Great Decisions 2024!

Great Decisions 2024
Beginning January 26 (with in-person and streaming options!)
SERIES TICKETS for Members - as well as individual member and nonmember tickets - on sale now! 

Friday, January 26 and March 22, 12pm
Wednesdays, January 31–March 13, 12pm
Portland State University (
Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 327/328)
1825 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201

One of WorldOregon's favorite events of the year is the annual Great Decisions series! As in previous years, this series features eight hard-hitting topics selected by the Foreign Policy Association --don't miss this year's edition of the oldest, largest grassroots, people-powered, foreign policy series in the country, which had its start here in Portland in 1953.



January 26: 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?
  • Speaker: Lindsay Benstead, Professor of Political Science & Director, Middle East Studies Center, Portland State University
January 31: 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?
  • Speaker: Sam Kaplan, Director of the Center of Excellence for Global Trade and Supply Chain Management
February 7: 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?
  • Speaker: Rebakah Daro Minarchik, Assistant Teaching Professor, Integrated Social Sciences, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington
February 14: Pandemic Preparation
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?
  • Speaker: Chunhuei Chi, Professor of Global Health & Health Management and Policy, Oregon State University
February 28: 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?
  • Speaker: Kyle Lascurettes, Associate Professor of International Affairs, Lewis & Clark College
March 6: Climate Technology & 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?
  • Speakers: Nora Apter, Senior Climate Program Director, Oregon Environmental Council & Tim Miller, Director, Oregon Business for Climate.
March 13: 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?
  • Speaker: Birol Yesilada, Professor of Political Science and International Studies and Director, Mark O. Hatfield Cybersecurity & Cyber Defense Policy Center, Portland State University
March 22: 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?
  • Speaker: Daniel Palacios, Endowed Associate Professor in Whale Habitats, Marine Mammal Institute and Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences, Oregon State University

  • Great Decisions Books: WorldOregon will have a limited supply of Great Decisions books available but encourage you to purchase books for yourself or your discussion groups directly from the Foreign Policy Association here.

Not a current member? Renew or join and save on a member-series pass for Great Decisions. 

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