Global Thought Podcast

The Global Thought Podcast explores pressing issues from a global perspective while showcasing the outstanding work of CGT Faculty. Episodes are available for streaming on Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Podcast AddictSpotifyStitcher, and Tunein.

Episode 1 – Bernard E. Harcourt

On the future of critical theory and practice

In this episode of the Global Thought Podcast, Vishakha N. Desai speaks with Committee on Global Thought member Bernard E. Harcourt about his new book Critique & Praxis. Charting a vision for political action and social transformation, Harcourt argues that instead of posing the question, “What is to be done?” we must now turn it back onto ourselves and ask, and answer, “What more am I to do?”. 

Bernard E. Harcourt is a leading critical theorist and advocate for social justice. His scholarship focuses on social and critical theory with a particular interest in punishment and surveillance.

Episode 2 – Rosalind C. Morris

On the Unsettlement Project

Vishakha N. Desai interviews Committee on Global Thought member Rosalind C. Morris about the CGT Unsettlement project on this episode of the Global Thought Podcast. Led by Morris, the CGT project on Unsettlement aims to enable critical thought and a just response to issues that transcend the category of migrancy and border security. Beyond the false dichotomy of voluntary or forced movement, in areas where border regimes are mutating and climate change is precipitating profound demographic shifts, the project brings together scholars, policy makers, journalists and artists in forums that aim to inform and to foster new approaches to the challenges of our present and future.

Rosalind C. Morris is a professor of Anthropology at Columbia University. Her scholarship has focused on modernity, mass media, and global development. Her work addresses questions of the relationships between value and violence; aesthetics and the political; the sexualization of power and desire; and the history of anthropological thought and social theory.

Episode 3 – Saskia Sassen

On the city at war

On this episode of season two, Vishakha N. Desai interviews Committee on Global Thought member, and former chair, Saskia Sassen. She discusses her latest book with Mary Kaldor, Cities at War. The book examines cities as sites of contemporary warfare and insecurity. Sassen’s perspective on cities and their geographies provides new insight into how cities and their residents encounter instability and conflict, as well as the ways in which urban forms provide possibilities for countering violence.

Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and a member of the Committee for Global Thought at Columbia University. Her research and writing focuses on globalization, immigration, global cities, new technologies, and changes within the liberal state that result from current transnational conditions. Her interests include urban sociology, the sociology of transnational processes and globalization, technology, the dynamics of powerlessness in urban contexts and migration.

Episode 4 – Manan Ahmed

On The Loss of Hindustan

CGT Chair Vishakha N. Desai speaks with committee member Manan Ahmed about his new book The Loss of Hindustan: The Invention of India.

Ahmed provides a radical interpretation of how India came to its contemporary political identity. He argues that a European understanding of India as Hindu has replaced an earlier, native understanding of India as Hindustan, a home for all faiths. Turning to the subcontinent’s medieval past, Ahmed uncovers a rich network of historians of Hindustan who imagined, studied, and shaped their kings, cities, and societies.

Manan Ahmed is an Associate Professor of History at Columbia University and a member of the Committee on Global Thought. Ahmed is interested in the relationship between text, space, and narrative.

Episode 1 – Adam Tooze

On the 2008 financial crisis and implications of deep globalization

In this Global Thought Podcast episode, Adam Tooze, Committee on Global Thought (CGT) Member and Professor of History at Columbia University, discusses his most recent book: Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World with host, CGT Chair Carol Gluck.

Tooze gives a bit of context into this prize-winning book as one of Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers for 2019. A key theme he discusses is the 2008 financial, global crisis and the ways that it was different than what the world anticipated. This glimpse into the inner sanctum of the global economy in a moment of high crisis, as Tooze explains, has interesting implications on the way that we think of and prepare for the future.


Episode 2 – Neil K. Aggarwal

On media persuasion employed by groups in the global terrorist network

In this episode of Global Thought Podcast, Vishakha N. Desai, Vice Chair of the Committee on Global Thought (CGT), interviews Neil K. Aggarwal, Committee on Global Thought Member, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, and Research Psychiatrist at New York State Psychiatry Institute. Aggarwal discusses his new book, Media Persuasion in the Islamic State and the role of language and messaging and psychology of persuasion behind media operations of terrorist groups, specifically the Islamic State.

Aggarwal demonstrates the importance of examining media persuasion as a serious source of information and entry point to understanding the Islamic State and others in the global terrorist network. The way that these groups use language to make meaning is key to understanding a critique of globalization, understanding those who push back against the idea that everyone has a place in this transformed world.

Episode 3 – Kian Tajbakhsh

On his personal experience imprisoned in Iran and the meanings of multiplicity

In this Global Thought Podcast episode, host Vishakha N. Desai, Vice Chair of the Committee on Global Thought interviews Kian Tajbakhsh, a professor of Urban Planning and Urban Studies at Columbia University, Senior Program Manager at Columbia Global Centers and Development, and Fellow of Committee on Global Thought. Tajbakhsh describes his experience of returning to Iran and dissects competing paradigms of understanding world order.

Tajbakhsh discusses his features published this summer in the New York Review of Books telling the story of how his work on the Open Society Institute in Iran led to his interrogation and imprisonment in Iran, his subsequent trial and place in the negotiations with the US-Iranian Nuclear Deal, and this intersection of his personal and professional life as they relate to geopolitics and world order. He contemplates whether there could be a convergence internationally of universal norms or values, or if there are other ways to frame the world such as multipolarity, binary, or parallel universes.