Disrupted Asia - Season 2

Welcome to Season 2 of our FES Asia Podcast!

Listen to Asia's and Europe’s leading experts tackle some of the most pressing questions around the changing geopolitical environment and how this is shaping the global order of tomorrow. Find out about the different issues that will have a bearing on the region through the systemic implications of the COVID-19 crisis and the emerging regional patterns of competition, cooperation and (dis-)integration.

We look at issues ranging from security, AI & technology, trade, supply chains, energy and infrastructure to make sense of the unfolding “strategic new normal” in the Asia-Pacific and beyond.

Check out the latest episodes in our library below or follow us on your favourite streaming platform!


07 - Geopolitics of Critical Infrastructure in Asia

Over the last decade, Asia has seen enormous physical and digital infrastructure connectivity projects. They have become both key pillars and levers of competition and cooperation. To unpack the geopolitical implications of these projects, we spoke with Dr Moritz Rudolf, author of the book Belt and Road Initiative: The Implications for the International Order. He is the founder of Eurasia Bridges and currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai China Center.

06 - Asia’s New Geopolitics of Artificial Intelligence and Technology

As geopolitical rivalry intensifies in both traditional and non-traditional domains, leadership around AI, emerging technologies and the increased prospects of cyberwarfare have come to sharp focus. In this episode, we are joined by Elina Noor, Director of Political-Security Affairs at the Asia Society Policy Institute in Washington DC, to discuss how they play out in the region and explore issues around their governance.

05 - The New Geopolitics of Asia

A year and a half into the pandemic, the systemic implications of the crisis are engendering major shifts and, some will argue, sowed the seeds for transformative political, economic and social change. This is bookended by a changing geopolitical landscape – particularly in Asia – and the emergence of a new global order. To make sense of this, we speak with Marc Saxer, Head of the FES Asia Department in Berlin.

04 - Female leadership and the future of work in Mongolia

Together with Ariunzaya Ayush, Mongolia’s Minister of Labour and Social Protection, we discuss the challenges in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and take a closer look at the digitalization of Mongolia’s social security system as well as the role of women in the national workforce. A keen supporter of her country’s digitalization efforts and former chairwoman of the national statistical office, she is one of Mongolia’s leading practitioners in the future of work. This episode was recorded on 14 May 2021.

03 - Vaccine justice and building forward better

In this episode, Jomo Kwame Sundaram, one of Malaysia's leading experts on the political economy of development, takes a closer look at the social and economic crisis in South and Southeast Asia, the current unjust distribution of vaccines, and how we must not just rebuild the economy but fundamentally rethink what our society should strive for after the pandemic.

02 - Between superpowers: Small and landlocked states in Asia

Small and landlocked states have their own unique set of challenges, but also opportunities, especially when caught in the midst of global power shifts and geopolitical disruptions. In this episode, we explore how these challenges manifest for countries of the region and the roles they can play. Ambassador Gyan Chandra Acharya, former Foreign Secretary of Nepal & United Nations High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (2012-2017) shares his insights.

01 - Afghanistan amid transition and the prospects for peace

In our new season’s opening episode, we take a closer look at the latest developments in Afghanistan – the COVID-19 crisis, a difficult peace process, potential troop withdrawal and the future international engagement – with Dr Timor Sharan, Executive Director of the Afghanistan Policy Lab and an Adjunct Professor at the American University of Afghanistan.

The views expressed in this podcast are not necessarily those of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.


Marc Saxer

Coordinator & moderator:
Dinkim Sailo

Mekhla Jha, Alexander Lipke

Phatsurang Dechabuddharungsi