Best Internationalrelations podcasts we could find (Updated March 2019)
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Korea and the World interviews academics, professionals and intellectuals living and working in South Korea on current political, economic and societal issues.
 
The world is anarchical - If you’re powerful enough, then rules don’t matter. But what are the rules? And who follows them? Global affairs is fascinating and complex – States of Anarchy will help you make sense of it. Foreign policy enthusiast, Hamsini Hariharan tackles issues in the the fields of international relations, global affairs and foreign policy to give you the context you need to make sense of the 21 st century.
 
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Did the Russians really hack the US elections? David Salvo and Bret Schafer from the Alliance for Securing Democracy (of the German Marshall Fund of the United States) talk to Hamsini Hariharan about the allegations of election hacking in the US, and what it could mean for countries like India. Read more: Policy Blue Print For Countering Author ...…
 
In India, we ignore our coastlines when we think about foreign policy. Sunil Amrith joins Hamsini Hariharan to discuss the Bay of Bengal, its fascinating history and how the sea changed interactions across the region and the world. For questions or comments, reach out to the host @HamsiniH or on Instagram @statesofanarchy. Read more: Crossing t ...…
 
The world is anarchical - If you’re powerful enough, then rules don’t matter. But what are the rules? And who follows them? Global affairs is fascinating and complex – States of Anarchy will help you make sense of it. Foreign policy enthusiast, Hamsini Hariharan tackles issues in the the fields of international relations, global affairs and for ...…
 
Shamanism has a long tradition on the Korean peninsula and describes a set of ethnic religions and practices. It remains in practice to this day, yet shamanism and the role it plays in Korea have changed significantly over time. In particular, the pre-colonial and colonial era saw a drastic shift in the position it enjoyed within the Korean soc ...…
 
Introduced to Korea during the first millenia, Buddhism has a long history on the Peninsula and remains until today a major influence on the Korean society. This is nothing, however, compared to the clout it enjoyed as state religion during the Koryo period, from the 10th until the end of the 14th century. What caused the downfall of Buddhism i ...…
 
The early days of 1968 brought North Korea into the world’s headlines. Not only did Pyongyang send clandestine forces in an attempt to assassinate the South Korean President in his residence, but North Korea also attacked and captured the American ship USS Pueblo in international waters. One of the crew members died, the other 82 were imprisone ...…
 
Star Wars and Star Trek are among the highest-grossing movie franchises worldwide - yet they usually do not feature among the most successful films released in South Korea. This illustrates a larger trend: Science Fiction, may it be in the form of movies or books, is not particularly popular in South Korea. In contrast to that, North Korea has ...…
 
When did Korea modernize? For many the answer lies in the colonial era. While broadly accepted, this view is not without flaws or opponents. One of these critics, Professor Kyung Moon Hwang, offers an alternative perspective. He argues that Korea's modernization is not just a result of Japanese influence. It was a rational process already start ...…
 
As many observers argue, China’s foreign policy has become more assertive since Xi Jinping became President in 2013. The country once advocating its "peaceful rise" has stoked worries in many of its neighbors and is seen to increasingly pose a challenge towards America’s strong presence in the region. Caught in-between are the two Korean states ...…
 
From 1910 to 1945, Japan ruled over the Korean Peninsula and tried to assimilate the Korean people into its empire. Part of this ambition was the suppression of the native language, for example by ending Korean language education and newspapers. Under these circumstances, the peninsula’s authors had to find new forms of creative expression – an ...…
 
The relations between South Korea, Japan and the United States are often described as triangular. The two Asian countries have been long-time alliance partners of America, and all share common interests, such as the denuclearization of North Korea. Yet this North East Asian triangle is facing an uncertain future, and while it has to adapt to th ...…
 
In the past fifteen years, families in the United States have adopted more than 200.000 children from other countries, and over 20.000 from South Korea. The origins of America’s status as an adoption nation lie in the years after the Second World War and oftentimes in humanitarian intentions. Yet, adoptions are also linked to problematic phenom ...…
 
In South Korea, child-rearing still remains first and foremost the responsibility of mothers. Pressures from society – and frequently their own families – create expectations as to what children ought to do, eat, and learn. In opposition to these social constraints, mothers employ different strategies and rationales to give their children the b ...…
 
Around two million ethnic Koreans live in the United States. This makes them the second largest Korean diaspora, after the one in China; Los Angeles and New York even have the largest Korean populations outside of cities on the Korean Peninsula. Koreans in America have been referred to as a “model minority” due to their educational and economic ...…
 
South Korea’s international relations have been extensively studied, from its security policies to its approach to foreign aid. But while the country’s diplomats are at the center of its relations with the world, little research has been done on their actual work and South Korea’s diplomatic culture. To hear more about South Korea's diplomatic ...…
 
