Previous Episodes Refresh
Aug 03, 2020
How to understand China, its ambitions and potentialAugust 03, 2020
To celebrate the 50th episode of Sounds Strategic, Robert Ward, Director of the Geo-economics and Strategy programme at the IISS, hosts Meia Nouwens and Nigel Inkster for a fascinating and wide-ranging conversation on China, its foreign-policy motivations and what its possible dominance in technology could mean for the West.In the episode, Meia and Nigel examine the limits of China’s assertive, ‘wolf-warrior’ approach to foreign affairs. They discuss whether China’s recent behaviour is part of a grand strategic...
Jul 27, 2020
Free to choose? How Southeast Asian nations view the US–China rivalryJuly 27, 2020
Following a special presentation by US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Meia and Antônio speak with Research Fellow Aaron Connelly on how the United States’ strategy towards Southeast Asia is viewed by Southeast Asian countries themselves. In the episode, Aaron explains why Secretary Esper’s recent remarks may indicate US policymakers are moving away from large-scale...
Jul 20, 2020
Future warfighting: placing doctrine before technologyJuly 20, 2020
With the return of great-power competition to the forefront of international affairs, there has been a renewed focus among the world’s advanced militaries on what capabilities will be required to win or compete in possible conflicts in the future. In this week’s episode, Franz-Stefan Gady joins Meia and Antônio to discuss the concepts that underpin debates around future warfighting, and why doctrinal and organisational considerations will play an equal, if not greater, role for military planners...
Jul 13, 2020
Divided we stand: the EU’s domestic- and foreign-policy agendaJuly 13, 2020
Europe was already facing a host of complex geopolitical and economic challenges at the start of 2020, even before the COVID-19 crisis. In this week’s episode, Meia is joined by Sarah Raine and Fabrice Pothier for a wide-ranging and in-depth discussion on how the EU’s political agenda has been impacted by the pandemic and what issues remain at the forefront of its policy priorities.Domestically, the EU has experienced profound disruption because of COVID-19. Fabrice and Sarah examine how European states and the...
Jul 06, 2020
China’s growing presence in the GulfJuly 06, 2020
China has been expanding its economic and diplomatic reach in the Gulf for little over a decade, but should growing Gulf–China relations concern the United States? In this week’s episode, Camille Lons speaks with Antônio and Meia on the dynamics of China’s growing presence in the Gulf, how it has evolved in recent years and its limitations. At its core, China’s interest in the Gulf remains primarily economic rather than security driven. As a result, Gulf states will continue to look to the US...
Jun 29, 2020
Japan’s delicate dance for influence in the Asia-PacificJune 29, 2020
Japan was already heading towards economic difficulties before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the world’s economy. How will Japan’s economy fare in the post-COVID period? And will it affect the country’s geostrategic and geo-economic ambitions? In this week’s episode, Meia discusses these questions with Robert Ward and Yuka Koshino.Robert explains that Japan will likely experience a severe economic shock in the post-COVID period. This will likely have negative implications for the re-election prospects...
Jun 22, 2020
The future of European defence spending in a post-COVID worldJune 22, 2020
The profound economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has led some to question the utility and necessity of traditional defence spending as a means of ensuring national security, especially in Europe. In this week’s episode of Sounds Strategic, Antônio speaks with Bastian Giegerich and Fenella McGerty on why defence spending remains important and the implications of the COVID-19 crisis for European defence projects, NATO and the future of the transatlantic relationship.Fenella explains how this...
Jun 15, 2020
Caught in shifting tides: ASEAN, Australia and the geopolitics of the South China SeaJune 15, 2020
In this week’s episode, Meia is joined by Lynn Kuok and Euan Graham for an in-depth discussion on what China’s activity in the South China Sea means for ASEAN, Australia, the US and Europe, and whether such actions are indicative of shifting geopolitical power dynamics.Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, China has maintained a constant presence in the South China Sea, even encroaching on the Exclusive Economic Zones of several Southeast Asian countries, including Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia. Lynn explains the...
Jun 08, 2020
The end of US supremacy at sea? China and Russia’s naval ambitions and how to counter themJune 08, 2020
This week, Meia and Antônio are joined by Nick Childs, Senior Fellow for Naval Forces and Maritime Security, for a conversation on the increasingly contested realm of maritime security, how Russia and China are developing their naval capabilities, and what technologies could revolutionise defence affairs at sea in the near future.During the episode, Nick explains why the traditional naval supremacy the US and its allies have enjoyed in recent decades is now eroding, as Russia and China develop their own maritime...
Jun 01, 2020
The World Bank’s new strategy for fragility, conflict and violenceJune 01, 2020
This week, Antonio and Meia are joined by Franck Bousquet, Senior Director of the World Bank's Fragility, Conflict and Violence Group, to discuss a new strategy that aims to enhance the organisation’s ability to support fragile states.By 2030 up to two-thirds of the world’s extreme poor will live in fragile or conflict-afflicted states. The ...