Podcasts 2023

from the Department of International Relations

Catch up with events from 2023


Underground empire: how America weaponized the world economy

Thursday 2 November 2023 90 minutes

This event was a book launch and discussion with Abraham Newman and Henry Farrell on their forthcoming book Underground Empire: how America weaponized the world economy.

The panel discussed debates around the weaponisation of the global economy with the sustainability of these tactics, how different major and emerging powers are reacting, and what role the UK has to play in both utilising and mitigating these tactics.

Meet our speakers and chair

Professor Henry Farrell is the SNF Agora Professor at Johns Hopkins SAIS, 2019 winner of the Friedrich Schiedel Prize for Politics and Technology, and former Editor-in-Chief of The Monkey Cage at The Washington Post

Professor Abraham L Newman is a professor at the School of Foreign Service and Government Department at Georgetown University. 

Ann Pettifor is a political economist, author and public speaker.

Professor Leslie Vinjamuri is Professor of International Relations at SOAS with research interests in US foreign policy, international order, geopolitics and human rights

Dr Nikhil Kalyanpur is Assistant Professor in LSE’s International Relations Department. He researches issues at the intersection of international political economy, business-government relations, law, and global governance. 

Find out more about the Underground Empire event

Listen to the Underground Empire podcast

Watch the event on YouTube

Read the student event report



Dr Gubad Ibadoghlu: a webinar

Monday 16 October 60 mins
Online on Zoom

Dr Gubad Ibadoghlu, Senior Visiting Fellow at LSE's Department of International Relations, prominent economist, human rights activist, and anti-corruption campaigner, was recently arrested while in Azerbaijan.

Reflecting on this development, this seminar helps raise awareness of the political conditions in Azerbaijan under the Aliev regime, and showcases Gubad's work.

Meet our speakers and chair

Professor Tomila Lankina, Professor of International Relations, LSE, will be hosting and moderating the seminar. 

John Heathershaw is Professor of International Relations at the University of Exeter. His research addresses conflict, security, and development in authoritarian political environments, especially in post-Soviet Central Asia. He is co-author of Dictators Without Borders (Yale 2017), The UK’s Kleptocracy Problem (Chatham House 2021) and principal investigator of an Anti-Corruption Evidence project on the transnational ties to democracies of elites from authoritarian states. Heathershaw is a member of the Academic Freedom and Internationalisation Working Group (AFIWG) of the UK which campaigns for transparency and accountability in British universities’ international relations.

Tom de Waal is a senior fellow with Carnegie Europe, specialising in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus region. He is the author of numerous publications about the region. 

Alexander Morrison is Fellow and Tutor in History at New College, Oxford, and interim Director (2023-24) of the Oxford Nizami Ganjavi Centre for the Study of Azerbaijan, the Caucasus and Central Asia. He was formerly Professor of History at Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan, (2014-17). He is the author of The Russian Conquest of Central Asia. A Study in Imperial Expansion, 1814-1914 (Cambridge, 2020) and co-editor of The Central Asian Revolt of 1916. A Collapsing Empire in the Age of War and Revolution (Manchester, 2019).

Watch a recording of the webinar



The contested world economy: on the origins of international political economy

Thursday 12 October 2023 90 minutes

When International Political Economy textbooks discuss the pre-1945 roots of the field, they typically focus on European and American thinkers who pioneered the three perspectives of economic liberalism, neomercantilism, and Marxism. But debates about IPE issues between late 18th century and 1945 were much more global than this, involving prominent thinkers from all parts of the world.

They also included many more perspectives, including those focusing on wider topics such as national self-sufficiency, environmental degradation, gender inequality, racial discrimination, religious worldviews, civilisational values, and varieties of economic regionalism.

Drawing on his new book The Contested World Economy (Cambridge 2023), LSE IR alumnus Eric Helleiner highlighted the rich diversity of pre-1945 thought about the world economy and the need to globalise and widen IPE’s deep history.

Meet our speakers and chair

Professor Eric Helleiner, Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo.

Dr Natalya Naqvi, Assistant Professor in the Department of International Relations, LSE 

Chair: Professor Robert Falkner, Professor in International Relations at LSE

Find out more

Listen to the podcast

Read the student event report



On making art and doing IR

Wednesday 4 October 2023 90 minutes

Dr Saara Särmä has used art-making as part of her research in multiple ways over the years. In this talk she introduces playful visual arts-based methods that she has used and developed in her work, namely collages and installations.

Collages and installations can work as modes to study IR issues, and they are important tools in making IR themes visual in accessible form for audiences outside of academia. Furthermore, art-making can be empowering on personal and collective levels, thus Dr Särmä shares with us why she thinks that these methods have transformative potential.

Meet our speakers and chair

Dr Saara Särmä, Tampere University. Dr Saara Särmä is a feminist, an activist, an artist and a researcher. She’s interested in politics of visuality and image circulation, feminist academic activism, and laughter in world politics.

