Podcast recommendations to make sense of these uncertain times

Many of my favourite international law/world affairs podcasts dealt with the war in Ukraine in the past two weeks, here’s what’s worth a listen.

It feels kind of insensitive to indulge in brilliant professional conversations or clever writings when it’s on the account of millions of people suffering, but at the same time it’s more important than ever to find trusted sources and be well informed. When the situation is unfolding and things can change by the hour, news items have a pretty short expriation span, and I think the ones that stay useful even after the facts change are the ones to be trusted. They don’t just guess what might or might not happen, but talk about the facts, the law and the academic consensus behind what’s unfathomable when you just watch the news unguided. So now I’ll recommend some of these sources.

EJIL:The Podcast! Episode 14 – “From Russia With War”

This one’s from March 7, it’s from great academics and authors of the blog of the European Journal of International Law. They touch upon every international legal question that can come to mind regarding Russia’s actions and contemplate every possible answer the international community could come up with. It’s a great listen. I have also read some of the most informative posts about the war on the EJIL blog.

Global Dispatches Podcast

UN Dispatch was one of the first UN/world affairs blogs I started following when I became a world news enthusiast. I’ve been reading it for more than 10 years now. Mark Leon Goldberg is the author of the blog and host of the podcast, a long time UN correspondent. You will see the latest episodes of the podcast are all about Ukraine, so I didn’t pick just one. Whenever something newsworthy happens, Mark finds someone to talk about it with. You can follow him on Twitter here, lately he’s been doing these conversations on Twitter Spaces, many times leaving time for his audience to interact.

POLITICO’s EU Confidential Podcast

This is one of my favourite policy podcasts. Politico Europe’s weekly podcast is mainly about EU news, and although Ukraine is not an EU member state (yet), thankfully there is a consensus that this war is very much a European issue. Again, I did not pick just one episode, because the latest episodes all dealt with the war, but this extended episode was especially informative. Politico Europe also hosts live conversations on Twitter Spaces sometimes, for this and also the great reporting it’s worth following their account.

Bonus recommendations for Hungarian speakers:

Brain Bar podcast – conversation with a defense policy expert about the causes and consequences of the Ukraine war.

Friderikusz Podcast – conversation with not one, but two experts, a Russia-specialized historian and a defense policy expert. It’s a long one, more than two hours, I haven’t even finished yet, but definitely recommend!

This is obviously a very subjective list, chosen from the ones I listen to regularly anyway. I am sure there are many more out there that I haven’t come accross so far. If you have any recommendations, please let me know in the comments. I always welcome book, blog and podcast recommendations, even though I consume too much of those as it is and I only have so much time (if you have any tips on how to strech it twofolds, those suggestions are also welcome!). I hope very soon we will only hear and read about the aftermath of this grave tragedy, but all the while, let’s stay informed!

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