Democracy Paradox

Topic: Interviews with political scientists and other scholars to discuss their arguments on democracy, governance, and political life

Why I love it: It’s admittedly on-brand that I would choose a democracy-oriented podcast, but Democracy Paradox is truly a gem. Host Justin Kempf approaches each conversation with deep thoughtfulness, connecting his guests’ work to broader scholarly debates but never coming across as overly academic. His recent series on democracy in hard places (profiling a book of the same name) examined democratic survival in countries ranging from Indonesia to South Africa to Benin. It gave a much more nuanced understanding of democracy’s fortunes in each place and even a bit of that rarest of feelings in the democracy field: hope.

—Frances Z. Brown, Vice President for Studies

The China in Africa Podcast

Topic: An in-depth analysis of Chinese economic engagement in Africa and the socio and geopolitical implications of these relationships

Why I love it: This podcast has been consistently producing high-quality analysis for more than a decade, and the hosts make the effort to feature a wide variety of experts from Africa, China, the United States, Europe, and other parts of the world.

—Zainab Usman, Director, Africa Program 

Net Assessment

Topic: A biweekly debate of key issues in U.S. foreign policy from War on the Rocks

Why I love it: Hosts Zack Cooper, Melanie Marlowe, and Christopher Preble have deep disagreements and don’t hesitate to air them with candor and civility. I can’t think of another foreign policy podcast so adept at exploring differences of perspective.

—Stephen Wertheim, Senior Fellow, American Statecraft Program 

The Energy Transition Show with Chris Nelder

Topic: The global transition from dirty fossil fuels to clean energy

Why I love it: While this isn’t strictly a foreign policy podcast, it is about the global move toward low-carbon energy—and one of our beliefs on the Carnegie climate team is that climate policy is foreign policy. Check it out for deep dives on everything from the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report to nuclear power in Japan to how Russia is dealing with Western energy sanctions.  

—Noah J. Gordon, Fellow, Europe Program

The Lawfare Podcast

Topic: Covers a variety of both domestic and foreign policy issues, with a focus on national security, including interviews with policymakers, scholars, journalists, and analysts

Why I love it: I enjoy Lawfare’s podcast because it is not solely a foreign policy podcast. It does a great job of marrying omestic and foreign policy and helps me keep up with events and topics that have an impact on U.S. national security, whether at home or abroad. I am not a lawyer, so I find the approach by the hosts and guests very helpful in translating what are often complicated issues into an easily digestible format.

—Sarah Yerkes, Senior Fellow, Middle East Program 

Carnegie Connects

Topic: A biweekly live show hosted by Aaron David Miller featuring conversations with journalists, policymakers, historians, and experts on pressing foreign policy issues

Why I love it: I listen to Carnegie Connects because it’s where the sharpest global thinkers get asked the most incisive questions.

—James Acton, Co-director, Nuclear Policy Program

The Seen and the Unseen with Amit Varma

Topic: A podcast on all things India—covering topics from arts and culture to politics and foreign policy

Why I love it: The Seen and the Unseen is not so much a podcast as it is an eclectic collection of oral histories—episodes are often measured in hours rather than minutes. Varma is not searching for ephemeral click-bait but rather building an audio encyclopedia for the long haul.

—Milan Vaishnav, Director, South Asia Program and host of Grand Tamasha

Your Undivided Attention

Topic: Explores the current co-evolution of society with some of the most far-reaching technological advances: the rise of social media, artificial intelligence, and global developments in cybersecurity and information ecosystems

Why I love it: The podcast from the Center for Humane Technology explores some of the most challenging tech-fueled conundrums we find ourselves in today (disinformation campaigns, social media addiction, cyber warfare, algorithmic discrimination) with an appreciation for the dynamic interplay between technology and the many different contributors to our social fabric (psychology, sociology, even anthropology, as well as the “medieval institutions” that confine us). The team brings on experts to discuss not only how we got here but also why, recognizing that technology’s pace of evolution often exceeds our ability to make meaningful sense of its implications, let alone ensure that it is a force for good in society.

—Aubra Anthony, Senior Fellow, Technology and International Affairs Program