Episode 16: Academic Freedom

Viviana Fernandez

Viviana Fernandez

This episode takes on the topic of Academic freedom. What is it? Why is it important? and where is it most at risk? Today's interviewee is Viviana Fernandez, the Assistant Director at the Human Rights Research and Education Centre, University of Ottawa (uOttawa). She represents the University of Ottawa in the Steering Committee of the Scholars at Risk (SAR) Network - Canada Section since 2016 and in the SAR’s International Advisory Committee.
To learn more about SAR visit their website: https://www.scholarsatrisk.org/

Episode 15: The end of the Iran Nuclear Deal

Prof. Bessma Momani

Prof. Bessma Momani

Donald Trump has withdrawn the US from the JCPOA - a multilateral agreement designed to prevent Iran from obtaining a Nuclear weapon - yet at the same time, the administration is pursuing an unprecedented summit with - already nuclear capable - North Korea... is there reason in this Trumpiness? To help work this out, I talk to Simon Palamar, from Cigi, and Prof. Bessma Momani from the University of Waterloo and the Balsillie School of International Affairs.

Episode 12: The Gulf - Part 1


In these following two episodes former Indian Ambassador to the Gulf, Talmiz Ahmad, provides a riveting tour-de-force on issues of concern in the region. This first episode engages with topics such as the roots of various forms of Political Islam and the background to ongoing turbulence in the region.

Talmiz Ahmad joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1974. Early in his career, he was posted in a number of West Asian countries such as Kuwait, Iraq and Yemen and later, between 1987-90, he was Consul General in Jeddah. He also held positions in the Indian missions in New York, London and Pretoria. He was Joint Secretary for Gulf and Hajj in 1998-2000.

He served as Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia twice (2000-03; 2010-11); Oman (2003-04), and the UAE (2007-10). He was also Additional Secretary for International Cooperation in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas in 2004-06, and Director General of the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), New Delhi, in 2006-07. In July 2011, the Saudi Government conferred on him the King Abdul Aziz Medal First Class for his contribution to the promotion of Indo – Saudi relations.

After retirement from foreign service in 2011, he worked in the corporate sector in Dubai for four years. He is now a full-time academic and holds the Ram Sathe Chair in International Studies, Symbiosis International University, Pune.

He has published three books: Reform in the Arab World: External Influences and Regional Debates (2005), Children of Abraham at War: The Clash of Messianic Militarisms (2010) and The Islamist Challenge in West Asia: Doctrinal and Political Competitions after the Arab Spring (2013). He writes regularly in the Indian and West Asian media and lectures on political Islam, the politics of West Asia and the Indian Ocean, and energy security issues.

Episode 11: Canada on the World Stage

"We're back" says Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau. But what does this mean in the age of Donald Trump, Brexit and unprecedented strain on the global liberal order? To discuss these questions and more, I'm joined by Dr. Shaun Narine, Associate Professor and Chair of Politics at Saint Thomas University in New Brunswick.

Dr. Shaun Narine.jpg

Dr. Narine has written extensively on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other institutional arrangements in the Asia Pacific. He has also written on Canadian foreign policy in the Middle East, humanitarian intervention and normative change in the international system. Dr. Narine has published one book (Explaining ASEAN -2002) and is currently work on two other books, as well as numerous articles related to shifting balances of power in the global community. His academic interests include the politics and history of the Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Canadian foreign policy.

Episode 10: The Economics of Palestine

Ibrahim Shikaki.jpg

Today's guest is Ibrahim Shikaki, an Economics PhD Student at the New School for Social Research in New York and policy member at Al Shabaka. He was previously lead economic researcher for Diakonia’s International Humanitarian Law Research Center and instructor of economics at the universities of Birzeit and Al Quds. He also worked as a research associate at the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute (MAS). His recent writings include work on UNCTAD’s The Palestinian economy in East Jerusalem: Enduring annexation, isolation and disintegration; “Between Marshall and Kerry: economic plans with political engines” in Al Hadaf Magazine; and development as a tool for resistance with Alaa Tartir in Bisan Research Center’s “Critical studies of development in Palestine.”

Episode 9: Reactions to Jerusalem - Is Trump racist? stupid?... or a stupid racist?


He promotes a “Muslim Ban”, thinks Mexicans are rapists (though some - he assumes - are “good people”) and retweets a fascist group... and now Trump's Jerusalem debacle. What’s behind Donald Trump’s latest diabolical act? UOttawa’s Dr Emily Regan-Wills helps us break down if the Jerusalem announcement is ‘Trump-Stupid’, ‘normal republican’, ‘evil’ or accidentally good.

Episode 8: Reactions to Jerusalem - linking international law to real life


A week after Trump's dramatic announcement, the international community has roundly rejected any change in Jerusalem's status as contrary to International law, international norms and unhelpful for the 'peace process'. But what is the link between these broad, and often nebulous, concepts and real life in the city at the centre of this crisis. To answer these questions we speak to Dr. Nadia Abu-Zahra, Associate Professor in International Development and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa.

Episode 7: Jerusalem - WTF just happened?

Dr Fadi Elhusseini.jpg

On 5th December, US President Donald Trump declared his intention to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. To try and get a handle on what this means, we talk to Dr Fadi Elhusseini, a Political and Media Advisor and he is an advisory board member of the New Arab Foundation. He is a senior fellow at the Centre on Governance, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ottawa

Episode 6: Have we reached peak Putin? Russia in the contemporary international order

Simon Palamar.jpg

Interview with Simon Palamar Ph.D (Carleton University). At CIGI Simon manages the Constructive Powers Initiative, an informal, track 1.5, consultative body that brings together foreign policy planners and academic experts from a dozen countries to discuss sensitive, new, and emerging global security issues in a frank and open fashion.

Episode 2: Are We Asking the Right Questions About ISIS?

Image of Kobane, Syria, October 2014  
By PersianDutchNetwork - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,


In this episode we talk to Jacqueline Lopour, a Research Associate in Global Security & Politics at the Centre for International Governance Innovation with 10 years experience as a CIA analyst and Dr. Jamie Allinson, a lecturer at University of Edinburgh, who recently wrote an article on the background to ISIS called ‘Disaster Islamism’ in Salvage Magazine.


Teaser for Globalisation Café

Brand New Podcast to Debut This Spring

Ottawa University today announced the launch of “Globalization Café”, a podcast about the global issues that affect our everyday lives, marking a new platform for political junkies and newbies to engage with research, international affairs and politics. The weekly show is hosted by Globalization Café founder and Ottawa University’s Gordon F. Henderson Post-doctoral fellow, Philip Leech-Ngo and features in-depth interviews, news and expert commentary. Launching on March 20, the show will be available on soundcloud and itunes.

Each episode will be approximately 30 minutes and will feature conversations with some of the most interesting people in the political world; expert commentary on current affairs; and other stories that are relevant to the global issues affecting Canadians.

“The show will engage listeners with current affairs and the latest research, making academia and politics accessible, fun and relevant,” said Leech-Ngo.

Special guest of the first episode of “Globalization Café” includes Prof. John Packer, Director of the Human Rights Research and Education Center. Episode two will be on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Future episodes will feature discussions on the nature of State Surveillance, ‘Trump’s world’, Environment and Climate Change, among others.