hat are deepfakes and why are they so dangerous? What’s hyperinflation? What is Horseshoe theory? Are the EU Greens going to save the European Union? Can Sudan achieve peace? And what is it like to be “sportsing” while female?
These are just some of the complex issues our correspondent Allyson Berri and digital editor Jakob Cordes tackled this summer. The result: a stunning new series of video explainers that aims to make global affairs more accessible to a wider audience. Follow our YouTube channel for more explainers, interviews with top experts from around the world on topics that you won’t find in mainstream media, and behind the scenes features from our global forums and summits.
Check out the lineup this month:
Episode One: Deepfakes Are Here
The technology needed to create deepfakes is more accessible than ever, and experts predict there will be a flood of these videos before the U.S. 2020 presidential election. It remains to be seen how social media platforms will seek to limit the spread of this new type of misinformation, and whether this will lead to further erosion of civic discourse.
Episode Two: Nations of Hyperinflation
Governments can turn to printing money to stimulate their economies or keep up with mounting debts; however, this can lead to inflation, which causes citizens to lose confidence in their currency as it loses value. This devaluation in turn leads the government to print even more money, creating a vicious cycle that can lead to hyperinflation.
Episode Three: Horseshoe Theory
Critics of Horseshoe theory have pointed out that by the end of WWII, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were locked in an existential struggle, which completely overshadowed any cooperation that may have existed. They also point out that while both sides are opposed to centrist ideologies, they are otherwise polar opposites, disagreeing on nearly every political front.
Episode Four: The EU Greens
As centrist political parties decline across Europe, support for the European Union is at its highest in 35 years. In a political climate rife with anti-Brexit sentiment, Europe’s green parties have a chance to bring a pro-Europe message to the table. Whether the Greens are actually able to set the agenda during this Parliament’s term, however, remains to be seen.
Episode Five: Sudan’s Fragile Peace
On July 11, an attempted coup opposing the agreement between military and civilian leaders was suppressed with the arrest of sixteen military officers. The coup attempt speaks to the continued instability in Sudan’s government, and the existence of factions who wish to see a return to outright dictatorship. Even as the protesters and junta have reached a tentative deal, the economic problems that spurred the protests persist. Much needed economic help is unlikely to materialize unless concrete steps are taken to reduce official corruption.
Episode Six: Sportsing While Female
In the context of sports, hegemonic femininity codes athleticism as “unfeminine”, leading to a stigmatization of athletic feats perceived as masculine, according to Vikki Krane, professor at Bowling Green State University. Continuing double standards for women show that even in sports there’s a long way to go before women’s success is seen not as a political statement, but as simple enjoyment of the game.
Is there a topic you’d like to see us explain in this series? Send us your thoughts here.