South Korea’s democracy is experiencing some eventful years. Last April, the ruling Saenuri party saw an unexpected loss in the parliamentary elections; and next year. in late 2017, President Park Geun-hye’s term in office will end as new presidential elections are conducted. Until then, the opposition parties will likely try to consolidate and ...…
 
Over the course of the past few decades, the People’s Republic Republic of China opened up and became a land of economic opportunity not only for South Korean companies but also for individual entrepreneurs. Today, over 70.000 South Koreans reside in Wangjing, a district of Beijing known as the city’s Koreatown. The enclave’s quick development ...…
 
Just like South Korea is one of America’s most important partners in Asia, so is the United States a key ally for South Korea. The importance of this relationship is visible: the embassy of the United States sits right in the city center of Seoul and more than 25.000 American soldiers are currently stationed throughout the country. In opinion s ...…
 
Relations between Japan and South Korea are perplexing: the two countries are major trade partners and popular tourist destinations for each other’s people, they are democracies in a region with numerous authoritarian regimes and alliance partners of the United States. Yet, despite all this, their relations are troubled by territorial and histo ...…
 
South Korea is going to great lengths to attract international university students, for example through scholarships and programs taught in English. Over the past decade, the number of foreign students has increased eightfold and now over 85.000 foreign students attend Korean universities. But while welcome on paper, they find themselves in a l ...…
 
The events on the Korean peninsula don’t take place in a vacuum; they are influenced by the great powers that have a stake in the region. The People’s Republic of China, in particular, makes its weight felt: it is the largest trade partner of both Korean states and considered by many to be the linchpin in the international disputes surrounding ...…
 
South Korea is one of the world’s largest market for video games and famous for the success of its competitive players. A core element of the country’s gaming culture are the so-called PC Bangs: internet cafés with a focus on competitive online gaming. They are ubiquitous in South Korea, cheap and equipped with up-to-date gaming computers, and ...…
 
At first glance, advertisement in South Korea is no different from what can be seen in many other countries. At the same time, the country’s political, economic and social history has shaped how goods and services are promoted, and what is seen as the right way to do so. To learn more about South Korean advertising, its unique features and its ...…
 
While Europe experienced the Middle Ages and waged war in the Crusades, the Korean peninsula was ruled by the Koryo dynasty, which lasted from 918 to 1392 AD. This era is remembered for the unification of the previous three Korean kingdoms, its pottery, Buddhist wood carvings and movable type technology; yet there is comparatively little popula ...…
 
One of Korea's most successful exports is Taekwon-Do: a martial art practiced by tens of millions around the globe and recognized as an olympic sport since the 2000 games in Sydney. Yet, far from being united, the world of Taekwon-Do has suffered various schisms. The story of its founder is as disputed as it is marred in the politics of the Kor ...…
 
For the past two decades, North Korea has repeatedly caused international concern with its development and testing of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. But while the political aspects of these programs receive plenty of media attention, it is difficult to gain a realistic picture of the technologies at work, their effectiveness and the ac ...…
 
For North Korean defectors, escaping from North Korea is only the beginning of a long and perilous odyssey towards permanent resettlement in South Korea or elsewhere. The overwhelming majority of defectors start their journey by crossing the Chinese border, stepping foot into a land where they risk arrest and repatriation should they ever be ca ...…
 
North Korea and China have a special relationship. The two countries are each other’s only military alliance partners, and China is commonly seen as shielding North Korea from the discontent of the international community. But while this relationship started as an ideological alliance and was forged in blood during the Korean War, it has seemin ...…
 
It’s been four years since Kim Jong-un came to power in North Korea after the death of his father in 2011. To assess how the comparatively young and inexperienced leader has been doing so far, we had the pleasure of meeting with Andrei Lankov, the guest of our first episode. With him we spoke about Kim Jong-un's approach to the North Korean eco ...…
 
Korea has a culture rich in poetry, yet the language barrier makes it difficult for foreign audiences to access it. For this episode we spoke to Brother Anthony of Taizé about the history and the aesthetics of Korean poetry, about the difficulties translating it with all its nuances and context - and about Ko Un, who has been labeled as the Peo ...…
 
Defecting from North Korea is not only a tremendously difficult and perilous enterprise – it remains a lifetime challenge, even after one has successfully defected and resettled to South Korea. Many refugees struggle to adapt to their new life and must bear a sense of longing, guilt, and sometimes even an urge to go back. Most had to leave frie ...…
 
One particular genre in the Korean musical tradition is pansori (???): a form of storytelling typically performed by a singer and a drummer. Pansori can be traced back to shamanistic practices and was only formalized and given its name in the 18th century, under the Choseon dynasty. A key element of contemporary renditions of pansori is the exp ...…
 
Contemporary Korean music is not limited to K-Pop. South Korea boasts a vibrant indie music scene, and neighborhoods such as Seoul’s Hongdae have live bands performing across various venues every night. Our guest for this episode, Stephen Epstein, is probably one of the most acute observers and academic researchers of the Korean independent mus ...…
 
