively in tandem. Gone are the days of hegemonic US power directly ordering the allies. Furthermore, groups like the UN are ineffective, with disruptors often calling the shots. However, NATO stands apart as an example of how countries can work together successfully and how a global institution can remain largely u…
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Migration has become one of the most emotive political topics. Fears surrounding the topic are essential to the rise of Neo-Populism. All the while, migration is increasing; over the past decade over 50 million more people have been moving internationally than in previous decades. So how does migration work (or not work) in our era of global disord…
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It has long been held that the primary disorderers on the global stage are China and Russia. Let’s not forget, though, that medium powers, such as Iran, are also able to majorly disorder geopolitics. Meanwhile, imploded post-conflict countries like Libya are capable of injecting serious financial and jihadi contagion into neighbouring states and fu…
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Although the birth of the internet was an interplay between American defense contractors and American tech firms, the US government actively chose to not regulate the commercial aspects of what it had birthed. From disinformation to cyber warfare, how can we better control the internet and stop it from reinforcing the Global Enduring Disorder? In t…
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