Every year the Foreign Policy Association (FPA), the nation’s oldest organization devoted to citizen education in world affairs, authors the Great Decisions Series, a national discussion program focusing on eight major foreign policy issues.  The issues are selected at the beginning of the year based on the most critical global challenges to United States foreign policy.  The program aims to present all sides of each issue in order to inform and educate the public.

Presentations begin at 12:00 PM and end at 1:30 PM. These sessions are free of charge and there is no need to register; just show up at the appointed time and place.

Where:  On Zoom.us virtual space, contact us to attend.

April 23, 2020: India and Pakistan
Dennis Pruitt

April 30, 2020: China’s Road into Latin America
Dr. Zhao Ma, Associate Professor of Modern Chinese History & Culture
Washington University

May 07, 2020: Red Sea Security
Henry Stephenson, Captain United States Navy

May 14, 2020: Climate Change and the Global Order
Dr. Benjamin de Foy, St. Louis University

May 28, 2020: Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking
Dr. Shima Rostami, Director, Gateway Human Trafficking

June 11, 2020: The Philippines and the U.S.

June 18, 2020: U.S. Relations with the Northern Triangle
Richard Millett, Professor Emeritus, SIUE

June 25, 2020: Artificial Intelligence and Data
Professor Anshuman Singh, UMSL

India and Pakistan

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi rode a wave of Hindu nationalism to a historic reelection in 2019. His first order of business was to revoke the special status granted to the Kashmir region, inflaming the rivalry between India and Pakistan. How will the Kashmir situation affect the region, both economically and politically?

China’s Road into Latin America 

As the Trump administration continues to withdraw from the world stage, China is looking to fill the void. How does Latin America fit into China’s “One Belt, One Road” plan? How will the relationship with China affect the region? Should the U.S. be concerned about China’s growing “sphere of influence?”

Red Sea Security

The Red Sea has remained vital for global trade since the time of ancient Egypt. Once home to the spice trade, the Red Sea now sees millions of barrels of oil a day transported across its waters. With major nations like China, France, Italy, and the U.S. building large ports and bases in the region, what does the future of the region look like? How important is Red Sea security for global security? Can the region be a place of global cooperation?

Climate Change and the Global Order

Climate change has become one of the defining issues of our time. As much of the world bands together to come up with a plan, the U.S. remains the notable holdout. What is the rest of the world doing to combat climate change? What impact will the effects of climate change have on global geopolitics?

Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking

Almost every nation has enacted laws criminalizing human trafficking, and international organizations, governments, and NGOs sponsor a large variety of projects to curb trafficking and slavery. Billions of dollars have been allocated to these efforts. What is the international community doing to combat slavery and trafficking? What are the experiences like for those being trafficked?

The Philippines and the U.S.

The Philippines has had a special relationship with the United States since the islands were ceded by Spain to the United States after the Spanish-American War at the end of the 19th century.  However, since the election of Rodrigo Duterte, the country has pivoted more toward China, and away from the U.S. Duterte has also launched a large-scale war on drugs that many criticize for its brutality. What does the future hold for U.S, relations with the Philippines?

U.S. Relations with the Northern Triangle

Combating illegal immigration has become a priority of the Trump administration. The Northern Triangle of Central America, made up of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, is a special target of the administration, which hold the nations responsible for the large flow of migrants from Latin America to the U.S. With funds from the U.S. cut, how can the Northern Triangle countries curtail migration?

Artificial Intelligence and Data

Policymakers in many countries are developing plans and funding research in artificial intelligence (AI). Global growth is slowing, and not surprisingly, many policymakers hope that AI will provide a magic solution. The EU, Brazil, and other Western countries have adopted regulations that grant users greater control over their data and require that firms using AI be transparent about how they use it. Will the U.S. follow suit?

To stay up-to-date on 2020’s Great Decisions speaker series, sign up for our weekly newsletter. Questions can be directed to wacintern@wacstl.org

The topics from Great Decisions 2019 can be found here. 

The topics from Great Decisions 2018 can be found here.