New Frontiers 350

New Frontiers is the Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs’ podcast series. Hosted by Mark Williams, RCGA director, it offers a deeper view into global areas through one-on-one discussions with Middlebury College faculty and others.

New Frontiers topics—from big tech, environmental conservation, global security, and political economy to culture, literature, religion, and changing work patterns—have global or international dimensions.

Subscribe to New Frontiers through most podcast apps including Amazon Music and Audible, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podcast Addict, and Google Podcasts.

  • Season 2 Ep. 5 - India Today: One Question, Three Perspectives

    In this episode of “New Frontiers” three experts—an art historian, economist, and diplomat/political scientist—explore what’s going on in India today. Join host Mark Williams and co-host Arjun Kumar ’25.5 for three fascinating discussions about the world’s largest democracy, and find out why what’s happening on the political/diplomatic, cultural, and development fronts matters to India, Indians, and the world beyond.

  • Season 2 Ep. 4 - Race, Empire, and Policing in Paris

    In June 2023, French police killed 17-year-old Nahal Marzouk during a traffic stop outside of Paris. The killing led to days of street protests, widespread condemnation of racialized police practices, and over 1,300 arrests. This was particularly significant in a country like France, where discussions about race are often avoided or rejected. To gain a deeper understanding of French police practices, Mark Williams sits down with historian Amit Prakash, whose new book—Empire of the Seine—explores how France’s colonial history helped shaped how French law enforcement policed North Africans living in Paris from 1925 to 1975. 

  • Season 2 Ep. 3 - After the Insurrection: Assessing American Democracy

    After losing the 2020 presidential election, President Donald Trump summoned supporters to Washington where—after listening to him speak of a “stolen election” at the Ellipse—they launched a violent attack on the US capital to stop the peaceful transfer of power to Joe Biden. What does the January 6 insurrection tell us about the state of American democracy?

    In this episode, political scientist Bert Johnson reflects on the state of American democracy, the dangers it faces, and some of the ways Americans might preserve their democratic political system. 


  • Season 2 Ep. 2 - INTL' NGOs: What You Need to Know

    What do Amnesty International, Care International, Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam International, or World Vision all have in common? They all are international nongovernmental organizations which operate around the world — independently of governments — which in broad terms, aim to provide services or influence governments with respect to specific goals. But what do we really know about such organizations or their operations, credibility, efficacy, and constraints? In this episode political scientist Sarah Stroup examines INGOs and explains what we need to know to understand their operations and limitations.

  • Season 2 Ep. 1 - Israel in Crisis

    Political geographer Tamar Mayer explains why government plans to overhaul Israel’s judiciary have sparked massive resistance by Israeli citizens and pose an existential threat to Israeli democracy itself.

  • Season 1 Ep. 8 - Why We Need Environmental Justice

    What is meant by such terms as environmental injustice or environmental racism? What is the environmental justice movement and how is it manifest—in the United States and beyond? In this episode of New Frontiers, political scientist Kemi Fuentes-George discusses these topics and what achieving environmental justice for marginalized populations might actually entail.

  • Season 1 Ep. 7 - Whatever Happened To “Essential” Workers?

    How did the COVID pandemic affect America’s workers—especially those deemed “essential” who often were poorly paid, nonunionized, lacked meaningful benefits, and were required to continue working while most other workers stayed home? How did these workers respond to the health risks they encountered on the job, and how did their struggle for labor justice transform—at least for a while—political discourse and consciousness in America? Jamie McCallum and Mark Williams explore these and other issues in this episode of New Frontiers.

  • Season 1 Ep. 6 - Understanding Slavery in Medieval China

    Slavery lasted for centuries in China, and yet its particulars are not well known. In this episode of New Frontiers, historian Don Wyatt takes us back to help us understand how the institution thrived during imperial times and the roles it played in Chinese culture.

  • Season 1 Ep. 5 - Why Did Turkish Democracy Collapse

    After decades of democratic governance, Turkish democracy has not just declined, but collapsed. How? Why? In this episode, Sebnem Gumuscu traces the rise and decline of Turkey’s democratic system and provides insights into the forces by which Turkey has slid ever deeper into autocracy.

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