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Le Monde diplomatique - English edition


Each month, George Miller interviews LMD authors about their articles and the issues behind them


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Each month, George Miller interviews LMD authors about their articles and the issues behind them




Will unchecked urban development make Phnom Penh unliveable?

In this month's podcast, journalist and South East Asia specialist Christine Chaumeau discusses how the Cambodian capital has been transformed over the last 20 years, with a mushrooming of skyscrapers and private, gated developments, which she writes about in the October edition of the paper (‘Phnom Penh: rising skyline, disappearing lakes'). Under outgoing prime minister Hun Sen, the country experienced rapid economic growth, but his exercise of power was ruthless, and opponents of the (...) - 2023/10 / Podcast, 2023/10 cambodia


Why so many coups in Africa?

The tally of coups in West Africa currently stands at six, after the recent military takeover in Niger (which was followed by another in Gabon in Central Africa). In this month's podcast, Anne-Cécile Robert, director of international editions at Le Monde diplomatique, talks about the conditions in which generals step in, offering simple solutions to complex problems. But, Robert says, it would be wrong to see this as a purely regional phenomenon, an ‘epidemic' affecting a ‘coup belt'. As she (...) - 2023/09 / Podcast, 2023/09 W African coups


Alexander the Great comes to Naples

On this month's podcast, culture critic Maya Jaggi talks about an exhibition currently on at the National Museum of Archaeology Naples (MANN), which she reviews in the July issue of Le Monde diplomatique in a piece entitled ‘Alexander the Great, between Asia and Europe'. As Alexander the Great pushed ever further east in the late 4th century BCE, his aim was conquest. But the result was much more than that: it also brought cultural exchange, unexpected encounters and the sharing of learning. (...) - 2023/07 / Podcast, 2023/07 alexander


Moldova: a state stuck in the grey zone between east and west?

In this month's podcast, Ukraine-based journalist Glen Johnson discusses his article in the June edition of Le Monde diplomatique, ‘Moldova's stark choices about its future'. The key choice this landlocked former Soviet republic faces is over whether it should maintain its hitherto strict neutrality or seek protection under the NATO umbrella. Johnson describes Moldova's initial reaction to the war in Ukraine as ‘pitch perfect'. But since then, he says, its government has veered sharply towards (...) - 2023/06 / Podcast, 2023/06 Moldova


China's quest for AI supremacy

China has designated it a ‘national priority' to become ‘the world's premier artificial intelligence innovation centre' by 2030. OpenAI's release of ChatGPT suggests China may have some catching up to do. In this month's podcast, Gabrielle Chou of NYU Shanghai University discusses some of barriers to China achieving its goal, including a brain drain, corruption and a US embargo on high-end (...) - 2023/04 / Podcast, 2023/04 china


After Sturgeon, Humza Yousaf: what next for Scotland?

In the second of two podcasts this month, Glasgow-based journalist Jamie Maxwell discusses Scotland's change of leader after Nicola Sturgeon's surprise decision to stand down after eight years as Scotland's first minister. As Humza Yousaf takes on her role, Jamie discusses the Sturgeon legacy and the challenges ahead for her successor, both in terms of the independence movement and progressive politics in (...) - 2023/03 / 2023/03 Scotland, Podcast


Jacinda Ardern calls it a day

In the first of two podcasts this month on the resignations of two prominent female leaders, journalist Glen Johnson reflects on New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Ardern's surprise departure. She won international admiration for her handling of Covid and the Christchurch massacre but, Johnson explains, elements in the business community, the political opposition and the national media cultivated a highly toxic environment that ultimately made her position (...) - 2023/02 / Podcast, 2023/02 Ardern


Why Chinese thought matters

From the outside, it's easy to think that all Chinese intellectuals fall neatly into the category of dissidents or propagandists. In fact, there's a host of public intellectuals that the West largely ignores who are actively engaged in debating their country's future. In this month's podcast, David Ownby of the University of Montreal explains how these thinkers see China's role in a multipolar world and why they (...) - 2023/01 / Podcast, 2023/01 china


UK: the collapse of Tory rule

A long list of scandals brought down Boris Johnson this summer. His successor Liz Truss's premiership looks likely to be even briefer; within weeks of entering No 10 in September, support for her had all but vanished, after her disastrous mishandling of the economy and repeated U-turns. In this month's podcast, journalist Jamie Maxwell discusses these recent upheavals and puts them in the wider context of British politics, including the question mark over the survival of the union (...) - 2022/10 / Podcast, 2022/10 UK


Tensions mount as US ends ‘strategic ambiguity' over Taiwan

On 2 August Nancy Pelosi touched down in Taipei, prompting anger from the Chinese government. Six weeks later, President Biden confirmed that US troops would defend Taiwan if China attacked. In this month's podcast, Michael Klare, professor emeritus of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College, discusses some of the critical questions around this volatile situation. Why, after decades, has the US abandoned its policy of ‘strategic ambiguity' over Taiwan? And could the Biden (...) - 2022/08 / Podcast, 2022/08 Taiwan


The end of California's last nuclear plant?

