Great Decisions Lecture Series

The Great Decisions Lecture Series is America’s largest discussion program on world affairs. The program model involves reading the Great Decisions Briefing Book, watching the documentary film series, and meeting in a discussion group to discuss the most critical global issues facing America today. The Fredricksen Library partners with WACH to host this annual discussion series. 

2022 Great Decisions Lecture Topics

This year’s Great Decisions Lecture Series has concluded. If you missed it, don’t worry all of our lectures were recorded and are available for anyone to view. Click below to find out more.

  • Outer Space - Feburary 24

    The launch of Sputnik I in October 1957 marked the beginning of the space era and of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. In the 21st century, there are many more participants in space, including countries such as India and China, and commercial companies such as SpaceX. How will the United States fare in a crowded outer space?

    Guest speakers: Dr Samantha A Taylor, Dr Andrea Harrington, & Dr M.V. "Coyote" Smith - Professors US Air University

  • Biden’s Agenda - March 3

    The new administration in Washington promised to reverse many of the policies of the past administration, especially in foreign policy. How will issues such as climate, the pandemic, and alliances be treated under the Biden administration?

    Guest speaker: Dr. Shirley Warshaw, Professor, Gettysburg College

  • Climate Change - March 10

    The ideological divide in the United States on the subject of climate change has impeded progress in curbing greenhouse emissions. But extreme weather events at both ends of the thermometer have focused attention on the consequences of inaction. What role will the United States play in future negotiations on climate?

    Guest speaker: Donald Brown - Scholar in Residence for Sustainability Ethics and Law through Widener's Environmental Law and Sustainability Center

  • Myanmar and ASEAN - March 17 @ 7pm

    The situation in Myanmar, including the coup by the military in February 2021 and the ongoing human rights crises, coupled with civil resistance by those opposed to the regime, has led to chaos in the Southeast Asian country. How are neighboring countries reacting, and what role will ASEAN play?

    Guest speaker: Jason Tower - Country Director for the Burma Program of the United States Institute of Peace

  • Russia - March 31

    Russia and the United States have many areas of conflict and some possible areas of mutual interest. Arms control, Russian interference in U.S. elections and support of cyberattacks, the status of Ukraine, the fate of opposition politicians in Russia, all continue to be concerning. How will the new administration in Washington approach these issues?

    Guest speaker: Dr. Mehdi Noorbaksh - Professor Harrisburg University

  • Industrial Policy - April 7

    The current discussion of industrial policy in the United States is not simply about whether or not to support specific companies or industries, but about trust or mistrust of the government and its ability to manage the economy and deal with a rising China. The upheaval in supply chains during the pandemic exposed weaknesses in the international economy. What policies can the United States implement to deal with trade and the economy?

    Guest speaker: Dr Sanjay Paul - Professor of Economics at Elizabethtown College

  • Drug Policy in Latin America - April 14

    The issue of migration to the United States from Latin America has overshadowed the war on drugs, which has been underway for decades with little signs of progress. What are the roots and the bureaucratic logic behind today´s dominant drug policies in Latin America? Is it time to reconsider punitive drug control policies that disrupt supply chains and punish drug possession?

    Guest speaker: Dr. Evan Ellis - research professor of Latin American studies at the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute

  • The Quad Alliance - April 21

    As part of the U.S. pivot to Asia, the United States has been in dialogue with Japan, Australia, and India in an effort to contain China. Recently, the Quad countries held joint naval exercises in the South Pacific. How effective will the actions of this alliance be?

Missed a Great Decisions Lecture?

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