Dr Audrey Alejandro, Assistant Professor in the Department of Methodology, LSE

Sara Wong, PhD candidate in the Department of International Relations, LSE

Chair: Professor William A Callahan, Professor in the Department of International Relations, LSE

Find out more

Listen to the podcast

Read the student event report


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Russia's War Against Ukraine: war crimes and responsibility for post-war reconstruction

Saturday 17 June 2023 90 minutes

Hosted by LSE Festival: People and Change

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has been accompanied by atrocities against the civilian population, including reported mass rape, torture, and abductions of children, as well as the destruction of civil infrastructure like schools, hospitals, and residential homes. Efforts are under way by inter-state and non-state organisations, governments, and civil society to document the crimes and the material consequences and costs of the invasion.

The panel, including prominent Ukraine policy practitioners and leading academic experts on Ukraine and Russia, discusses whether there is a legal case to be made that Russia is committing crimes of aggression and/or genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes; and what the prospects are for prosecuting the crimes in international tribunals. They also ask what the perpetrators’ responsibility is for post-war reconstruction of Ukraine, whether through paying for damages or tackling legal issues (such as the possibility of using Russia’s frozen assets).

Find out more

Listen to the podcast



Russia: does It believe in anything? | LSE Festival

Saturday 17 June 2023 70 minutes

Hosted by LSE Festival: People and Change

Adam Curtis’s BAFTA-nominated BBC series, Russia 1985-1999: TraumaZone, documents what it felt like to live through the collapse of communism and democracy, based on preserved and digitised footage from BBC archives and forgotten or never shown scenes from Soviet life and life in post-Soviet states. 

Adam Curtis and Traumazone producer Grigor Atanesian, in conversation with Professor Vladislav Zubok and Professor Tomila Lankina, reflect on what went wrong thirty-something years ago. How might understanding this recent traumatic history help us understand the present, and future, of Russia and its political system? 

Meet our speakers and chair

Grigor Atanesian is a BBC journalist and documentary producer. 

Adam Curtis is a journalist and BAFTA award-winning filmmaker. Russia 1985-1999 TraumaZone: What It Felt Like to Live Through the Collapse of Communism and Democracy is available to watch on iPlayer. 

Tomila Lankina (@TomilaLankina) is Professor of International Relations in LSE’s Department of International Relations.

Vladislav Zubok (@VladislavZubok1) is Professor in the Department of International History, LSE.  

Find out more

Listen to the podcast



The DINAM Ukraine Discussion Series 

In this innovative four-part online discussion series, highly distinguished experts offer critical discussion and insight into the ongoing Russian war in Ukraine.

Find out more about the DINAM Ukraine Discussion Series and the speakers

  • Ukraine's Defence and Foreign Policy: Lessons from the Past and Challenges for the Future
    Tuesday 23 May 2023
    Watch the recording
  • Updates from the War: military and political assessments of Ukraine's counteroffensive potential
    Tuesday 30 May 2023
    Watch the recording
  • Economics in a time of the war: Ukraine’s Resilience and the Global Impact of Russian Aggression
    Monday 12 June 2023

    Watch the recording
  • Updates from the War: Public Opinion and the Future Price of Peace
    Wednesday 14 June 2023
    Watch the recording



Legitimation as Political Practice: crafting everyday authority in Tanzania

Legitimacy has long been perceived through a Westernised lens as a fixed, binary state. Drawing on her new book, Legitimation as Political Practice: Crafting Everyday Authority in Tanzania, Kathy Dodworth explores everyday legitimation practices in coastal Tanzania, specifically how non-government organisations craft their authority to act, working with, against and through the state.


Kathy Dodworth is a Research Fellow at the Centre of Africa Studies at the University of Edinburgh, examining voluntary labour in Kenya. Her latest book is a result of her doctoral research in Politics and International Relations at the University of Edinburgh in 2018, which won the School of Social and Political Science Outstanding Thesis Award.


Milli Lake is Associate Professor of International Security in LSE's Department of International Relations. She co-directs the Women's Rights After War project and also co-convenes the Advancing Research on Conflict consortium.

Find out more

Listen to the podcast

Read the blog post by Kathy Dodworth and Christian Hotz Judging a book through its cover: Exploring legitmation through art



Anti-globalism and the Future of the Liberal World Order

Tuesday 9 May 2023 90 minutes

Listen to this event about Peter Trubowitz’s and Brian Burgoon’s new book, Geopolitics and Democracy. In this book the authors provide a new explanation of why the liberal international order has buckled under the pressures of anti-globalist political forces. 


Brian Burgoon, Professor of International and Comparative Political Economy in the Department of Political Science and Director of the Centre for European Studies at the University of Amsterdam. His research focuses on the politics of economic globalisation, immigration, inequality, and welfare and labor-market policy. 

Michael Cox, Emeritus Professor of International Relations at LSE. He was a Founding Director of LSE IDEAS and currently sits on the steering committee of the Ralph Miliband Programme. 

Sara Hobolt, the Sutherland Chair in European Institutions and Professor in the Department of Government at LSE. She is the Chair of the European Election Studies, an EU-wide project studying voters, parties, candidates and the media in European Parliamentary elections.