South Korea maintains a complex relationship with the United States. While many South Koreans remain grateful for their liberation from Japanese rule in 1945 and consider proximity with the United States a proven catalyst for security and prosperity, others believe the U.S. often behaves as a condescending hegemon, and that its military presenc ...…
 
Historical disputes between South Korea and Japan revolve around one key issue: how much, and in what fashion should Japan apologize for its colonial past. Many Koreans argue that Japan has never authentically and honestly apologized for the crimes it committed during the Imperial era. An increasing number of Japanese believe, to the contrary, ...…
 
According to the PISA education ranking, Korean pupils perform significantly better than most OECD students in all categories tested (namely: math, reading, and science).Yet this success comes at a steep price: the Korean school system is often described as nothing short of brutal. Its students are among the least happy and most stressed worldw ...…
 
While Italy’s Sicilian Mafia, Hong Kong’s Triads, and Japan’s Yakuza may well be some of its best known examples, organized criminality is present in every country - and South Korea is no exception. Yet, while this is a popular topic for Korean movies, in practice the general public knows little about this criminal underworld – and even fewer c ...…
 
On November 30th, 2015, high-ranking officials from most countries on Earth will convene for two weeks at the so-called “COP21” summit in Paris. The objective of this international conference is to reach a strong agreement, which many parties hope will be legally binding, to curb greenhouse gas emissions and keep global warming below 2° Celsius ...…
 
The Korean bar exam is one of the toughest in the world. While open to all, only a thousand candidates are admitted every year, less than 5% of test-takers. Hopeful applicants often study for years in the hope of passing the bar, yet with failure comes foregone income, young people joining the workforce at an ever increasing age and, of course, ...…
 
Legally, South Korea does not recognize the existence of its northern neighbor. Yet North Korea remains a pervasive feature of South Korean politics both domestically and internationally. The discourse Seoul holds on Pyongyang, however, is far from homogeneous and inconsistencies abound: in a single speech it is not uncommon for North Koreans t ...…
 
South Korea’s culture scene is booming and Seoul is steadily establishing itself as a regional and increasingly global hotspot for design, fashion and music. Our guest for this episode, Tom Bueschemann, is a household name in the Korean creative scene. Originally from Germany and now based in Korea, he is the co-founder and CEO of Platoon, a cr ...…
 
The newest “textbook controversy” currently shaking up South Korean politics is a stark reminder that defining history, and writing about history, is neither neutral nor a-political. The Korean government is currently drawing heavy criticism for its attempt to unify all teaching materials into a single, state-commissioned textbook. The move tri ...…
 
News correspondents are the eyes and ears of the outside world on the Korean peninsula. We wanted to know more about their work and were lucky to interview Elise Hu, who recently established National Public Radio (NPR)’s bureau in Seoul and now serves as NPR’s International Correspondent for Japan and the Korean Peninsula. We talked about NPR’s ...…
 
In 2000, then President Kim Dae-jung became the first Korean to receive a Nobel Prize, for his life’s work dedicated to democracy and, to quote the Nobel Committee: “peace and reconciliation with North Korea in particular." The award was granted shortly after the first North-South Korean summit in June of the same year, and in recognition of th ...…
 
The Korean War is commonly remembered as fought by the North and South Korean armies, as well as American and Chinese troops. Little memory remains of the bravery and sacrifice of British soldiers in the Korean theater, despite a human cost which far exceeded that of all others wars fought by Britain since the Second World War. Upon the attack ...…
 
High-speed internet, smartphones and mobile services are ubiquitous in South Korea. Not only does this make the country a technological frontrunner, it also shapes the everyday lives of its people. What are the unique characteristics of mobile technology and culture in South Korea ? Especially, how do children and the elderly interact with it? ...…
 
As of July 2015, South Korea’s central bank owned foreign exchange reserves worth over 370 billion US dollars -- an astounding amount. This so-called “war chest” is a direct result of South Korea’s painful experience during the Asian Crisis in 1997-1998. Confronted with massive capital flight as foreign investors demanded repayment for the loan ...…
 
The Sunshine Policy – the idea that South Korea should approach North Korea through dialogue, cooperation and reconciliation – has been highly contentious ever since its inception in the late 1990s. Its initiator, former President Kim Dae Jung, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for reaching out to Pyongyang; at the same time, however, critics h ...…
 
The late 19th century in Korea was a period of political and social turmoil. Japanese interference culminates in the assassination of Queen Min and King Kojong later seeking refuge in the Russian legation. At the same time, Korea is confronted with vast scale civil strife as Koreans hostile to the growing influence of foreign nations foment rio ...…
 
In the early 2000s, North Korea became increasingly isolated internationally, acquiring nuclear weapons technology while diplomatic channels such as the Six Party Talks came to a halt. During the two presidential terms of George W. Bush, Washington’s policy towards Pyongyang focused on demonization and confrontation rather than engagement – fam ...…
 
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