Great Decisions

Informed Citizens Make Great Decisions

 The Great Decisions foreign policy discussions series, a project of the Foreign Policy Association, is sponsored locally by the League of Women Voters, AAUW, and the Tyler Public Library.  It is held on Wednesdays at noon from Jan 15th through March 4th at the Tyler Public Library.

2020  Topics

January 15: 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 US building large ports and bases in the region, what does the future of the region look like?  How import is the Red Sea’s security for global security?  Can the region be a place of global cooperation?

January 22: 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?

January 29: Climate Change and the Global Order                                                              Speaker: Dr. Manoucher Khosrowshahi                                                                                               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 US 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 5: Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking                                                            Speaker: Dr. David Scott                                                                                                                   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?

February 12: US Relations with the Northern Triangle                                                        Speaker: Dr. Colin Snider                                                                                                             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 holds the nations responsible for the large flow of migrants from Latin America to the US.  With funds from the US cut, how can the North Triangle countries curtail migration?

February 19:  China’s Road into Latin America                                                                      Speaker: Dr. Colin Snider                                                                                                                            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 US be concerned about China’s growing “sphere of influence”?

February 26: The Philippines and the US                                                                                            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 US.  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 4: Artificial Intelligence and Data                                                                                  Speaker —Dr. Robert Schumaker                                                                                                      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 date and require that firms using AI be transparent about how they use it.  Will the US follow suit?