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War and Peace hosts Olya Oliker and Hugh Pope recording with Bulle Media from Brussels, July 2019 CRISISGROUP / Julie David de Lossy
Podcast / Europe & Central Asia

War & Peace

War and Peace is a new podcast series from the International Crisis Group. Olga Oliker and Hugh Pope interview experts about all things Europe and its neighbourhood, from Russia to Turkey and beyond. Their guests shed new light on everything that helps or hinders prospects for peace.

Episode 7: Holding the EU Flag High

The European Union has invested more in its eastern neighbourhood than in any other region around the world. In the Balkans, for example, huge financial, political and security resources have been mobilised, often behind the flagship policy of offering EU membership to qualifying countries. The wars of the 1990s and the economic hardships that followed have been largely overcome, but enlargement has stalled and the region’s uncertainties continue. The logic of EU enlargement is in even greater trouble further east in Turkey. Here media freedoms have shrunk, relations have strained over Turkey’s incursion into north-east Syria and the two sides are struggling to find a common policy on helping almost four million Syrian refugees in the country. 

Angelina Eichhorst, Deputy Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia/Director of Western Europe, Western Balkans, and Turkey at the European External Action Service, joins Hugh and Olga this week to discuss how the EU and its eastern neighbours can navigate periods of more strained relations and why continued engagement and dialogue is crucial for long-term stability and prosperity.

“We must shape our interests together. We cannot do this by sitting at different tables”.

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

Episode 6: Defeating Populism

“Populism attaches itself to whatever issue provokes fear and outrage [and] hate speech leads to hate crime”. 

Populist parties have risen up across Europe and beyond, galvanising electorates and threatening the multilateral institutions needed to address transnational challenges like globalisation, deadly conflict, digital transformations and the climate emergency.

Heather Grabbe, Policy Director for Open Society European Policy Institute, joins Olga and Hugh on this week’s episode of War & Peace to discuss how populism works, why its appeal has grown in recent years, and the threat it poses to European democracy. From its ideological adaptability and the role of digital media in amplifying its message to its role in fuelling deadly conflict, they examine what can be done to address the grievances that these parties feed off. 

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

 

Episode 5: Russia's Winning Streak

Russia’s role on the international stage is rapidly expanding. It is taking over Washington’s monopoly as the Middle East’s power broker, building its influence in Africa and deepening military ties with China. 

In some places, Russia is moving into a vacuum left by U.S. retrenchment. But it is also doing well globally because it is pragmatic about what success means. Its priority is positioning itself to be in the strongest possible place as the new global order shakes out. 

This week, Olga and Hugh discuss what Russia’s winning streak means for arms control, Ukraine, Turkey, the Middle East and a rising China.

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

This podcast was recorded on 30 October 2019. 

 

Episode 4: Europe’s Hidden Strengths

The turmoil since the United Kingdom’s 2016 referendum on leaving the European Union has exposed deep fissures not just within British society, but also problems within Europe as a whole. Indeed, a tide of nationalist parties has swept through the continent on an anti-EU platform, triggering heated debate about the union’s true value. 

Jeremy Shapiro, Research Director at the European Council on Foreign Relations, is Olga and Hugh’s guest to discuss these shifting dynamics in the War & Peace studio. Together they reflect on the meaning of European sovereignty, the EU’s relationship with the U.S. under an antagonistic president and the need for a common policy toward their Russian neighbour. 

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify

 

Anna Kovalenko, Deputy Head of the President's Office, Ukraine

Episode 3: Ukraine’s Zelensky Revolution

Anna Kovalenko had just completed a diploma in theatre studies in 2013 when the people of Ukraine gathered on the streets of Kiev to demonstrate against the government’s reneging on an agreement with the European Union. Anna became one of the leaders of these protests, later known as the Euromaidan Revolution. 

Five years on, the country is locked in a protracted conflict with Russia-backed separatists and its relationship with the EU has suffered due to corruption and failed political reform. Many challenges lie ahead for recently elected President Zelensky, a former actor who is now also embroiled in a scandal regarding a July telephone call with U.S. President Trump. 

Anna, Deputy Head of the President’s Office, joins Hugh and Olga to discuss security sector reform, reaching a peace deal with Russia and much more. 

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

This podcast was recorded on 30 August 2019.

 

 

Episode 2: Europe in the World

“We have failed to export stability, to the extent that we are now importing instability.” 

Europe’s security outlook has shifted dramatically in the last few years. Russia has broken out of the “Cold War consensus”, the Middle East is “on fire” and North Africa is “in chains”. Surrounded by this dangerous instability, Europe is facing a number of its own internal challenges, from migration to the internal debates polarising its citizens, especially in Britain. 

Bert Koenders, a former Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, a UN envoy and a Crisis Group Trustee, joins Olga Oliker and Hugh Pope this week to explore these issues and discuss ways forward. 

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

This podcast was recorded on 10 July 2019.

 

Episode 1: Europe and Iran 

What was so significant about the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, and how important was Europe’s contribution to it? Why has U.S. President Trump’s ripping up of the accord and subsequent “maximum pressure” strategy not worked? Amid the ongoing standoff between the U.S. and Iran, what role can the EU and Russia play in salvaging the deal and averting a military confrontation?

Rob Malley, a negotiator of the Iran deal, joins Olya and Hugh to explore these questions. 

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify

This podcast was recorded on 4 September 2019.

This podcast series was produced by Bulle Media