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Great Decisions

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Explore U.S. foreign policy and global affairs with experts from Wisconsin universities and beyond. Part of the Great Decisions World Education Program. Co-sponsored by the American Association of University Women Sheboygan. Optional briefing books available for check out or purchase at the second-floor Research Desk at Mead Library.

Sept. 13

Turkey - A Partner in Crisis

with Beth K. Dougherty, Beloit College

Of all NATO allies, Turkey represents the most daunting challenge for the Trump administration. In the wake of a failed military coup in 2016, the autocratic trend in Ankara took a turn for the worse. One year on, an overwhelming majority of the population considers the U.S. to be their country’s greatest security threat.

Sept. 20

The Waning of Pax Americana

with Alise Coen, UW-Sheboygan & UW-Manitowoc

During the first months of Donald Trump’s presidency, the U.S. began a historic shift away from Pax Americana, the liberal international order that was established in the wake of World War II. Geopolitical allies and challengers alike are paying close attention.

Sept. 27

Global Health - Progress & Challenges

with Anne Dressel, UW-Milwaukee

The collective action of countries, communities and organizations over the last 30 years has literally saved millions of lives around the world. Yet inequalities persist. The world now faces a mix of old and new health challenges. For these reasons, the next several decades will be just as important—if not more so—than the last in determining wellbeing across nations.

Oct. 4

Media & Foreign Policy

with Elizabeth Wheat, UW-Green Bay

State and non-state actors today must maneuver a complex and rapidly evolving media landscape. Conventional journalism now competes with user-generated content. Official channels of communication can be circumvented through social media. Foreign policy is tweeted from the White House and “fake news” has entered the zeitgeist. Cyberwarfare, hacking and misinformation pose complex security threats. How are actors using media to pursue and defend their interests in the international arena? What are the implications for U.S. policy?

Oct. 11

Russia’s Foreign Policy

with John Katzka, retired U.S. Diplomat

Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia is projecting an autocratic model of governance abroad and working to undermine the influence of liberal democracies, namely along Russia’s historical borderlands. How does Putin conceive of national interests, and why do Russian citizens support him? How should the United States respond to Putin’s foreign policy ambitions?

Oct. 18

China & America:

The New Geopolitical Equation

with Martin Farrell, retired prof. Ripon College

In the last 15 years, China has implemented a wide-ranging strategy of economic outreach and expansion of all its national capacities, including military and diplomatic capacities. Where the U.S. has taken a step back from multilateral trade agreements, China has made inroads. What are Beijing’s geopolitical objectives? What leadership and political conditions in each society underlie growing Sino-American tensions? What policies might Washington adopt to address this circumstance?