The Foreign Desk
About The Foreign Desk
Presented by Andrew Mueller, Monocle’s flagship global-affairs show features expert guests and in-depth analysis of the big issues of the week. Nominated for ‘Best Current Affairs’ show and the ‘Spotlight Award’ in the 2022 British Podcast Awards.
Rwanda has gone from being a place that not many British citizens could point to on a map to becoming one of the year’s biggest buzzwords, as a result of the incumbent Conservative government. Andrew Mueller explains the obsession. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The long-running battle for the Parthenon Marbles erupted again this week between Greece and the UK. In this special episode, we explore some of the bitterest and most bizarre diplomatic disputes between otherwise amicable nations. Is the British Museum losing its marbles? What does it take to resolve a conflict with a friendly state? Andrew Mueller speaks to George Parker, John Everard, Alex von Tunzelmann and Jeppe Kofod. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Though Ukraine’s next presidential election is scheduled to be held on 31 March 2024, Russia’s invasion of the country has created many issues that would prevent it from being truly free and fair. Andrew Mueller explains why some people think that Ukraine should hold it anyway. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Javier Milei shocked Argentina – and the world – after winning the country’s presidential election. So, who is Milei and what does the future hold for Argentina under an eccentric and unpredictable new leader? Andrew Mueller speaks to Ana Lankes, Benjamin Gedan and Tom Nichols. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Liberia’s president, George Weah, has been praised for his sportsmanship after peacefully conceding the country’s election this week. Andrew Mueller explains why this is remarkable and why the football legend might have lost his position in the first place. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
It is six weeks since Hamas’s attack on southern Israel, which indiscriminately and cruelly killed about 1,200 people and prompted a brutal and unrelenting retaliatory ground insurgency led by the Israeli Defence Force. The local authority so far claims figures of 11,000 dead. Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, vows to bring an end to Hamas but is that even possible? And what comes next? Will there be a Gaza left to govern? And can there ever be peace? Andrew Mueller speaks to Nimrod Goren, Khaled Elgindy and Sanam Vakil. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Like a previously believed-to-be-dead character in a soap opera, former UK prime minister David Cameron’s episode-ending reveal on Downing Street caused an audible gasp, followed by questions of how, what, where, when and why? Andrew Mueller explains. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The Arctic is not simply a forbidding and fragile environment. It is a home to millions, many of whom hail from indigenous communities who have harmoniously worked with the land and sea for generations. But who actually speaks on behalf of this region? And is anyone listening? In our final episode recorded at the Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavík, we meet representatives of some of the Arctic’s indigenous peoples and a few office-holders who grapple with the unique challenges of governing in – or near – the Arctic. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
As Australia’s prime minister, Anthony Albanese, pays a visit to his Chinese counterpart, Andrew Mueller muses on the fickle relationship between the two countries over the past 50 years. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Frozen and remote, the Arctic has long been a region of relative peace and stability. Russia’s war in Ukraine, however, has significantly altered Arctic security. What are Vladimir Putin’s polar ambitions and is the militarisation of the Arctic inevitable? Andrew Mueller speaks to Admiral Rob Bauer, chair of the Nato Military Committee; Petteri Vuorimäki, Finland’s Arctic ambassador; James Gray, UK member of parliament; Anu Laamanen, Finland’s ambassador to Iceland; and Volker Rachold, head of the German Arctic Office at the Arctic Circle Assembly. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In this special episode, recorded at the Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavík, Andrew Mueller sits down with the president of Iceland, Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson, US senator for Alaska, Lisa Murkowski, and Mads Qvist Frederiksen, executive director at the Arctic Economic Council. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feminist foreign policy is gaining traction around the world. How does it work in practice – and what is the role of women in promoting peace? Andrew Mueller speaks to Sweden’s former foreign minister, Margot Wallström, Slovenia’s minister for foreign affairs, Tanja Fajon, politics professor Jennifer Piscopo and peace-mediation expert Johanna Poutanen. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
As fighting rages between Israel and Hamas militants, we ask what the war might mean for Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and stability in the region. How did we get here and what happens next? Andrew Mueller speaks to Allison Kaplan Sommer, Yossi Mekelberg, Ghaith al-Omari and Ami Ayalon. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Australians are preparing to vote in a historic referendum that would recognise Indigenous citizens in the country’s constitution by establishing an official voice to parliament. What is at stake? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The race to dominate Artificial Intelligence has become a major geopolitical concern and is certain to redefine warfare and deterrence. How will AI reshape militaries and the future of great-power competition? Andrew Mueller speaks to Scott Young, General John Allen, and Ulrike Franke. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Last weekend, Slovakia narrowly voted in Robert Fico, leader of the Smer party, as prime minister. He is in a legal battle with his president and one of his few allies appears to be Hungary’s pro-Putin leader, Viktor Orbán. Andrew Mueller explains how this new leadership is at odds with the country that Slovakia has been in recent years. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
France has withdrawn its ambassador to Niger and announced the removal of its troops from the country following a military coup whose anti-French rhetoric has stirred up animosity in the region. Is President Macron the reason or the scapegoat for France’s diplomatic and strategic reverses in Africa? And what can he do on the world stage with the rest of his term? Andrew Mueller is joined by Aanu Adeoye, Sophie Pedder, Gesine Weber and Michel Duclos. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.