Great Decisions Foreign Policy Lecture Series

  • Are you interested in understanding the world a bit better? Then this lecture series, based on the Great Decisions books of the nonpartisan Foreign Policy Association, might be for you.

    Great Decisions is the nation’s largest nonpartisan study, discussion, and action program on contemporary foreign policy issues. Gathering with others who share your interest, you’ll learn about eight of the most important world issues the United States will face in the coming year and beyond.

    This series is open to everyone and is held at St. Andrew’s Senior Living Community in Indiana. Classes meet once a week for eight weeks.

    Each discussion session will be led by a topical expert, and a briefing booklet will be provided.           

    Spring 2020 Series Starts on Tuesday, February 4

    Register Today!

    • Tuesday mornings, 9:30–11:30 a.m
    • St. Andrew’s Village, Bristol Court Dining Room (All sessions will be held in the Bristol Court dining room, except the two dates below.)
    • Living Learning Center, February 18 and March 17

    February 4

    Climate Change and the Global Order

    Jonathan Warnock, Geoscience

    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 United States 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?

    February 11

    India and Pakistan

    Terilyn Johnston Huntington, Political Science

    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?

    February 18

    Red Sea Security

    Rachel Sternfeld, Political Science

    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 United States 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?

    February 25

    Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking

    Gwen Torges, Political Science

    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?

    March 3

    US Relations with the Northern Triangle

    LTC Dennis Faulkner, ROTC

    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 United States. With funds from the United States cut, how can the Northern Triangle countries curtail migration?

    March 10

    IUP Spring Break

    (no lecture this week)

    March 17 

    China’s Road into Latin America

    Steve Jackson, Political Science

    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 United States be concerned about China’s growing “sphere of influence?”  

    March 24

    The Philippines and the United States

    Soo Chun Lu, History

    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 United States. Duterte has also launched a large-scale war on drugs that many criticize for its brutality. What does the future hold for US relations with the Philippines?

    March 31

    Artificial Intelligence and Data

    Waleed Farag, Computer Science

    Policymakers in many countries are developing plans and funding research in artificial intelligence. 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 United States follow suit?