Peace talks always involve a complex mix of strategic calculation and human emotion. Andrew Blum answers questions about what works and what doesn’t. As he explains, in his 20 years of experience working on peace-building programmes and researching peace and conflict, he’s learned that the biggest challenge is the anger and mistrust that conflict creates between warring parties. Negotiators must sit across from people they believe have killed their sons and daughters.

Jakarta is a city struggling to keep its head above water. Literally. After decades of debate – and mooted plans that never materialised – the government of President Joko Widodo, known as Jokowi, is forging ahead with a project that could cost about US$35 billion. Indonesia’s parliament has given the green light for the country’s capital to be relocated from Jakarta on the island of Java to the East Kalimantan province of Borneo. The new city has been named Nusantara, which in sanskrit loosely translates as archipelago. In this podcast three experts in urban planning unpack what’s at stake.

Caroline Southey

Founding Editor

Why do peace talks fail? A negotiation expert answers 5 questions about the slim chances for a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine

Andrew Blum, University of San Diego

Russia and Ukraine have held several rounds of failed peace talks. Understanding the challenges to successful peace talks helps illuminate the struggle for peace in Eastern Europe.

A tale of two cities: why Indonesia is planning a new capital on Borneo – and abandoning Jakarta. Podcast

Gemma Ware, The Conversation; Daniel Merino, The Conversation

Why is Indonesia planning to build a new capital called Nusantara? Listen to The Conversation Weekly podcast.

Want to know why India has been soft on Russia? Take a look at its military, diplomatic and energy ties

Sumit Ganguly, Indiana University

India has stood apart from other major democracies in failing to offer a full-throated condemnation of Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. Here’s why.

Manifesto published in Russian media reflects Putin regime’s ruthless plans in Ukraine

Susanne Sternthal, Texas State University

A Russian journalist and political operative reveals that Russian leadership is planning for the complete destruction of Ukraine

Ukraine war: Sweden and Finland eye the Nato option, but it’s a security dilemma for the west

Caroline Kennedy-Pipe, Loughborough University; Azal Ashraf, Loughborough University

Nato enlargement could be a dangerous strategy if it backs Russia into a corner.

Why birds migrate vast distances – and how you can help during their breeding season

Louise Gentle, Nottingham Trent University

Birds are master navigators, negotiating journeys of thousands miles each year.

Combined power of two telescopes is helping crack the mystery of eerie rings in the sky

Jordan Collier, Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy

Complementary science will be at the heart of the Square Kilometre Array.