The Great Decisions Lecture Series of 2018 is meant to further conversations on important topics related to global issues. In the recent lecture by Dr. Ellen Carnaghan of Saint Louis University, St. Louis community members participated in critical thinking about not only Russia’s Foreign Policy but also the involvement of the United States in that foreign policy.
In the Webster-Kirkwood Times, the relevance of this topic on a local scale is discussed by Don Corrigan. His article on the American’s waning wariness of Russia brings a globally focused topic back to St. Louis in a way that encourages community members to think about their actions, involvement, and attitudes towards both Russia and their local politics.
As the goal of Great Decisions Lecture Series is “inspiring learning about the world”, the local engagement of citizens in global issues as a result of conversations about Great Decisions topics is the epitome of inspired learning.
Offering her view of the sometimes conflicting agendas of the West and Turkey, Dr. Tahmineh Entessar, retired assistant director of the International Relations Graduate Program at Webster University, spelled out challenges from political fissures, to the role of the Kurds, to Cyprus and the often fraught relationship with NATO in a talk March 15, presented by WAC-STL in partnership with UMSL International Studies and Program.
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. In this age of a worsening “clash of civilizations” between Islam and the West, even more important than its place on the map is what Turkey symbolically represents as the most institutionally Westernized Muslim country in the world.