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World Class

A weekly News and Politics podcast
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Episodes of World Class

In the last 30 years, authoritarian regimes have gained significant ground in countries around the world, and democracy norms are in decline. Why? Former Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications and Speech Writing and vet
In his inaugural address, President Biden declared, “Today we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate but of a cause — the cause of democracy.” But is the United States still a beacon for aspiring democratic societies around the globe? In a c
Last week, riot police used force to remove Nika Melia, the leader of Georgia’s main opposition party, from his political headquarters. Meila’s arrest has deepened political rifts within Georgia and is plunging the nation into crisis, with oppo
In a special crossover episode, World Class host Michael McFaul discusses how the U.S. can mend relationships with the rest of the world after four years of unpredictability on the World Affairs Podcast. Mike and Jorge Castañeda, former Foreign
Iran’s economy is at its worst point in decades, its Supreme Leader is ill, and the country is “desperate” for a nuclear deal with the United States, says Abbas Milani, an expert on U.S.-Iran relations. On this episode, he and Mike discuss the
While we should expect some big changes over the next four years when it comes to U.S. foreign policy toward Russia, President Joe Biden should be willing to cooperate with Russia on select issues, says Steven Pifer, former U.S. Ambassador to U
We bring expertise on international affairs from Stanford's campus, straight to you. Hosted by former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, experts from the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies offer insights into the history
840 million people — or about one-ninth of the world’s population — live in China’s rural areas. They tend to settle in the regions in which they are born, and they’re generally not depicted in mainstream media outlets, but they are going to p
During the 2016 presidential election cycle, Russian operatives used Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms to spread disinformation in order to divide the American public. Four years later, misleading and false informat
We are nearing the end of the election season in the U.S. that has been anything but ordinary — the country is in the midst of a global pandemic, which has caused a seismic shift in how Americans will vote. Nearly three-quarters of American vot
Signed by President Barack Obama and former Russian President Dmitri Medvedev in 2010, the New START Treaty caps the number of strategic missiles and heavy bombers that the U.S. and Russia can possess. The nuclear arms control treaty is set to
Described by some as “Europe’s last dictator,” Alexander Lukashenko has headed an authoritarian regime in Belarus for the last 26 years. Following his recent victory in Belarus’ presidential election, which is widely considered to have been rig
Many see China as having a desire to displace the United States as the preeminent power in the world. In this episode, Jean Oi and Thomas Fingar (co-editors of "Fateful Decisions: Choices That Will Shape China’s Future") explain why they disagr
With protests continuing after the tragic killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, people around the world are demanding more transparency and accountability from police officers. What steps can be taken to curb police violence and abuses
Following the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, widespread protests have erupted in cities around the United States and around the world. What can we learn from these protests, and what implications might they have for de
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, its effects could be potentially devastating to global democracy and the upcoming U.S. presidential election. Nate Persily, a senior fellow at FSI and co-director of the Stanford-MIT Project on a Healthy
COVID-19 has established itself around the globe and will be with us for the foreseeable future. What do we know about the virus so far, and what makes it unique? Michelle Mello is a professor of law and medicine at Stanford whose research fo
Global populism is on the rise. Once associated with Latin American and post-communist democracies, populist parties and politicians have now gained support and power in established democracies. In a new white paper, “Global Populisms and The
The coronavirus has infected more than 75,000 people and killed more than 2,000 since it was first identified in Wuhan, China, in late December. Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies experts Karen Eggleston and David Relman join ho
In the wake of the assassination of Qassem Soleimani by the United States, Abbas Milani — an expert on U.S.-Iran relations — discusses Iran’s economic and political troubles, Soleimani’s role in Iranian politics, and what the country’s decision
With an average age of 41, Ukraine’s new parliament — elected in July 2019 — is its least experienced one yet. 80 percent of the legislature had no political experience before the election last summer, and the nation is at a crossroads of sorts
President Donald Trump recently made the decision to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria. Why was the U.S. there in the first place; where do things stand now with Turkey, the Kurds, and Syria; and what effect did that decision have on the f
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s name has appeared regularly in discussions about the controversial situation with Ukraine. What was Biden trying to achieve during his visit to Ukraine in 2015, and what is his connection to the controversy sur
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