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Great Decisions Lecture Series

Join the conversation and engage with top scholars on today’s most pressing global topics. 

For more information on each lecture topic, please visit the Foreign Policy Association website.

Great Decisions Lecture Series 2021

Wednesday,
Feb. 3

6:30 p.m.

Global Supply Chains and National Security
Amulya Gurtu, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

The shutdown of global supply chains due to the COVID-19 pandemic brought to the fore an issue with the high level of global economic interdependence: What happens when one country is the main source for an item, say face masks, and then can no longer supply the item? Countries suddenly unable to meet the demand for certain supplies are faced with growing calls for economic nationalism. What are some of the lasting effects that the pandemic could have on global supply chains and trade? How would this affect national security?

Watch the Recording
Wednesday,
Feb. 17

6:30 p.m.
Korean Peninsula
David Fields, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Center for East Asian Studies
University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Korean Peninsula is facing a defining era. Attempts by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump to repair the rift between North and South have lost any momentum as Pyongyang continues to test long-range missiles for its nuclear weapons program. As the rift between the U.S. and China grows further, South Korea may end up in the middle of the two superpowers. What does the future hold for the U.S. relationship with the ROK?

Watch the Recording
Wednesday,
March 3

6:30 p.m.
Struggles Over the Melting Arctic
Rebecca McKean, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Geology
St. Norbert College

As Earth’s climatic system continues to alter, the polar regions of our planet are experiencing the greatest rates of change. What trends are scientists documenting in the Arctic that highlight the tremendous change our planet is currently undergoing? Rebecca McKean, Associate Professor of Geology at St. Norbert College, will discuss the scientific evidence for the impact of climate change on the Arctic, including trends in sea ice extent and the Greenland ice sheet, local changes in precipitation and temperature, and the impact of these changes on local populations (human and animal). 

Watch the Recording
Wednesday,
March 17

6:30 p.m.
The End of Globalization?
Arthur Cyr, Ph.D.
A.W. & Mary Margaret Clausen Distinguished
Professor of Political Economy & World Business
Director of the Clausen Center for World Business
Carthage College

As the United States entered another election season, the merits and drawbacks of globalization were again being debated by the presidential candidates. With the passing of the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s America First doctrine, protectionist policies have become more prevalent, challenging globalization. What is globalization and how will it be affected by protectionist trade policies? How will the United States and the world be affected by such policies? Is globalization really at an end or in need of a refresh?

Watch the Recording
Wednesday,
March 31

6:30 p.m.
Brexit and the European Union
Neil McGarvey, Ph.D.
Senior Teaching Fellow
University of Strathclyde-Glasgow

The United Kingdom formally left the European Union at the start of 2021. What does the future of Europe and the UK look like? Will the UK survive a possible Scottish vote to leave? Who will step up and take command of Europe now that Angela Merkel is out of the spotlight?

Watch the Recording
Wednesday,
April 14

6:30 p.m.
China’s Role in Africa
Allen Xiao
Geography Ph.D. Candidate
University of Wisconsin-Madison

The COVID-19 crisis has strained what has been a growing economic and political relationship between China and many countries in Africa.  While Chinese President Xi Jinping’s centerpiece “Belt and Road Initiative” continues to expand Chinese influence, the spread of Covid-19 and the growing debt that many countries owe to China have generated criticism of China. What are some of the current economic and political issues between China and many of its partners?

Watch the Recording

 

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