Peter Trubowitz, Professor of International Relations and Director of the Phelan US Centre at LSE and Associate Fellow at Chatham House. His research largely focuses on issues of international security and US foreign policy. 

Leslie Vinjamuri, Director, US and the Americas Programme; Dean, Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs, Chatham House


Jeffrey Chwieroth, Professor of International Political Economy in the Department of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. At LSE he is also a research associate of the Systemic Risk Centre. He also currently serves as Head of Department.

Find out more

Listen to the podcast

Read the student event report



Book launch: The Holocaust: an unfinished history

Tuesday 28 March 2023 90 minutes

Speaker: Dan Stone is Professor of Modern History and Director of the Holocaust Research Institute (Royal Holloway, University of London), and was on the advisory panel for the Imperial War Museum’s new Holocaust Galleries. He has authored and edited numerous books, including Histories of the Holocaust and The Liberation of the Camps.

Chair: Jens Meierhenrich is Professor in the Department of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). 

Listen back to the launch of Dan Stone's latest book The Holocaust: An Unfinished History. The author is in conversation with Professor Jens Meierhenrich.

The Holocaust is much-discussed, much-memorialised and much-portrayed. But major aspects of its history have been overlooked and misunderstood. Spanning not just the Holocaust itself but also the decades since, Dan Stone's sweeping history deepens our understanding of what the Holocaust actually was and its ongoing repercussions across the world today.

Find out more

Listen to the podcast

Read the student event report 



Book launch: Support the Troops: Military obligation, gender and the making of political community


Katharine M Millar is Assistant Professor of International Relations in the Department of International Relations at LSE. 

Kimberly Hutchings is a Professor in the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary, University of London. 

Maria Rashid is an LSE Fellow in the Department of Gender Studies at LSE.

Chris Rossdale is a Lecturer in the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies at Bristol University. 


Milli Lake is Associate Professor of International Security in the Department of International Relations at LSE.

Listen to the launch of Katharine M Millar’s new book, Support the Troops: Military obligation, gender and the making of political community. Dr Millar discusses her book and its themes with a panel of experts.

Find out more

Listen to the podcast

Read the student event report



Foreign Policy in the Digital Age: what to expect

Hosted by the Department of International Relations and the European Foreign Policy Unit (EFPU)

Wednesday 8 March 2023 90 minutes


Corneliu Bjola is an Associate Professor of Diplomatic Studies at the University of Oxford.

Sarah Bressan is a research fellow at the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) in Berlin, where she contributes to the institute’s work on peace and security

Nicola Minasi is Director of the Crisis Unit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy. 


Federica Bicchi is Associate Professor in the International Relations of Europe in the Department of International Relations at LSE. She is also the Director of the European Foreign Policy Unit of LSE. 

Listen back to a conversation between a practitioner, a think tanker and an academic who help us understand the future (and the present) of digital foreign policy.

Is the increasing use of digital technologies in foreign policy fundamentally altering the way in which foreign policy is made and implemented? How are digital technologies contributing to reshape geopolitics? To what extent do digital technologies enhance international cooperation? Can they support multilateralism, or do they create new digital divides and even a new form of colonialism? 

Find out more

Listen to the podcast

Read the student event report



Doing IR Differently: Pluriversal Relationality

Co-hosted with BISA

Monday 20 February 2023
Online event 90 minutes


Dr Tamara Trownsell, Independent Scholar, USA

Professor Navnita Chadha Behera, Professor, University of Delhi

Professor Giorgio Shani, Visiting Professor, Department of International Relations, LSE


Dr Martin CowardUniversity of Manchester

Relationality is embedded in our daily lives. How we relate to one another conditions how we see ourselves and how we are seen. This virtual Public Lecture, based on the current Review of International Studies Special Issue (Volume 48 - Special Issue 5 - December 2022) on Pluriversal Relationality, addresses two challenges. First, what happens if we conceive relationality in a manner that ontologically begins by assuming interconnection as prior to the existence of entities. Second, it seeks to pluralise the sources of relational thinking in International Relations (IR) by showcasing how different cosmological traditions in the Americas, Asia and Australia view relationality. 

More information

Watch the event on YouTube



2022/23 Martin Wight memorial lecture

The Russia-Ukraine War: A Challenge to International Order?

Thursday 16 February 2023 90 minutes

Professor Roy Allison, Professor of Russian and Eurasian International Relations, and Director of the Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre at Oxford University

Dr Federica Bicchi, Associate Professor of International Relations, LSE, and Director of the European Foreign Policy Unit, LSE.

Russia and Western states have long clashed over the nature of international society and the desirability of a liberal rule-based international order. Does Putin really believe Russia occupies some common civilisational and territorial space with Ukraine, justifying the subjugation of Ukraine to return ‘historic Russian regions’? Or is this cynical cover for strategic ends aimed at the mobilisation of domestic support? With no end to the war in sight, what remains of the post-Cold war territorial settlement in Europe and is an eventual negotiated settlement of the war conceivable under the current Russian leadership?

Find out more 

Listen to the podcast

Read the student event report

Find out more about the Martin Wight Memorial Lectures.