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Talking Policy

Talking Policy is a podcast of the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation. Subscribe on Spotify, AnchorBreakerPocket Casts, and RadioPublic.


The Psychological Consequences of Conflict
For people impacted by war and displacement, what are the long-term mental and social consequences of trauma—and what can be done to help them? In the latest episode of Talking Policy, Lindsay Morgan interviews Biz Herman, a UC Berkeley doctoral student and IGCC alumna, who studies the psychological consequences of conflict. Biz shares insights from the recent Human Security, Violence, and Trauma (HSVT) conference; and reflects on the relationship between trauma and justice, how trauma from political violence is similar and different from other kinds of trauma, and the societal impacts of collective trauma—and what that means for peacebuilding.

Read the edited transcript


The Disinformation Threat—and What to Do About It
Manipulation and deception have always been a part of politics. But misinformation and disinformation are flourishing in the digital age, with social media, and new technologies like artificial intelligence, making fake content easier to create and disseminate. In this interview, IGCC expert Jacob Shapiro, a professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University and co-director of IGCC’s new research initiative on disinformation, talks about what disinformation is, who’s doing it and why, and what can be done about it.

Read the edited transcript


Why is Democratic Backsliding on the Rise?
Recent analysis suggests that democracy is on the decline globally. Why and where is this happening—and what can be done about it? Here, Stephan Haggard, the Lawrence and Sallye Krause Professor of Korea-Pacific studies at UC San Diego, talks about his new book with Robert Kaufman Backsliding: Democratic Regress in The Contemporary World, and the role that polarization, quiescent legislatures, and incrementalism play in democracy’s decline.

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What’s the Future of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy?
Nuclear war may at times seem the stuff of a bygone era. But with Iran and North Korea growing their nuclear weapons programs, a rapid acceleration in China, and a flagging U.S. arsenal—nuclear weapons are back on policymakers’ radars. Here, Brad Roberts, director of the Center for Global Security Research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and an affiliated researcher at IGCC, analyzes the challenges ahead for the Biden administration—both to contain growing threats and modernize the U.S. enterprise.

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The Future of NATO: A Conversation with Heidi Hardt
With the Biden administration promising to rebuild global alliances, how will the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), one of the longest—and arguably most successful—alliances adapt to a rapidly changing world? In this edition of the IGCC podcast, Heidi Hardt, associate professor of political science at UC Irvine and expert in transatlantic security, talks about her book, NATO’s Lessons in Crisis, and about the emerging challenges facing the alliance.

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Proxy Wars and Hotspots to Watch: A Conversation with Eli Berman
With the US drawing down forces in a number of global hot zones, and the Biden administration promising a break from Trump-era disengagement, Eli BermanIGCC research director for international security studies and professor of economics at UC San Diego, revisits his book Proxy Wars: Suppressing Violence Through Local Agents.

Read the edited transcript