Since the UK’s EU referendum and the election of Donald Trump, we have seen a flood of commentary arguing that we are witnessing the ‘end of the liberal world order’, which has defined international affairs at least since the end of the Cold War. But is it ‘the end of the world as we know it’? Or is just that ‘the times they are a-changin’?

To address this question we have launched a new podcast mini-series, in which we will talk about how the global order is crumbling, falling apart, being challenged, bursting at the seams… or maybe something else.

In each episode ECFR’s director, Mark Leonard, will talk to a big thinker who is engaging with this central question of our times - from politicians to professors, and from hackers to military strategists. And we’re going to look at the issue from every angle – from the short term to the long term, and from diplomacy in the real world to cyber-security in the virtual world. We’ll leave no stone unturned in trying to find out whether the end really is nigh.


The End of the World #7: Interview with Yascha Mounk

For the rest of the summer Mark Leonard will be breaking from the usual World in 30 Minutes format to talk about how the global order is being challenged. This week, he is joined by Yascha Mounk, a lecturer on Government at Harvard University and the host of The Good Fight podcast to talk about the sustainability of democracy in the liberal international order. 

Yascha Mounk, The People Versus Democracy
Roberto Stefan Foa and Yascha Mounk, The Democratic Disconnect, available here
Edward Luce, The Retreat of Liberalism
Ivan Krastev, After Europe
Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, The Leopard

The End of the World #6: Interview with Carl Bildt

For the rest of the summer Mark Leonard will be breaking from the usual World in 30 Minutes format to talk about how the global order is being challenged. This week, he is joined by Carl Bildt, a former prime minister of Sweden and ECFR's co-chair, to talk about Internet governance and cybersecurity.

Carl argues that Europe is far behind China and the US in terms of internet governance. Data encryption, free flow of date and regulation of state surveillance: EU countries definitely have a busy schedule ahead.

Report of the Global Commission on Internet Governance, available here
Internet Society website, available here
ECFR, Europe's Digital Power, available here

The End of the World #5: Interview with Mary Kaldor

In episode 5 Mark is joined by ECFR's Anthony Dworkin and Professor Mary Kaldor, who is Director of the Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit at the London School of Economics, to talk about new wars and foreign interventions.

According to Mary, it is no longer a question of whether or not to intervene in foreign conflicts but how to do so. She upholds that the only way to end new wars is to negotiate political solutions that involve local movements and civil society.

Christine Chinkin & Mary Kaldor, International Law and New Wars
Stephen Neff, War and the Law of Nations

The End of the World #4: Interview with Vincenzo Iozzo

In episode 4 Mark Leonard is joined by Jeremy Shapiro, ECFR's research director, and Vincenzo Iozzo, a research associate at the MIT Media Lab and the co-founder of IperLane, Inc, a cybersecurity company.

Vincenzo argues that the Internet has become too important and too insecure for the governments to keep ignoring its existence. Regulation at a softer level and a market push at the basic infrastructure level will be needed to ensure public security in the cyberspace

Vincenzo Iozzo et al., IOS Hacker's Handbook

The End of the World #3: Interview with Parag Khanna

In episode 3 Mark Leonard is joined by Parag Khanna, a Senior Research Fellow at the Center on Asia and Globalization at the National University of Singapore and best-selling author of a trilogy of books on the future of world order.

Parag Khanna, The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order 
How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance 
Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization

The End of the World #2: Interview with Edward Luttwak

In episode 2 Mark is joined by Edward Luttwak, political scientist and founder of the discipline of geoeconomics. Edward argues that, rather than ending now, the original liberal order has already been destroyed by neoliberalism, fanatical environmentalism and a Davos mentality of globalisation at all costs. 

Edward Luttwak, Coup d'État: A Practical Handbook
Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century

The End of the World #1: Interview with Edward Luce

In episode 1, Mark speaks with Edward Luce, Chief US Columnist for the Financial Times, and author of The Retreat of Western Liberalism. Edward outlines how, since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the liberal order has effectively been the American order, and how that is now being undermined – both consciously and unwittingly - by President Trump. He discusses which pillars of that order are particularly under threat, and which countries are most vulnerable to disruption.

Edward Luce, The Retreat of Western Liberalism
New York Times, Financial Times, The Economist