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 and global issues
- Discuss multiple viewpoints in a group setting
- Take part in a national opinion survey
Great Decisions events take place on Friday mornings,
from 9:30 am to noon
at the Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz Street, Northampton
5CLIR members: $12 per individual discussion or $40 for the full series
Public admission: $15 per individual discussion or $50 for the full series
- Tickets may also be purchased at the door
- There are no refunds on series purchases.
- Sessions will be canceled if schools are closed for inclement weather.
- Parking is available at the Senior Center. Overflow parking must park across Conz Street at the World War II Club parking lot. Please keep fire lanes free.
Spring 2018 Topics:
APRIL 6: THE WANING OF PAX AMERICANA WITH THOMAS JOHNSON
During the first months of Donald Trump’s presidency, the U.S. began a historic shift away from Pax Americana, the liberal international order that was established in the wake of World War II. Since 1945, Pax Americana has promised peaceful international relations and an open economy, buttressed by U.S. military power. In championing “America First” isolationism and protectionism, President Trump has shifted the political mood toward selective U.S. engagement, where foreign commitments are limited to areas of vital U.S. interest and economic nationalism is the order of the day. Geopolitical allies and challengers alike are paying close attention.
APRIL 13: MEDIA AND FOREIGN POLICY WITH PAUL MUSGRAVE
State and non-state actors today must maneuver a complex and rapidly evolving media landscape. Conventional journalism now competes with user-generated content. Official channels of communication can be circumvented through social media. Foreign policy is tweeted from the White House and “fake news” has entered the zeitgeist. Cyberwarfare, hacking and misinformation pose complex security threats. How are actors using media to pursue and defend their interests in the international arena? What are the implications for U.S. policy?
APRIL 20: U.S. GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT AND THE MILITARY WITH LAURA REED
The global power balance is rapidly evolving, leaving the United States at a turning point with respect to its level of engagement and the role of its military. Some argue for an “America First” paradigm, with a large military to ensure security, while others call for a more assertive posture overseas. Some advocate for a restoration of American multilateral leadership and a strengthened role for diplomacy. Still others envision a restrained U.S. role, involving a more limited military. How does the military function in today’s international order, and how might it be balanced with diplomatic and foreign assistance capabilities?
APRIL 27: GLOBAL HEALTH: PROGRESS AND CHALLENGES WITH TIM FORD
The collective action of countries, communities and organizations over the last 30 years has literally saved millions of lives around the world. Yet terrible inequalities in health and well being persist. The world now faces a mix of old and new health challenges, including the preventable deaths of mothers and children, continuing epidemics of infectious diseases, and rising rates of chronic disease. We also remain vulnerable to the emergence of new and deadly pandemics. For these reasons, the next several decades will be just as important—if not more so—than the last in determining well being across nations.