2023 Great Decisions

Foreign Policy Lecture Series with Discussion
April 14, 21, 28 and May 5, 2023 
9:30 AM – Noon
Location will be Virtual via Zoom 

Purchase e-tickets at eventbrite.com

Ticket Prices:
$5 per individual event or $20 for the full series

About the Great Decisions Program

Established in 1918, the Foreign Policy Association is a non-profit education organization and sponsor of the Great Decisions program. Great Decisions is a national civic-education program that encourages participants to:

  • Learn about U.S. foreign policy & global issues
  • Discuss multiple viewpoints in a group
  • Take part in a national opinion survey

Each session begins at 9:30 AM with a video from the Foreign Policy Association, followed by a talk from a local expert. An opportunity for questions will follow a ten-minute break.

Spring 2023 Topics:

Economic Warfare

April 14, 9:30 AM to Noon


Peter M. Haas is an emeritus professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He received his Ph.D in 1986 from MIT. He has had visiting positions at Yale University, Brown, Oxford, and the Wissenschaftszentrum, Berlin. He has published on international relations theory, constructivism, international environmental politics, global governance, and the interplay of science and international institutions at the international level. 

His work has focused on networked governance and the role of science in international environmental. regimes. He is the author or co-author of 10 books. He has published 21 peer reviewed articles, and 47 chapters and encyclopedia entries. His work has been published in 7 languages. His current interests include global governance and the politics of the Anthropocene.

Energy Geopolitics

April 21, 9:30 AM to Noon


Robert Darrow’s research interests include local disputes over wind energy development, wind energy permitting and regulation, state and federal renewable energy policy, environmental politics, science & technology policy, and environmental political theory. After graduating from Michigan State University, Robert earned master’s degrees in political science and philosophy at Virginia Tech and is completing a PhD in political science at UMass Amherst. He has conducted research on mountaintop removal mining in West Virginia and participated in an NSF-funded study comparing renewable energy policies at the state and local levels around the United States. He is currently writing a history of how Denmark became a world leader in wind energy over the past 50 years. He has also worked in the electric utility industry on nuclear power issues.

China Relations

April 28, 9:30 AM to Noon


James Holmes is the inaugural J. C. Wylie Chair of Maritime Strategy at the Naval War College. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University, Salve Regina University, Providence College, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Jim graduated from the Naval War College in 1994 and earned the Naval War College Foundation Award as the top graduate in his class. He previously served on the faculty of the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs. A former U.S. Navy surface warfare officer, he served as engineering and gunnery officer on board the battleship USS Wisconsin, directed an engineering course at the Surface Warfare Officers School Command, and taught Strategy and Policy at the Naval War College, College of Distance Education. His books include Theodore Roosevelt and World Order: Police Power in International RelationsChinese Naval Strategy in the 21st Century: The Turn to MahanIndian Naval Strategy in the 21st CenturyStrategy in the Second Nuclear Age: Power, Ambition, and the Ultimate Weapon; two editions of Red Star over the Pacific: China’s Rise and the Challenge to U.S. Maritime StrategyA Brief Guide to Maritime Strategy; and, most recently, Habits of Highly Effective Maritime Strategists. His books appear on the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Indo-Pacific Command professional reading lists.

Climate Migration

May 5, 9:30 AM to Noon


Malcolm Sen is Associate Professor at UMass Amherst and directs the Environmental Humanities specialization offered by the Department of English. His research focuses on questions of sovereignty, migration, and race as they emerge in climate change discourse. His literary archive spans global Anglophone, Indian, and Irish literatures. He is the co-editor of Postcolonial Studies and Challenges of the New Millennium (Routledge, 2016)

He is the editor of The History of Irish Literature and the Environment (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2022); and Race in Irish Literature and Culture (with Julie McCormick Weng) to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2023. Sen’s monograph Unnatural Disasters: Irish Literature, Climate Change and Sovereignty is being reviewed by Syracuse University Press. Two recent articles include “An Ordinary Crisis: Covid-19 and Irish Studies” in Mike Cronin et al., Eds., A Handbook of Irish Studies (Routledge, 2021) and “Sovereignty at the Margins: The Oceanic Future of the Subaltern,” in Barbara Haberkamp-Schmidt, Ed., Representing Poverty and Precarity in a Postcolonial World (Amsterdam: Brill, 2022).