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Great Decisions

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UW-Sheboygan faculty will guide participants in exploring U.S. foreign policy and global issues. Part of the Great Decisions world affairs education program. Co-sponsored by the American Association of
University Women Sheboygan. Briefing books on featured topics can be checked out at the Mead Public Library Research Desk. 

Oct. 3 The Future of Europe with Alise Coen

The outcome of the United Kingdom referendum on European Union membership sent shock waves across the globe. It even caught British voters by surprise. The European Union has helped secure peace in
Europe for the past 70 years. Now it faces an uncertain future. Amid a refugee crisis, lingering financial recession and the constant specter of terrorism, unity seems more imperative than ever. But the Brexit vote underscores the complexities of integrating an extremely diverse continent. What will post-Brexit Europe look like, and how can U.S. foreign policy adapt?

Oct. 10 Trade & Politics with Val Murrenus-Pilmaier

The U.S. political mood toward trade has gone sour. One need look no
further than the 2016 presidential contest for the popular narrative: trade means that China wins at America’s expense. But do the numbers support that conclusion? The metrics used to gauge economic strength—gross domestic product and balance of trade—have not kept up with the realities of modern
manufacturing. Obtaining an accurate picture of U.S. economic stature requires a critique of those numbers. Only then can the U.S. develop appropriate policy solutions for the challenges at hand.

Oct. 17 U.S. Foreign policy & Petroleum with Mark Karau

What is the effect of U.S. petroleum security on foreign policy? For 45 years, the country has alternated
between periods of energy security and insecurity, sometimes able to wield petroleum as a useful instrument of foreign policy,
sometimes not. Despite the so-called “energy revolution,” the U.S. today is by no means disentangled from foreign dependence and global trends. In order to be successful, policymakers must
recognize both petroleum security circumstances and patterns in the relationship between petroleum and foreign policy.

Oct. 24 Latin America's Political Pendelum with Leah Strobel

The pendulum of Latin American politics is swinging rightward once again. Yet as the “pink tide” recedes, the forces of change have more to do with socioeconomics than ideology. Dramatic economic and political crises have coincided in countries like Brazil and Venezuela. Still, the final result for Latin America may be the emergence of centrist, pragmatic modes of governance, and with them, opportunities for the U.S. to improve relations. The new administration must look beyond the neoliberal model of the 1990s, and develop an approach to relations fit for the 21st century.