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Programs

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 2024 IS NOW OPEN

 

We are pleased to announce the topics for Great Decisions 2024:

Mideast Realignment

The United States and Middle East are at a crossroads. In spite of a reduced presence in the Middle East, the U.S. still has significant national interests there and the area is a key arena for global power politics. Can the U.S. continue to defend its interests in the Middle East and globally with a lower level of military and political involvement, or should it recommit to a leading role in the region?

 

Climate Technology and Competition

Will the United States and China, with other powerful countries following suit, approach current and future climate initiatives with an increased commitment to trade protectionism and nationalism, by various measures including trade restrictions? Or could a growing spirit of international accord develop to confront the “common enemy” of climate change?

 

Science Across Borders

Scientific advances benefit from collaboration between researchers, but what happens when material, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) is controversial and important to a nation’s national security? Is there a middle ground between sharing information and denying access? How can we regulate cooperation?

 

U.S. - China Trade Rivalry

China’s economic rise and its current policies of increasing the role of the state in the economy have led some U.S. policymakers to seek to deny China access to U.S. technology and investment. This is seen as a necessary corrective to decades of predatory Chinese economic policies. Is this a wise strategy, and how effective can it be?

 

NATO’s Future

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has come under increased scrutiny, not because NATO troops are involved in the conflict, but because of its role in relations between Russia and its neighbors. Will expanding membership in NATO protect countries, or will it further provoke Russia?

 

Understanding Indonesia

Despite its large size, Indonesia remains virtually invisible to most Americans. But as one of the world’s largest democracies, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, and as an economic driver of ASEAN, why does it fly below the radar? What are current issues in U.S.-Indonesian relations, and what role can the country play in Asia?

 

High Seas Treaty

Areas of the seas beyond national jurisdiction comprise the high seas, which are facing a degradation of ecosystems due to climate change and the increase in human activities, such as shipping, overfishing, pollution, and deep-sea mining. The recently negotiated High Seas Treaty, also known as the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction treaty, will attempt to address these issues. How difficult will it be to convince nations to participate?

 

Pandemic Preparedness

Looking back at the covid-19 pandemic, there are many lessons to take away in terms of domestic and international policies. Although this pandemic seems to have waned, how can we apply these lessons to future pandemics? Will countries cooperate, and will a consensus emerge on how to manage global health challenges?

If you are interested in joining a GlobalAustin Great Decisions group, 
please contact Fulori Kirikiti at fulori@globalaustin.org.

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