The Trump Podcast

This week's episode of The Beacon explores President Trump's approach to foreign policy. Questioning how far Trump's election represents a turning for US foreign policy, and aiming to get behind the meaning of "America First", Lydie Sheehan speaks to Dr Jacob Parakilas, Assistant Head of the US and Americas Programme at Chatham House, and Dr Charles Krauthammer, a political commentator for the Washington Post and Fox News. 


This week’s podcast focuses on approaches to counterterrorism. To find out more on the matter Lydie Sheehan spoke to Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford and a specialist in international security with an emphasis on terrorist movements, Dr Loretta Napoleoni, a political analyst with expertise in terrorist financing, and Richard Barrett, former director of global counter-terrorism at MI6, who now works on countering violent extremist as part of the Global Strategy Network.

Revolution in Tunisia

This week, The Beacon examines the 2011 uprisings in Tunisia that jumpstarted the “Arab Spring” across the Middle East and North Africa. To understand what happened in Tunisia from the people’s perspective during those early days, Dunya Habash spoke with 3 Tunisians who participated in the events in different ways. The first was Montasar Adaili, a masters student studying in Tunis when the protests broke out, Dr. Mohamed-Salah Omri, associate professor of Modern Arabic Language and Literature at Oxford’s Oriental Institute, and Yosra Outertani, an associate professor of English at the Higher Institute of Languages of Nabeul, Carthage University.

If you wish to comment on this topic, we are accepting admissions to our blog. Similarly, you may find the original, unedited interview with Dr. Omri below. 

The Dr. Omri interview can be found here.

The Curious case of Brazil: should the BRICs drop the B?

This week Zoe Hodge takes a look at Brazil. In the midst of the on-going corruption scandal, and mired in recession, the once-golden country of economic growth and prospering democracy seems now more than a little tainted. We explore the current crisis, and locate it within a longer story of Brazilian history and culture. Interviewing an academic, a journalist and a university student, these Brazilians reflect on the legacy of their country and their thoughts on its future.


For the second episode of Hilary Term 2017, The Beacon looks in depth at multiculturalism. Interviewing social anthropologist at Oxford University, Professor Dawn Chatty, as well as Syrian-American Tasneem Karassi and Indian-American Smriti Krishnan, we examine the theory and practice of multiculturalism in today's global society. This includes defining multiculturalism and hearing personal accounts of growing up in a multicultural family.

If you wish to comment on this topic, we are accepting admissions to our blog. 


Europe: 1989 onwards!

For the first episode of Hilary Term 2017, The Beacon looks at Eastern Europe post-1989. Interviewing political and economic experts at UCL's School of Slavonic and East Europe Studies, Dr. Kubik and Dr. Cvrcek, as well as active campaigner Tomas Bladyniec, we examine the economic and political history, present and future of the region. This includes touching on the recent developments of the rise of far-right governments, particularly in Poland.

 If you wish to comment on this debate, we are accepting admissions to our blog. Similarly, you may find the original, unedited versions of the interviews below. 

The Bladyniec interview can be found here, the Cvrcek interview here and the Kubik interview here.

The International Criminal Court

This week The Beacon is investigating the International Criminal Court. The ICC claims to be the world’s first permanent international criminal court 'participating in a global fight to end impunity.' However in recent months the withdrawal of some African Nations, including South Africa, have led some to question the global agenda of the ICC and instead to suggest that it disproportionately targets the leaders of smaller and weaker states, the majority of which are to be found in Africa. To learn more about the ICC and the veracity of such accusations Rupert Sparling spoke to Dr. Fadi El Abdallah, currently the Spokesperson and Head of the Public Affairs Unit at the International Criminal Court, Muthoni Wanyeki,  an human rights activist and the current Regional Director of Amnesty International in East Africa, and finally Dr Christine Schwobel-Patel, Senior Lecturer in International Law at Liverpool University

The Appointment of the UN Secretary General

One individual to represent 7 billion. Is such a thing even possible? And what conceivable process could be representative enough to measure up to this ideal. This week’s podcast is about the recent appointment of a new United Nations Secretary General. How important is the appointment? What are we to make of the new Secretary General António Guterres? Will he in fact be able to accomplish anything? And why yet again has the UN refused to place a woman in charge? In order to learn more about this topic, Rupert Sparling spoke to Professor Simon Chesterman, Professor of Law at the National University of Singapore, Natalie Samarasinghe the Executive Director of the United Nations Association-UK (UNA-UK) and co-founder of the 1 for 7 Billion Campaign and Ourania Yancopoulos a journalist for Open Democracy and writer on the UN.

Women and Peace Building


This week The Beacon is looking at the subject of women and peace-building to explore the relationship or lack of relationship between the two. To learn more about this Rupert Sparling spoke to Professor Anne-Marie Goetz, clinical professor at the Center for Global Affairs and formerly Chief Advisor on Peace and Security at UN Women, Professor Elisabeth Porter at South Australia University and former director of the INCORE institute in Belfast Northern Ireland and Dr. Thania Paffenholz, Director of the Inclusive Peace and Transition Initiative (IPTI) at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.