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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Academy Awards
mafleen / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

In one of the more controversial award shows in recent memory, Hollywood’s elite will gather in the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday for the 88th Academy Awards.

Argentina's president Mauricio Macri speaks during a press conference at the Annual Meeting 2016 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 22, 2016.
Michele Limina / World Economic Forum/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Wednesday marked 70 years since late Argentine leader Juan Perón won his first presidential election, beginning decades of on-again, off-again military dictatorships that didn’t see a return of democracy until the 1990s.

But an economic crisis to kick off the 21st century led to the resignation of president Fernando de la Rúa after a little more than two years on the job.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali (left), Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Klaus Schwab (middle), founder and president of the World Economic Forum, and Flavio Cotti, member of the Swiss Federal Council, at the 1995 World Economic Forum.
World Economic Forum / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

On Tuesday former United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali died at the age of 93.

“He was an extraordinary man, and he really symbolized his age, the period that he grew up in,” said Joshua Landis, the Director of the Center of Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, who shared his personal memories of interactions with Boutros-Ghali with Rebecca Cruise on KGOU’s World Views.

Landis is the author of the widely-read blog Syria Comment, which Boutros-Ghali read.

Joshua Landis and Rebecca Cruise remember former United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who died this week at age 93. He served in the post from 1992-1996.

Then, Suzette Grillot talks with Northwestern University social anthropologist Adia Benton. Her research in Sierra Leone focuses on what she calls "HIV exceptionalism."

AIDS prevention sign in Sierra Leone
Karin Lindström/Union to Union / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS estimates about 54,000 people live with the disease in Sierra Leone. The small, predominantly Muslim country on the tip of West Africa was ravaged by civil war throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, and more recently saw widespread cases of the Ebola virus during the 2014 outbreak in the region.

Poet Valzhyna Mort says her native Belarusian is usually described as a “language of lullabies,” but she called that a myth that seeps into the entire culture. She'll talk about the poetry and language of eastern Europe with host Suzette Grillot.

But first, Rebecca Cruise discusses North Korea’s expansion of its nuclear program and whether it’s a threat to U.S. interests, and the United Arab Emirates’ effort to become the happiest country on Earth.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai at the World Economic Forum's Summit on the Global Agenda 2010 held in Dubai, November 29, 2010.
Dana Smillie / World Economic Forum (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The United Arab Emirates is launching widely publicized positions overseeing happiness and tolerance in the Gulf country. The country has a large immigrant population, and there’s been speculation the move isn’t about them, or actually creating a more cohesive society.

The country’s prime minister announced the posts  Monday on Twitter.

North Korean flags
fljckr / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

It’s been a tumultuous week in North Korea.

Last weekend North Korea launched its second-ever satellite and conducted a new nuclear test. There are growing concerns in South Korea and the U.S. that the secretive country could develop more significant nuclear capabilities and the technology to turn that into a powerful weapon.

Poet Valzhyna Mort reading at the 2015 Neustadt Festival opening night, October 21, 2015.
Tyler Christian / World Literature Today (Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

Valzhyna Mort grew up in Belarus as the Soviet Union collapsed, and she’s spent her entire career using poetry to dispel misconceptions and bring her country out of Russia’s shadow.

“A great myth was that it was a really big reading nation, and I don’t know if it was really true, in terms of how much reading was done,” Mort told KGOU’s World Views. “But it’s certainly true that every household had a library. No matter what your parents did, how educated they were, you had a library.”

President Obama talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during the 70th United Nations General Assembly Sept. 28, 2015.
Pete Souza / The White House

In the wake of Russian aggression in the region, President Obama announced Wednesday that he will be strengthening America’s military presence in Eastern Europe.

"As we approach the 2016 NATO Summit in Warsaw, it is clear that the United States and our allies must do more to advance our common defense in support of a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace," President Obama said in a statement.

Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) insurgents, 1998.
Institute for National Strategic Studies / Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

President Obama has agreed to seek financial support from Congress to support the Colombian government in the implementation of a peace resolution with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, rebel group.

The resolution, Peace Colombia, would end 50 years of conflict in the nation. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said he expects to sign the deal next month, but both FARC and the Colombian government have agreed to a March 23 deadline, reports the BBC’s Natalio Cosby:

Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise discuss the potential for a peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC rebel group, and the expanding U.S. and NATO military presence in central and eastern Europe.

Then, Suzette talks with Laura DeNardis. She’s an expert the global dynamics of internet governance, and we’ll talk about the development of the Domain Name System, or DNS, and the management of IP addresses.

dark keyboard and mouse
Michael Schreifels / Flickr

Cars, drones, refrigerators – almost everything is connected to the internet in some way, and that raises significant questions about control and governance. Who’s in charge, and who sets standards?

American University communications professor Laura DeNardis has studied these issues since the modern internet’s infancy in the 1990s. She told KGOU’s World Views countries, industry, and civil society work together in what she called “multi-stakeholder governance.”

Rebecca Cruise and Brian Hardzinski discuss Taiwan’s election of its first female president, and the outgoing leader’s visit to a small group of islands in the South China Sea. Both issues are causing problems with mainland China.

Then, a conversation with New York University historian Edward Berenson about the evolution of French jazz music during World War I and World War II, Josephine Baker, and the symbolism of the Statue of Liberty.

Taiwan's president-elect Tsai Ing-wen
CSIS | Center for Strategic & International Studies / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Earlier this month Taiwan elected its first female president in a historic general election that also saw a party other than the Kuomintang, or KMT, take over for only the second time since the Chinese Nationalists were driven from the mainland to the island by the Chinese Communists following the 1949 civil war.

President-elect Tsai Ing-wen leads the Democratic Progressive Party, or DPP. Historically, they've been a pro-Independence party, seeking to establish Taiwan as a truly unique nation rather than a state-in-exile.