Great Decisions Discussion Series Set to Tackle Global Challenges

The Great Decisions discussion series explores how remote global challenges are increasingly impacting our communities. A kick off is planned for Jan. 26, 2:30-4:30 p.m., in Hardesty Regional Library’s Frossard Auditorium, 8316 E. 93rd St. The featured speaker is Dr. Kalpana Misra, dean of arts and sciences at the University of Tulsa. Dr. Misra will address “China’s Foreign Policy” to begin the eight-week discussion series. Her areas of research focus on intellectual developments in Post-Mao China and international relations in South Asia. At the event you can join a discussion group focusing on any of this year’s featured topics. An optional $15 briefing booklet presents articles on these featured topics. Defense Technology - From robotic planes to cyberweapons to 3D printing and human enhancement, new “game-changing” technologies are moving from science fiction to battlefield reality. What are the issues that the U.S. must navigate in adapting to them? Israel and the U.S. - Modern Israel’s struggles with the Palestinians have turned what was meant as a safe haven into the center of a decades-long conflict. Will new challenges in the region strain relations between the two countries? Turkey’s Challenges – Turkey is a nation at a crossroads, a bridge over an ever-growing chasm between the East and West. Will clashes between secular and religious groups, and the recent protests in Taksim Square continue to divide the country? Islamic Awakening - The aftermath of the Arab Spring has resulted in unforeseen changes in the political landscape in many countries. Is U.S. foreign policy adapting successfully to all of the changes in the region? Energy Independence - Energy independence, by taking the bargaining chip of oil dependence off the table, would be good for American foreign policy. But the very technological advances that make independence possible have created a dilemma for lawmakers. In a government with fixed resources, should the U.S. encourage more traditional fuel production or invest in the young technology of renewable resources? Food and Climate - Even as a sixth of the world’s population suffers from chronic hunger, a changing climate threatens to wreak havoc on already insecure and vulnerable populations. As food and water become scarce and once fertile land becomes barren, the U.S. finds itself faced with new challenges in securing the globe. The U.S. is getting ready, but can it lead the way to climate reform? China’s Foreign Policy - China has gone to great lengths to emphasize the “peaceful” nature of its meteoric rise. Yet few dispute that China is the dominant regional power in Asia – and in recent years Beijing began to flex its muscles regionally in order to advance its strategic interests. What does the rapid rise of this new superpower mean for other countries in the region? U.S. Trade Policy - America’s foreign policy tools are not limited to sanctions, treaties or military campaigns – they also include the sales pitch. The logic behind this pitch, or “economic statecraft,” is simple: promote the benefits of democracy and the free market. In so doing, the U.S. will gain valuable and stable partners, both in business and in diplomacy. Great Decisions is sponsored nationally by the Foreign Policy Association and locally by the Friends of the Tulsa City-County Libraries. For more information on Great Decisions, call 918-549-7408, or visit the Friends webpage, # # #

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