and now the hard part

And Now the Hard Part

Each week we look at one of the world’s toughest problems and suggest a way forward—all in under 30 minutes.


Latest Episode

How to Reverse the Global Drift Toward Authoritarianism

Brookings President John Allen on why autocrats are rising and what to do about it.


The world is a particularly confusing and daunting place these days: Russian bots, North Korean nukes, trade wars and climate emergencies. To understand it better, Foreign Policy and the Brookings Institution are teaming up for an 8-part podcast series. On each episode, host Jonathan Tepperman and a guest from Brookings discuss one of the world’s most vexing problems and trace its origins. And then, the hard part: Tepperman asks the guest to focus on plausible, actionable ways forward.

Jonathan Tepperman, Foreign Policy’s editor in chief, hosts the podcast. The guests are some of the smartest and most experienced analysts around—all scholars from the Brookings Institution, including former government and intelligence officials.


Jonathan Tepperman

Jonathan Tepperman is the editor in chief of Foreign Policy and the author of The Fix: How Countries Use Crises to Solve the World’s Worst Problems. Before joining FP, Tepperman served as managing editor of Foreign Affairs and, before that, as deputy editor of Newsweek’s international edition. He has written for a long list of publications and appears frequently on TV and radio. He has degrees from Yale, Oxford, and New York University.

More Episodes

Workers construct a road in Goma, the main city in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

How to Boost the Economies of Africa

Brookings scholar Landry Signé on why the continent underperforms when it comes to trade and what can be done about it.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is surrounded by soldiers of the Korean People's Army as he inspects the test launch of a ballistic missile at an undisclosed location in a photo released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on 
Feb. 13, 2017.

How to Manage North Korea

Brookings senior fellow Jung H. Pak on why the United States has failed to prevent North Korea from developing nuclear weapons and what to do about it.

A Venezuelan opposition activist is pictured.

How to Repair Venezuela’s Shattered Economy

Brookings scholar Dany Bahar on how the crisis unfolded and what to do about it.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at NATO

How to Heal the NATO Alliance

Brookings scholar Victoria Nuland on why it’s troubled and what to do about it.

A Chinese worker at a port in Qingdao, China.

Fixing the U.S. Relationship With China

Brookings scholar Ryan Hass on what’s driving America’s new cold war and what to do about it.

President Vladimir Putin's address to the nation blankets a store in Moscow on April 17, 2014. ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images

Fighting Russian Disinformation

Brookings scholar Alina Polyakova on why the United States needs to go on the offense.

U.S. President Donald Trump poses with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the White House on March 20, 2018.

Resetting the U.S. Relationship With Saudi Arabia

Brookings scholar Bruce Riedel on how America's oldest alliance in the Middle East is being tested and what to do about it.

and now the hard part podcast

Trailer: Introducing And Now the Hard Part

From Foreign Policy and the Brookings Institution: Each week we look at one of the world’s toughest problems and suggest a way forward—all in under 30 minutes.


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First Person

Each week, one guest whose experience illuminates something timely and important about our world.

I Spy

I Spy

Spies don’t talk—it’s the cardinal rule of the business. But here at Foreign Policy, we get them to open up. On I Spy, we hear from the operations people: the spies who steal secrets, who kill adversaries, who turn agents into double agents. Each episode features one spy telling the story of one operation. Want swag? Check out I Spy's merch by clicking here.

To learn more about creating a podcast with us, contact Andrew Sollinger at