The (political) power of alcohol

Alcohol. It's a dangerous drug that has ruined countless lives and derailed many a global summit. But it's also humanity's oldest social lubricant, a magical elixir that can fuel diplomatic breakthroughs, well into the wee hours of the night. As Winston Churchill once quipped, "I've taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me." On GZERO World, we take a deep dive down the bottle and examine the role alcohol has played in society, politics, and global summitry—from the earliest hunter-gatherer days to that memorable Obama Beer Summit in 2009. Joining Ian Bremmer is philosopher Edward Slingerland, whose new book Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced, and Stumbled Our Way Into Civilization makes a compelling, if nuanced, case for alcohol's place in the world.

Also: since alcohol isn't the only social drug, a look at the state of marijuana legalization across the US and around the world.

Latest

The surprising history of disaster

COVID-19 was a global catastrophe that blindsided the world's wealthiest nations, and it's far from over. But as disasters go, it was hardly unprecedented. Humanity has a long history of failing to prepare for the worst, from volcanic eruptions to earthquakes to famines to shipwrecks to airplane crashes to financial depressions. But how do we get better at preventing such calamities from happening, and how many seemingly unavoidable "natural" disasters are actually caused by humans? On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer talks about all that and more with Stanford historian Niall Ferguson, who is just out with the perfect book for the topic, "Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe." Plus, a look at how one young Ugandan activist was literally cropped out of the global climate fight.

Is American democracy in danger?

American power was indisputable in the 20th Century. The US helped win two World Wars, developed a resilient economy, and in 1991 emerged from the Cold War as the sole global superpower. But today the country is facing unprecedented polarization caused, in part, by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the 2008 financial crisis and the amplification of disinformation on social media. On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer asks former Obama Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes whether the American Century is truly over, or if there's anything we can do to restore the country's reputation as a "shining city upon a hill."

Adam Grant reimagines work after COVID

As the pandemic recedes in some parts of the world, many employers—from Fortune 500 CEOs to small business owners—are bringing their workers back to the office full time. The thing is, not all of those employees want to go back. On GZERO World, Ian Bremmer speaks with renowned organizational psychologist Adam Grant about how to reimagine "work" in a post-pandemic world. Plus, a look at how the paid family leave benefits in the United States stack up to other developed nations (hint: not so great).

US national security depends on domestic progress

Jane Harman, a nine-term member of Congress (D-CA) who served for decades on the major security committees in the House of Representatives, discusses the shortcomings of the US national security strategy for the last few decades, and assesses the Biden administration's plans to strengthen it. In an interview with Ian Bremmer, she discusses the priorities for addressing critical issues at home and abroad, from the COVID pandemic to the climate crisis and terrorism. But without a unified and functional Congress, Harman warns, the US is ineffective on matters of security. "Where is Congress? Congress can't get things done because of toxic partisanship, but the other reason it can't get anything done is members don't want to own the consequences. And that is chicken."

Harman, author of the new book, "Insanity Defense: Why Our Failure to Confront Hard National Security Problems Make Us Less Safe," discusses Joe Biden's presidency so far and gives him high marks on assembling an "A-team" for foreign policy. She adds, 'I'm just hopeful that because he has long term relationships and really a good compass for how to talk to members of Congress, he will be able to get somewhere."

Has Biden convinced the G7 “America is back”?

A look at US President Joe Biden's first trip abroad, which included a very important first stop at the G7 summit in the United Kingdom. Did he convince allies that "America is back" and ready to resume its leadership role in global affairs? And if so, does it even matter if Americans still need to be convinced that US engagement in the world is vital? In this episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer, former US Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder weighs in on Biden's performance and the way forward for the US and its closest friends.

Most Popular

The fight for democracy in Europe's last dictatorship

In a very moving interview with Ian Bremmer, exiled opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya expresses deep hopes and fears for her home country of Belarus. After diverting a Ryanair flight to arrest a dissident journalist, will President Alexander Lukashenko now be held accountable by leaders of the Western world?

Is modern society broken?

Renowned economist and London School of Economics Director Minouche Shafik tells GZERO World that we've broken the social contract. How do we create a better, more secure future for both younger and older generations?

Brazil on the brink

Former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso offers candid insight into the current politics and turmoil in Brazil. After years of economic hardship and a COVID death toll devastating the country, where does Brazil go from here?

What could spark a US-China war?

US Admiral James Stavridis (Ret.) discusses hypothetical scenarios for a US-China war. His bestselling new military thriller, 2034, blurs the lines between fiction and reality.

Episodes

India’s COVID calamity

As the COVID crisis looms large in India, Barkha Dutt says the country desperately needs help. In a gut-wrenching interview with Ian Bremmer, the Delhi-based journalist wrestles with both the personal and collective devastation happening across the country.

Make politics “boring” again: Joe Biden’s first 100 days

Should politics be boring? According to Tom Nichols, the answer is yes. Nichols explains why a no-drama presidency is exactly what the US needs right now.

Biden’s recognition of Armenian genocide: ramifications for Turkey, Armenia & the US

Ian Bremmer examines the impact of President Biden's recent statement recognizing Armenian genocide at the hands of Ottoman Empire, an atrocity that began 106 years ago during World War I.

The case against pulling out of Afghanistan this year

After twenty years of American troop presence in Afghanistan, President Biden announced the US would withdraw all troops by September 11, 2021. US Congressman Mike Waltz (R-FL) explains why he thinks the administration's decision is a mistake.

Meet The Host

Ian Bremmer
Ian Bremmer is President and Founder of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media. He hosts the weekly digital and broadcast show, GZERO World, where he explains the key global stories of the moment, sits down for an in-depth conversation with the newsmakers and thought leaders shaping our world, and takes your questions.