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Big World

School of International Service

Big World shines a spotlight on complex ideas and issues that matter. Each episode features an expert from the School of International Service at American University in Washington, DC, breaking down a big, important topic into small bite sizes.
Rape during Wartime

23:41 | Aug 1st

As long as there have been people, there has been conflict and war among them. And too often, this conflict has been accompanied by sexual violence. Through the centuries, there has been a move to re-classify war rape as a war crime rather than as sp...Show More
How to Get a Job in International Affairs

27:31 | Jul 1st

In this episode of Big World, Shaine (Melnick) Cunningham, the director of career education and employer relations for the School of International Service, joins us to give her insights on landing jobs in international affairs. She shares the types o...Show More
The Difference a Union Makes

25:44 | May 31st

There is, perhaps, no better measure of a country than how it treats its workers, and Germany, the world’s fourth-largest economy, is a manufacturing powerhouse that is known for its progressive ideals on labor relations. In this episode of Big Worl...Show More
A Leg Up for Startups

19:46 | May 1st

Small businesses are often referred to as the engine or the backbone of the economy. Entrepreneurs, the people who build new businesses and come up with innovative ideas, can help deter economic stagnation. In this episode of Big World, Professor K...Show More
Show me the (Border) Money

32:57 | Apr 8th

At the heart of the 35-day partial government shutdown, the longest in US history, was a fiery debate over funding for the border wall. Throughout that period, Americans were constantly reassured by officials that the military would remain funded. Wh...Show More
Earth After Activism

28:34 | Apr 1st

Over the years, environmental activism in America has evolved. The movement began with a concern for wilderness and focused on pollution as we transitioned into the Industrial Revolution. Events that occurred during World War II then gave rise to the...Show More
Normalizing Hate

27:25 | Mar 1st

Far-right extremists are often opposed to values such as equality—especially the idea that all races are equal. They reject the notion that America is a country comprised of immigrants and that the government has a role in preventing and prosecuting ...Show More
Sex Ed Politics and Policy

19:46 | Feb 1st

The education of sexuality and reproduction, or (as we called it in high school) sex ed, is a controversial topic around the world. Discussions on how to teach sex ed can often get mired in a combination of politics and perceptions of morality. Which...Show More
The Riddle of Haiti

25:21 | Jan 2nd

Why do aid projects in Haiti so often seem to fail? In this episode of Big World, Professor Scott Freeman joins us to discuss the colonial history of foreign intervention in the country and urges us to work past the international aid community’s hist...Show More
A Professor's Guide to the Galaxy

23:45 | Nov 30th, 2018

From hyperdrives to the Vulcan salute, science fiction and fantasy have provided the abundance of worlds and characters that comprise our pop culture. But can these genres inform or reflect our thinking about international relations? Our guest is P...Show More
The Soft Power of Muppets

26:39 | Nov 1st, 2018

Generations of Americans grew up in front of Sesame Street, but it might surprise you to learn that children all around the world are reciting “Rubber Ducky,” too – in many different languages and alongside characters we’ve never seen. Our guest thi...Show More
America's Tortured Relationship with Terrorism

23:10 | Oct 1st, 2018

Terrorism has been a key issue in US domestic and foreign policy, as well as the country’s national discourse, since 2001. As the War on Terror continues 17 year later, what have we learned about Americans’ attitudes towards and relationship to terro...Show More
#metoo and Women on the Margins

25:39 | Sep 5th, 2018

The #MeToo movement has gone global and led to important conversations about the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment worldwide. But have women on the margins—sex workers, domestic workers, and migrants—benefited from the movement? Our guest ...Show More
Carbon Sinks and Strategies

26:01 | Sep 4th, 2018

Could a giant vacuum that sucks dangerous greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere really be effective in reversing climate change, or is this just a thing of science fiction? Our guest is Simon Nicholson, professor at the School of International Ser...Show More
Introducing Big World, a new international affairs conversation

01:07 | Aug 2nd, 2018

Big World brings you conversations that get you thinking about things differently, or maybe just thinking about different things. Join us as we take international affairs to interesting places every month.