Talking Foreign Policy

CWRU Co-Dean and Law Professor Michael Scharf, hosting Talking Foreign Policy radio program in recording booth, with the sound of ideas banner behind

Welcome to the homepage of "Talking Foreign Policy," a public radio program produced by Case Western Reserve University School of Law in partnership with Ideastream Public Media.

Launched in 2012, "Talking Foreign Policy" is a one-hour radio program, hosted by CWRU School of Law Dean Michael Scharf, in which experts discuss the salient foreign policy issues of the day.  It airs quarterly on WKSU 89.7 FM in Cleveland and is webcast live for world-wide listening at Ideastream. Archived broadcasts can be accessed anytime through the School of Law YouTube page. Starting in September 2021, Talking Foreign Policy is also available as a podcast.  

In a media interview about the show, Scharf said: “We want to cover the most salient and interesting foreign policy topics in each program.” Because international policy issues are so prominent in a day-to-day news cycle but often can be difficult to grasp, Scharf pitched the idea for “Talking Foreign Policy” to Ideastream, Cleveland’s NPR affiliate, in 2012. He then lined up a few colleagues known for their ability to discuss complex foreign policy topics in an easy-to-digest manner.

Each episode features a semi-regular cast of pundits, as well as other issue-specific experts, with Scharf serving as host. Regulars include:

  • The ethicist: Shannon French, director of Case Western Reserve’s Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence;
  • The military and war crimes expert: Col. (ret.) Jim Johnson, chief prosecutor of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone and director of CWRU School of Law's War Crimes Research Office;
  • The international law expert: Milena Sterio, law professor at Cleveland State University;
  • The peace negotiator: Paul Williams, president of the Public International Law and Policy Group; and
  • The human rights authority: Avidan Cover, associate dean of CWRU School of Law and former Attorney-Adviser at Human Rights First. 

"The commentators offer listeners a broad expanse of views, as their political beliefs range across the entire spectrum," Scharf said. In addition, "the participants strive to make the show casual and sometimes humorous, even when discussing serious topics." 

Scharf, who joined the faculty of CWRU School of Law in 2002, is president of the American Branch of the International Law Association and was formerly Attorney-Adviser for U.N. Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

Talking Foreign Policy has been featured in Cleveland Jewish News

Please return to this webpage for dates and times of upcoming broadcasts of "Talking Foreign Policy." 

We invite you to send in comments about the show and suggestions for upcoming broadcasts to our panel of experts at: