Great Decisions 2018
Please join us for in-depth discussions of world issues currently affecting U.S. policymakers. These weekly topics have been selected by the Great Decisions editorial board and are presented through a briefing book, short video program and thought-provoking discussion. The program length is approximately 90 minutes per session.
To sign up for Great Decisions 2018, please complete the registration form and return it to the Library with payment. The program fee includes a briefing book and is for all eight sessions. Briefing books are available for pick-up at the Library after your paid registration is received.
The Waning of Pax Americana?
Wednesday, February. 21, 2018 | 7:00 p.m.
- During the first months of Donald Trump's presidency, the U.S. began a historic shift away from Pax Americana, the liberal international order that was established in the wake of World War II. Now it faces an uncertain future.
Russia's Foreign Policy
Wednesday, February. 28, 2018 | 7:00 p.m.
- Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia is projecting an autocratic model of governance abroad and working to undermine the influence of liberal democracies, namely along Russia's historical borderlands. How does Putin conceive of national interests, and why do Russian citizens support him?
China and America: The New Geopolitical Equation
Wednesday, March. 7, 2018 | 7:00 p.m.
- In the last 15 years, China has implemented a wide-ranging strategy of economic outreach and expansion of all its national capacities, including military and diplomatic capacities. Where the United States has taken a step back from multilateral trade agreements and discarded the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), China has made inroads through efforts like the Belt and Road Initiative and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
The Media and Foreign Policy
Wednesday, March. 14, 2018 | 7:00 p.m.
- State and non-state actors today must maneuver a complex and rapidly evolving media landscape. Conventional journalism now competes with user-generated content. Official channels of communication can be circum-vented through social media. Foreign policy is tweeted from the White House and "fake news" has entered the zeitgeist.
Turkey: A Partner in Crisis
Wednesday, March. 21, 2018 | 7:00 p.m.
- Of all NATO allies, Turkey represents the most daunting challenge for the Trump administration. In the wake of a failed military coup in July 2016, the autocratic trend in Ankara took a turn for the worse. One year on, an overwhelming majority of the population considers the United States to be their country's greatest security threat.
US Global Engagement and the Military
Wednesday, March. 28, 2018 | 7:00 p.m.
- The global power balance is rapidly evolving, leaving the United States at a turning point with respect to its level of engagement and the role of its military. Some argue for an "America First" paradigm, with a large military to ensure security, while others call for a more assertive posture overseas. Some advocate for a restoration of American multilateral leadership and a strengthened role for diplomacy. Still others envision a restrained U.S. role, involving a more limited military.
South Africa's Fragile Democracy
Wednesday, April. 4, 2018 | 7:00 p.m.
- The African National Congress (ANC) party has governed South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994. But the party today suffers from popular frustration over official corruption and economic stagnation. It faces growing threats from both left and right opposition parties, even as intraparty divisions surface.
Global Health: Progress and Challenges
Wednesday, April. 11, 2018 | 7:00 p.m.
- The collective action of countries, communities and organizations over the last 30 years has literally saved millions of lives around the world. Yet terrible inequalities in health and wellbeing persist. The world now faces a mix of old and new health challenges.