20 Best Foreign Policy Podcasts of 2021

3 years ago

Are you wanting to learn more about foreign policy ? Well you’ve come to the right place. This is a curated list of the best foreign policy podcasts of 2021.

We have selected these podcasts for a variety of reasons, but they are all well worth a listen. We tried to select a variety of podcasts across the spectrum from hosts with a wide breadth of experience.

We are always keen to hear your feedback, if we have missed a podcast, tweet us @MagazineWelp and we will check it out!

Best Foreign Policy Podcasts 2021

With thanks to ListenNotes, Crunchbase, SemRush and Ahrefs for providing the data to create and rank these podcasts.

The President’s Inbox

  • Publisher: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Total Episodes: 83

Each episode of The President’s Inbox explores a foreign policy challenge facing the United States.

The Lawfare Podcast

  • Publisher: The Lawfare Institute
  • Total Episodes: 175

The Lawfare Podcast features discussions with experts, policymakers, and opinion leaders at the nexus of national security, law, and policy. On issues from foreign policy, homeland security, intelligence, and cybersecurity to governance and law, we have doubled down on seriousness at a time when others are running away from it. Visit us at www.lawfareblog.com. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

War on the Rocks

  • Publisher: Ryan Evans
  • Total Episodes: 155

Discussions over drinks with security, defense, and foreign policy insiders and experts. The original War on the Rocks podcast series.

Rational Security

  • Publisher: The Lawfare Institute
  • Total Episodes: 315

A weekly discussion of national security and foreign policy matters hosted by Shane Harris of the Washington Post and featuring Brookings scholars Tamara Cofman Wittes, Benjamin Wittes, and Susan Hennessey. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Foreign Podicy

  • Publisher: FDD
  • Total Episodes: 80

A national security and foreign policy podcast from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).

Lowy Institute: Live Events

  • Publisher: Lowy Institute
  • Total Episodes: 533

The Lowy Institute is an independent, nonpartisan international policy think tank located in Sydney, Australia. The Institute provides high-quality research and distinctive perspectives on foreign policy trends shaping Australia and the world. On Soundcloud we host podcasts from our events with high-level guest speakers as well as our own experts. Essential listening for anyone seeking to better understand foreign policy challenges!

Scott Horton Show – Q & A Shows

  • Publisher: Scott Horton
  • Total Episodes: 103

Q & A sessions with foreign policy expert Scott Horton and the full show archives of the Scott Horton Show

The World Unpacked

  • Publisher: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Total Episodes: 162

The World Unpacked is a biweekly foreign policy podcast, hosted by Laura Lucas Magnuson, that breaks down the hottest global issues of today with experts, journalists, and policymakers who can explain what is happening, why it matters, and where we go from here. Tune in to get smart on foreign policy.

Global Dispatches — World News That Matters

  • Publisher: Mark Leon Goldberg
  • Total Episodes: 661

Journalists, policymakers, diplomats and scholars discuss under-reported news, trends and topics from around the world. Named by The Guardian as “One of 27 Podcasts to Make You Smarter” Global Dispatches is podcast about foreign policy and world affairs.


  • Publisher: Hudson Institute
  • Total Episodes: 13

Counterbalance is a foreign policy podcast that embodies Hudson’s tradition of challenging conventional wisdom. The Trump era attacked the elite consensus regarding several key issues, including the rise of China, American policy toward the Middle East, and the compartmentalization of domestic and foreign policy. Many observers in the media and in establishment foreign policy circles are presenting the advent of a Biden presidency as a total repudiation of President Trump’s policies and a return to “normalcy.” But, regardless of how one feels about the Trump era or any of his specific policies, there is no turning back the clock. The elite foreign policy consensus will never be the same. Counterbalance will reckon with what’s next. Hosted by Hudson Institute Senior Fellow, Michael Doran, and Media Fellow, Marshall Kosloff.

Women in Foreign Policy

  • Publisher: Women in Foreign Policy
  • Total Episodes: 35

Podcast by Women in Foreign Policy

Modern American Diplomacy

  • Publisher: U.S. Foreign Service Officer – Jeremy Beer
  • Total Episodes: 14

Career Foreign Service Officers interview America’s most influential diplomats, capturing the sacrifice, professionalism, humor, heroism, wisdom, and triumph of modern-day American diplomacy. Through personal anecdotes, guests explain what they were trying to achieve with a given foreign policy, how they tried to accomplish those objectives, and where things went right (or wrong). Featuring conversations with America’s greatest foreign policy minds, including Thomas Pickering, John Negroponte, Bill Burns, Bob Blake, Maura Harty and a host of similarly accomplished Career Ambassadors. **Interviews excerpted from the forthcoming book Modern American Diplomacy: A Field Guide to Success in The Foreign Service.**

Foreign Exchanges: the Podcast

  • Publisher: Derek Davison
  • Total Episodes: 57

Foreign Exchanges is a newsletter and podcast that helps you stay on top of important stories happening around the world. Derek Davison interviews scholars, journalists, and other experts to make sense of international affairs and US foreign policy. fx.substack.com

Background Briefing with Ian Masters

  • Publisher: Ian Masters
  • Total Episodes: 1254

Background Briefing goes far beyond the headlines and deep under the radar to bring forward truths unheard elsewhere in American media. Background Briefing features international and national news, expert guests, policymakers, and critics offering analysis and insight on national security, foreign and domestic policy, political, cultural, and social issues. backgroundbriefing.org/donate twitter.com/ianmastersmedia facebook.com/ianmastersmedia

Events from the Brookings Institution

  • Publisher: The Brookings Institution
  • Total Episodes: 808

Listen to recordings of public events from the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy research organization (think tank) in Washington, DC. Expert speakers and panelists at our events include scholars, leading policymakers, and foreign officials, and address a wide range of public policy issues that matter to the nation and the world.

Chain Reaction

  • Publisher: Foreign Policy Research Instit
  • Total Episodes: 47

A podcast from the Foreign Policy Research Institute examining America’s role on the world stage. Every two weeks we’ll talk to experts about policy relevant news from around the world and why it matters for U.S. foreign policy.Please note this podcast was named the Middle East Brief prior to 2021.


  • Publisher: War on the Rocks
  • Total Episodes: 102

This is Bombshell, a bi-weekly podcast coming to you from Washington insiders to dissect today’s foreign policy crises and tomorrow’s security challenges. We’ll talk military strategy, White House mayhem, and the best cocktails known to (wo)man. Brought to you by War on the Rocks.

Fault Lines

  • Publisher: National Security Institute
  • Total Episodes: 81

Fault Lines examines national security and foreign policy issues with expert perspectives from across the political spectrum. This motley crew will examine national security and foreign policy issues with perspectives from across the political spectrum, finding points of agreement and – often –disagreement along the way.Our regular cast of foreign policy experts includes Jodi Herman, Jamil Jaffer, Dana Stroul, and Lester Munson.Tune in to learn more about the issues dominating headlines and the news stories you may have missed. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Deep Dish on Global Affairs

  • Publisher: The Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Total Episodes: 230

Deep Dish on Global Affairs goes beyond the headlines on critical global issues. With world news in rapid development, Deep Dish brings together experts in foreign policy, national security, economics, and whatever field is in flux during the week to talk through what’s happening, why, and why it matters.

Empire Has No Clothes

  • Publisher: The American Conservative
  • Total Episodes: 39

A new foreign policy podcast from The American Conservative, hosted by Matt Purple, Kelley Vlahos and Daniel Larison.

David Friedland

Bit of a gear addict.

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