Great Decisions 2023
Register now! The 2023 Great Decisions series at the Wyomissing Public Library will begin on Tuesday, January 24th at 7:00 p.m.
There is a $35 fee to participate, which covers the costs of the issue book. Two people from the same household may participate for $45.
Great Decisions is a discussion program produced by the Foreign Policy Association, an independent non-profit organization “dedicated to inspiring learning about the world.” The World Affairs Council of Greater Reading is dedicated to educating and engaging the Berks County community in global affairs.
For more information, or to register for the 2023 series, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 610-374-2385.
Week 1: Economic Warfare
Tuesday, 1/24/2023 | 7:00 p.m.
Waging economic warfare consists of a variety of measures from implementing sanctions to fomenting labor strikes. Such tools are utilized by states to hinder their enemies, and in the case of the United States have been used as far back as the early 19th century. Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, economic warfare has been the main means for the west to challenge Russia. How effective will these sanctions be at convincing Russia to cease its war? DR. RANDALL NEWNHAM, MODERATOR
Week 2: War Crimes
Tuesday, 1/31/2023 | 7:00 p.m.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine has resulted in widespread charges of war crimes and calls for justice. But what exactly are war crimes? Opinions of what constitutes a war crime have evolved, as have ways to identify and punish the perpetrators. How will the war crimes committed in Ukraine be dealt with?
Week 3: China and the U.S.
Tuesday, 2/07/2023 | 7:00 p.m.
For the past ten years, the United States and China have been locked in a competition for who has the greatest global influence. One major point of contention is the status of Taiwanese sovereignty, which has become even more relevant recently with the possibility that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may prompt China to take similar action regarding Taiwan. How will the United States engage a China which is increasingly seeking to expand its sphere of influence?
Week 4: Politics in Latin America
Tuesday, 2/28/2023 | 12:00 noon -- NOTE TIME CHANGE!
Electoral results in Latin America over the past four years have led many observers of the regional/political scene to discern a left-wing surge in the hemisphere, reminiscent of the so-called “Pink Tide” that swept the area some 20 years ago. But how much do these politicians actually have in common? What implication does their ascendency have for the region?
Week 5: Global Famine
Tuesday, 3/07/2023 | 7:00 p.m.
Fears of global food shortages have followed Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has disrupted grain shipments from the major grain producer. But what about countries and regions that were suffering before this impending shortage? How is famine defined, and how is it different from simple food shortages? What if any remedies are there?
Week 6: Climate Migration
Tuesday, 3/21/2023 | 7:00 p.m.
As climate change accelerates and drought and rising sea levels become more common, millions of people in affected regions must uproot themselves and seek safety elsewhere. Who are these affected individuals, and how might the United States aid them, and be affected by the migration?
Week 7: Energy Geopolitics
Tuesday, 3/28/2023 | 7:00 p.m.
Access to oil and gas has long held an influence over the politics of individual nations and their relations with others. But as more countries move toward sustainable energy, and supply chain shortages affect the availability of oil and gas, how will this change the way in which the United States interacts with the outside world?
Week 8: Iran at a Crossroads
Tuesday, 4/04/2023 | 7:00 p.m.
By the fall of 2022, Iran was in a state of turmoil due to widespread protests against government-enforced wearing of the hijab, a failing economy, an ineffective new president, and the looming succession of the country’s leader, Ayatollah Khamenei. Abroad, renewal of the Iran nuclear deal seemed doubtful and tensions remain high between Iran, Israel, and Arab states. Many Iranians have lost hope of a better future, and the country seems at a crossroads. How should the United States deal with it?