World Views

Fridays 4-4:30 p.m., 6:30-7 p.m. and Saturdays 6-6:30 a.m.

World Views is hosted by Suzette Grillot, Dean of the College of International Studies at the University of Oklahoma, with regular analysis from Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at OU, and Rebecca Cruise, the College's Assistant Dean and a security studies and a comparative politics expert. Each week's show focuses on specific global topics in a roundtable discussion, followed by in-depth interviews with experts and news makers.

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Political scientist and self-described “military sociologist” Zoltan Barany argues it’s possible to predict how a general will respond to a domestic revolt if we know enough about the army, the state and society it serves, and the external environment.

But first, Rebecca Cruise and Suzette Grillot talk about former Boko Haram kidnapping victims, and the expansion of NATO as the alliance invites the small Balkan nation of Montenegro to join.

In this Monday, Jan. 17. 2011 file photo protestors greet soldiers during a demonstration against former Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in the center of Tunis.
Christophe Ena / AP

In February 2011, President Obama criticized the U.S. intelligence community for not accurately forecasting the unrest in Tunisia would spread to Egypt and other Middle East countries, sparking a region-wide Arab Spring, an unremitting civil war in Syria, and the rise of ISIS.

The president had harsh words for the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper about how quickly the forces in Tunisia turned against the authoritarian regime, The New York Times’ Mark Mazzetti wrote at the time:

Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise discuss new London mayor Sadiq Khan, and Germany's decision to rescind the conviction of 50,000 Germans convicted of homosexuality between 1949 and 1969.

Then, Suzette talks with anthropologist Laura Graham and filmmaker David Hernández-Palmar about their work with indigenous populations in South America.

David Hernández-Palmar

When anthropologist Laura Graham was working on her graduate research with the Xavante people in Brazil during the 1990s, she encountered a Catholic priest who inadvertently showed her the power of media.

“He came to the community, and he brought film of Xavante that had been filmed in another area,” Graham said. “And they were so excited to see this film. But he said, ‘You can watch this film after you watch a film of Jesus Christ and the Resurrection.’ So it was this kind of bribe. And that made a big impression on me.”

The Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, right, and Holocaust survivor Rudolf Brazda, left, talk in front of a memorial for homosexual victims persecuted by the Nazi regime in Berlin, Germany, Friday, June 27, 2008.
Michael Sohn / AP

This week Germany rescinded about 50,000 convictions for homosexual behavior that occurred between 1949 and 1969. 

The law in question was actually repealed in 1994, but those convictions were never taken off the books, so this move marks a step toward demonstrating the country’s acceptance of sexual orientation.

Rebecca Cruise, the assistant dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies, says timing becomes an issue 50-70 years later.

Then-candidate Sadiq Khan during a protest in Parliament Square against expansion at London's Heathrow Airport, October 10, 2015.
steven.eason / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

London’s new mayor Sadiq Khan formally took office Sunday. He’s the first Muslim mayor of London, and comes from a humble background. Born in England, he’s the son of Pakistani immigrants – his mother worked as a seamstress, and his father drove a bus.

Thom Shanker spent nearly 14 years covering the Pentagon for The New York Times, and says U.S. foreign policy should be about earning respect and trust instead of winning hearts and minds. He’ll also talk with Suzette Grillot about his book Counterstrike that focuses on the U.S. campaign against Al Qaeda.

But first, Suzette and Rebecca Cruise discuss the North Korean Workers Party's first Congress in nearly four decades, new details about American missionary Kenneth Bae's time in a North Korean prison camp, and the cruise ship from Miami that docked in Cuba this week.

Restaurant diners watch a broadcast of the 7th Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea on local television, where North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is seen delivering a speech on Friday, May 6, 2016, in Pyongyang, North Korea.
Wong Maye-E / Associated Press

North Korea, past and present, is at the top of the international consciousness this week.

The reclusive country convened the Seventh Workers’ Party Congress in Pyongyang on Friday. It’s the highest political gathering the country holds, and the country hasn’t held one in 36 years, before the current leader Kim Jong-un was born. During the Sixth Party Congress in 1980, then-leader Kim Il-sung announced his son Kim Jong-il would succeed him. The second-generation Kim led the country from 1994 until his death in 2011.

The New York Times' Pentagon correspondent Thom Shanker interviews Defense Secretary Robert Gates aboard an aircraft headed for West Point, New York, April 21, 2008.
Cherie Cullen / U.S. Department of Defense

Thom Shanker took a job as the Pentagon correspondent for The New York Times in May 2001. Four months later hijackers crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the western wall of the building during the September 11 attacks, and he spent the next 14 years covering the war on terror.

Syrian interior opposition member Mahmoud Marai, third right, listens to Elian Mous'ad, second right, during a meeting with the UN Syria Envoy during Syria peace talks at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland.
Fabrice Coffrini / Pool Photo via Associated Press

February’s tenuous cease-fire in Syria seems to breaking down for good.

Opposition leaders blame airstrikes around Aleppo have been blamed on both the Russian and Syrian forces. Civilians and doctors were killed when a Doctors Without Borders hospital was hit this week in the northern city.

Joshua Landis joins Rebecca Cruise to discuss this week's airstrikes in Syria, and the Obama administration's decision to send more troops to the region.

Then Rebecca talks with activist Selma Hadzihalilovic. She was just 16 when war broke out in Bosnia in the 1990s, and she started working with a shelter for women who were raped by soldiers as a psychological warfare tactic. She won the University of Oklahoma’s 20-16 Clyde Snow Social Justice Award, and we’ll hear from her later this half-hour.

Selma Hadzihalilovic
Ambassador Swanee Hunt / Blogspot

Selma Hadzihalilovic didn’t seek out activism. It found her.

She was just a teenager when war broke out in her native Bosnia and Herzegovina. She was training to become a nurse at a medical high school when the conflict between Croats and Serbs turned her life upside down.

Joshua Landis and Suzette Grillot discuss several stories in the Middle East he’s been following this week, including President Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia and the latest from Syria.

Then University of Oklahoma educational psychologist Janette Habashi joins Suzette to talk about her charity Child’s Cup Full, and her work providing musical instruments to refugee children in the West Bank.

President Obama meets with King Salman during a 2015 trip to Saudi Arabia.
Pete Souza / The White House

On Friday, France’s foreign minister described talks over Syria’s future as entering a “danger zone.” Opposition leaders have stepped away from the negotiating table in Geneva, accusing the regime led by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad of violating the cease-fire the U.S. and Russia painfully put together.

Representative of Assad’s regime might not even be at the negotiating table without Russia’s intervention. Airstrikes helped Syrian forces take back territory, put the rebels on their heel, and attack ISIS positions in the ancient city of Palmyra.

A girl in the West Bank plays with a handmade calendar created by Child's Cup Full
Child's Cup Full

University of Oklahoma human relations professor Janette Habashi grew up was born in Jerusalem, but left to pursue graduate work in England and the United States. But her native West Bank has never been far from her heart.