Diablo Canyon, California's last-remaining nuclear power plant, provoked the US's biggest ever anti-nuclear demonstration in the early 1980s. The plant was built in an earthquake zone, where memories of the Three Mile Island accident were still fresh. The message was clear: environmentalists saw no role for nuclear energy. Our guest in this month's podcast, journalist Maxime Robin, visited California recently to see how the debate around nuclear power has moved on. As the state grapples with (...) - 2022/08 / Podcast, 2022/08 america nuclear


Mexico: AMLO, radical or pragmatist?

Our guest this month, journalist Anne-Dominique Correa, considers the presidency of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (widely known as AMLO) now that his term has passed its midway point. The former mayor of Mexico City won the presidential election in late 2018 with a slogan of ‘First the Poor' and a promise to transform Mexico, but he's had to make compromises along the way so as not to completely alienate the country's powerful economic elite. Some of his supporters are disillusioned: is AMLO (...) - 2022/07 / Podcast, 2022/07 Mexico


Lebanon: ‘Preserving the past in hope of building the future'

It's almost two years since a huge explosion devastated Beirut's port. Since then, as journalist Emmanuel Haddad explains in this month's podcast, Lebanon's economic situation has got much worse, a political reckoning has failed to occur and many Lebanese have emigrated. In his article in the May edition of the paper (‘The urgent need to preserve Lebanon's past') Haddad writes about the efforts of people dedicated to excavating and processing their country recent past amid its present economic (...) - 2022/05 / Podcast, 2022/05 Lebanon


The rightwing ideologues who fuelled Putin's dream of an expansionist Russia

Our guest this month, Juliette Faure from Sciences Po, Paris, is a specialist in Russian political elites. In our April edition, she writes on ‘The deep ideological roots of Russia's war' and in this month's podcast she discusses how the doctrine of ‘national patriotism' gained influence in Russia, especially through the activities of the Izborsk Club, an elite rightwing think tank that has aggressively pushed the concept of ‘Novorossia' (New Russia) to justify Russia's claims on Ukrainian (...) - 2022/04 / Podcast, 2022/04 Russia/Ukraine, 2022/04 Izborsk


If sanctions don't stop wars, what are they for?

With Russia now under some of the severest sanctions ever imposed as part of an effort to halt its war on Ukraine, we discuss international sanctions with our guest, Anne-Cécile Robert, director of Le Monde diplomatique's international editions. Anne-Cécile and her colleague Hélène Richard have an article in this month's paper entitled ‘Russia and the West: between sanctions and war', which shows that, as sanctions have proliferated in the last 30 years, there's a risk they come to be seen as a (...) - 2022/03 / Podcast, 2022/03 Russia-Ukraine


The Taliban are back – and a new regional order is emerging

How has the US withdrawal from Afghanistan affected the power balance in the wider region? In this month's podcast, Jean-Luc Racine, emeritus director of research at the CNRS, discusses his article ‘Taliban victory sparks regional reset', which appears in the December issue. As he explains, new alliances are forming and old fears resurfacing – not least that extremist violence will spill over Afghanistan's (...) - 2021/12 / Podcast, 2021/12 Afghanistan


China is open for investment

In recent years, China has made it clear that it welcomes foreign investment. Big western companies have been only too happy to oblige, as our podcast guest Philip S Golub explains (see ‘Wall's Street's unlikely new romance with China' in this month's paper). But how does China square President Xi's policy of ‘investment liberalisation and facilitation' with its increasingly aggressive ‘wolf warrior diplomacy' in the geopolitical (...) - 2021/11 / Podcast, 2021/11 China-wallstreet


Taiwan at the heart of the US-China conflict

China's President Xi has vowed to ‘utterly defeat' any bid for Taiwanese independence, and provocative sorties by Chinese military aircraft near the island are now common. As Taipei-based journalist Alice Hérait writes in the October issue of Le Monde diplomatique, the US is meanwhile strengthening its ties with Taiwan. In this month's podcast, Alice discusses US-Taiwanese relations and what they mean for regional (...) - 2021/10 / Podcast, 2021/10 - Taiwan


China's post-communist Communist Party

Our guest in this month's podcast is Jérôme Doyon, a China specialist at the Harvard Kennedy School's Ash Center. In the September edition of the paper Jérôme assesses the Chinese Communist Party in its centenary year and asks, ‘What's left of communism in China?' In the podcast, George Miller asks Doyon how the CCP will retain control in a China with a burgeoning billionaire class and growing income (...) - 2021/09 / Podcast, 2021/09 China


Global semiconductor shortage bites

In this month's podcast, George Miller talks to Evgeny Morozov, writer on technology and politics, and founder of The Syllabus, a knowledge curation initiative. In the August edition of the paper Evgeny has written an article entitled ‘Chips with everything: the technological arms race that will shape our future'. As he explains in the podcast, the current global shortage of computer chips has implications far beyond delays for consumers keen to have a new smartphone or car: semiconductors...