Join a GlobalAustin
Great Decisions Group
Want to talk about foreign policy AND learn more about geopolitics? Join a GlobalAustin “Great Decisions” discussion group. Free participation in our Great Decisions discussion groups is one of the benefits of GlobalAustin membership (fee for reading materials, $25). Joining one of these groups is a great way to learn more about the critical issues facing America and develop friendships with others also interested in world affairs.
Each group meets eight times a year to discuss today’s most pressing international issues, using the topics and related materials developed by the National Foreign Policy Association. Groups meet for approximately two hours at various times and at homes or offices across the Austin area. Due to the pandemic, each group will choose if they meet in-person or virtually. A presentation on the foreign policy topic of the month is also viewed.
REGISTRATION FOR GREAT DECISIONS 2023 IS NOW OPEN
We are pleased to announce the topics for Great Decisions 2023:
Access to oil and gas has long held an influence over the politics of individual nations and their relations with others. But as more countries move toward sustainable energy, and supply chain shortages affect the availability of oil and gas, how will this change the way in which the United States interacts with the outside world?
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?
China and the U.S.
For the past ten years, the United States and China have been locked in a competition for who has the greatest 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?
Waging economic warfare consists of a variety of measures from implementing sanctions to fomenting labor strikes. Such tools are utilized by states to hinder their enemies, and in the case of the United States have been used as far back as the early 19th century. 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?
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 ascendency have for the region?
Fears of global food shortages have followed Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has disrupted grain shipments from the 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?
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, and the country seems at a crossroads. How should the United States deal with it?
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?
If you are interested in joining a GlobalAustin Great Decisions group,
please contact Fulori Kirikiti at firstname.lastname@example.org.