Why It Matters
The Dollar Privilege

The Dollar Privilege

February 17, 2021

The dollar is the world’s primary reserve currency, accounting for $6.7 trillion in foreign reserves. This has given the United States what some have called “an exorbitant privilege,” allowing it to borrow easily and to levy painful sanctions. But could it lose this status?

 

Featured Guests: 

Roger Ferguson (President and Chief Executive Officer, TIAA) 

Sebastian Mallaby (Paul A. Volcker Senior Fellow for International Economics)

 

For an episode transcript and show notes, visit us at cfr.org/podcasts/dollar-privilege

“The Most Persistent and Lethal Threat”

“The Most Persistent and Lethal Threat”

February 4, 2021

For years, security experts have warned that white nationalist and white supremacist extremism represent the most significant domestic terrorism threat to the United States. Now, in the wake of the attack on the U.S. Capitol, the country seems to be gaining clarity about the seriousness of the situation for the first time. How did we get here, and what can be done?

 

Featured Guests: 

Bruce Hoffman (Shelby Cullom and Kathryn W. Davis Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security) 

Cynthia Miller-Idriss (Professor, School of Public Affairs and School of Education, American University)

 

For an episode transcript and show notes, visit us at cfr.org/podcasts/most-persistent-and-lethal-threat

Russia

Russia

January 21, 2021

There is no country quite like Russia. Despite having a relatively small economy, it has been able to maintain global influence through a range of unconventional tactics. How has Vladimir Putin played his country’s weak hand so effectively? And what is his goal?

 

Featured Guests: 

Jill Dougherty (Global Fellow, Kennan Institute, Wilson Center) 

Stephen Sestanovich (George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Council on Foreign Relations) 

Angela Stent (Director, Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies, Georgetown University)

 

For an episode transcript and show notes, visit us at cfr.org/podcasts/russia

China’s Starring Role in Hollywood

China’s Starring Role in Hollywood

January 6, 2021

What does it take to make a Hollywood blockbuster? Movie stars? A great script? How about approval from the Chinese government? In this episode, two guests explore the surprising role of Chinese censorship and oversight in the production of U.S. films and ask what’s at stake as their presence increases.

 

Featured Guests: 

Aynne Kokas (Associate Professor of Media Studies, University of Virginia) 

James Tager (Deputy Director, Free Expression Research and Policy, PEN America)

 

For an episode transcript and show notes, visit us at cfr.org/podcasts/chinas-starring-role-hollywood

The Big Red Button (Flashback Episode)

The Big Red Button (Flashback Episode)

December 23, 2020

The U.S. president can launch a first-strike nuclear attack at any time, and there’s no law mandating they seek advice first. Some experts think that’s too much power to put in one person’s hands.

 

Episode Page and Show Notes

 

Featured Guests: 

Richard K. Betts (Adjunct Senior Fellow for National Security Studies)

Alexandra Bell (Senior Policy Director, Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation)

Abigail Stowe-Thurston (Program Coordinator, Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation)

The Future is African

The Future is African

December 10, 2020

Projections show that by 2050, Africa’s population will double. By 2100, one in three people on Earth will be African. This means that, by the end of the century, sub-Saharan Africa—which already has an extraordinarily young population—will be home to almost half of the young people in the world. In this episode, two experts examine whether Africa’s youth boom will be a blessing or a curse.

 

Featured Guests: 

Michelle Gavin (Senior Fellow for Africa Studies, Council on Foreign Relations) 

John Githongo (Inuka Kenya Trust, CEO and publisher of The Elephant)

A Climate Bomb in the Amazon

A Climate Bomb in the Amazon

November 25, 2020

The Brazilian Amazon is burning, threatening the world’s largest repository of biodiversity. If the fires are not controlled soon, they could release a “climate bomb” of stored carbon that would accelerate climate change.

 

Featured Guests: 

Monica de Bolle (Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics) 

Stewart M. Patrick (James H. Binger Senior Fellow in Global Governance and Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program, Council on Foreign Relations) 

Thomas Lovejoy (President, Amazon Biodiversity Center)

 

For an episode transcript and show notes, visit us at cfr.org/podcasts/climate-bomb-amazon

Let’s Talk About Toilets

Let’s Talk About Toilets

November 11, 2020

Fifty-five percent of the global population lacks access to safe sanitation, a deadly global health disparity that rarely finds its way into the spotlight. In this episode, we examine the scope of the problem, and the cultural challenges that have made it surprisingly difficult to fix.

 

Featured Guests: 

Tom Slaymaker (Senior Statistics and Monitoring Specialist, WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program for Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)) 

Sangita Vyas (Associate Director, Research Institute for Compassionate Economics) 

Brooke Yamakoshi (WASH Specialist, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF))

 

For an episode transcript and show notes, visit us at cfr.org/podcasts/lets-talk-about-toilets

Make America Vote Again

Make America Vote Again

October 28, 2020

The United States trails far behind most advanced democracies when it comes to voter turnout, with just 55 percent of eligible voters participating in the 2016 election. What are other countries doing right, and what is the United States doing wrong?

 

Featured Guests: 

David Becker (Executive Director, Center for Election Innovation & Research) 

Kristen Clarke (President and Executive Director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law) 

Rosalind Dixon (Professor of Law, University of New South Wales)

 

For more information on this episode, visit us at cfr.org/podcasts/make-america-vote-again

Season Three Trailer

Season Three Trailer

October 14, 2020

What happens when the world runs out of fish? Does TikTok actually present a national security risk? Will Africa's population boom change the world as we know it? In season three, Why It Matters explores a new series of challenges that are gathering on the horizon.

 

For more information on our first two seasons, be sure to visit us at cfr.org/podcasts/why-it-matters