Great Decisions Program

We are pleased to announce the return of the Great Decisions Program. The Great Decisions Program has conducted weekly discussion groups about US foreign policy and trade issues. The nationwide program is based on material obtained from the Foreign Policy Association.

Each session will consist of a short video providing information about the topic and a one-hour interactive discussion segment. To register for or ask questions about the program, email Pete Sheridan at psheridan3@nycap.rr.com.

Books for the programs are $31.50 and available at Whitney Book Corner. Please make checks payable to Friends of SCPL.

Meetings are held from 9:30 to 11:00 am, in the McChesney Room at the Central Library

March 7: Energy Geopolitics

Access to oil and gas has long been used to influence the politics of individual nations and their relations with others. But as more countries move toward sustainable energy, and supply chain shortages affect availability, how will this change the way in which the United States interacts with the outside world?

March 14: War Crimes

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has resulted in widespread charges of war crimes and calls for justice. But what exactly are war crimes? Opinions of what constitutes a war crime have evolved, as have ways to identify and punish the perpetrators. How will the war crimes committed in Ukraine be dealt with?

March 21: China and the U.S.

For the past ten years, the U.S. and China have been locked in a competition for global influence. One major point of contention is the status of Taiwanese sovereignty, which has become even more relevant recently with the possibility that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may prompt China to take similar action regarding Taiwan. How will the United States engage a China which is increasingly seeking to expand its sphere of influence?

March 28: Economic Warfare

Waging economic warfare consists of a variety of measures including implementing sanctions to fomenting labor strikes. Such tools are utilized by states to hinder their enemies. Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, economic warfare has been the main means for the west to challenge Russia. How effective will these sanctions be at convincing Russia to cease its war?

April 4: Politics in Latin America

Electoral results in Latin America over the past four years have led many observers of the regional/political scene to discern a left-wing surge in the hemisphere, reminiscent of the so-called “Pink Tide” that swept the area some 20 years ago. But how much do these politicians actually have in common? What implication does their ascendancy have for the region?

April 11: Global Famine

Fears of global food shortages have followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has disrupted grain shipments from this major grain producer. But what about countries and regions that were suffering before this impending shortage? How is famine defined, and how is it different from simple food shortages? What, if any, remedies are there?

April 18: Iran at a Crossroads

By the fall of 2022, Iran was in a state of turmoil due to widespread protests against government-enforced wearing of the hijab, a failing economy, an ineffective new president, and the looming succession of the country’s leader, Ayatollah Khamenei. Abroad, renewal of the Iran nuclear deal seemed doubtful and tensions remain high between Iran, Israel, and Arab states. Many Iranians have lost hope of a better future. How should the United States deal with it?


April 25: Climate Migration

As climate change accelerates and drought and rising sea levels become more common, millions of people in affected regions must uproot themselves and seek safety elsewhere. Who are these affected individuals, and how might the United States aid them, and be affected by the migration?

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