**The class is being subsidised by MMUAD. You are only asked to contribute $15 to help with program expenses and materials. Participants will need the 2020 Briefing Book but we will have this provided for the first 10 registrants!** If you need to order the book you may do so HERE.



Great Decisions is a seminar for citizens to engage issues of American Foreign Policy. It is sponsored by the non-profit Foreign Policy Association, founded in 1918, with "a commitment to the careful study of all sides of international questions affecting the United States." The topics for this year include:


Climate Change and the Global Order by Ronald Bee

Climate change has become one of the defining issues of our time. As much of the world bands together to come up with a plan, the U.S. remains the notable holdout. What is the rest of the world doing to combat climate change? What impact will the effects of climate change have on global geopolitics?


India and Pakistan by Barbara Crossette

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi rode a wave of Hindu nationalism to a historic reelection in 2019. His first order of business was to revoke the special status granted to the Kashmir region, inflaming the rivalry between India and Pakistan. How will the Kashmir situation affect the region, both economically and politically?


Red Sea Security by David Shinn

The Red Sea has remained vital for global trade since the time of ancient Egypt. Once home to the spice trade, the Red Sea now sees millions of barrels of oil a day transported across its waters. With major nations like China, France, Italy, and the U.S. building large ports and bases in the region, what does the future of the region look like? How important is Red Sea security for global security? Can the region be a place of global cooperation?


Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking by Ronald Weitzer

Almost every nation has enacted laws criminalizing human trafficking, and international organizations, governments, and NGOs sponsor a large variety of projects to curb trafficking and slavery. Billions of dollars have been allocated to these efforts. What is the international community doing to combat slavery and trafficking? What are the experiences like for those being trafficked?


U.S. Relations with the Northern Triangle by Michael Shifter and Bruno Binetti 

Combatting illegal immigration has become a priority of the Trump administration. The Northern Triangle of Central America, made up of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, is a special target of the administration, which hold the nations responsible for the large flow of migrants from Latin America to the U.S. With funds from the U.S. cut, how can the Northern Triangle countries curtail migration?


China’s Road into Latin America by Margaret Myers 

As the Trump administration continues to withdraw from the world stage, China is looking to fill the void. How does Latin America fit into China’s “One Belt, One Road” plan? How will the relationship with China affect the region? Should the U.S. be concerned about China’s growing “sphere of influence?”  


The Philippines and the U.S. by Julio Amador and Deryk Matthew N. Baladjay 

The Philippines has had a special relationship with the United States since the islands were ceded by Spain to the United States after the Spanish-American War at the end of the 19th century.  However, since the election of Rodrigo Duterte, the country has pivoted more toward China, and away from the U.S. Duterte has also launched a large-scale war on drugs that many criticize for its brutality. What does the future hold for U.S, relations with the Philippines?


Artificial Intelligence and Data by Susan Ariel Aaronson

Policymakers in many countries are developing plans and funding research in artificial intelligence (AI). Global growth is slowing, and not surprisingly, many policymakers hope that AI will provide a magic solution. The EU, Brazil, and other Western countries have adopted regulations that grant users greater control over their data and require that firms using AI be transparent about how they use it. Will the U.S. follow suit?

Great Decisions

  • Meeting Day: Mondays

    Class Meetings: 1/6(Intro), 1/13, 1/20, 1/27, 2/3, 2/10, 2/17, 3/9, 3/16

    Time: 7:00pm - 8:30pm

    Location: Room 512

    Instructor: Bill Wilson

    I am currently Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Saint Michael's College and teach at CCV. I have studied international relations at the Air Force Academy, Columbia University, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts). I served as an intelligence officer in Vietnam and the Pentagon and have taught at the National University - Hanoi. I have served on the board of the Vermont Council on World Affairs and have participated in Great Decisions programs in the past. I find them stimulating in the dialogue that can emerge from the range of ideas and judgments which comprise the "American perspective."

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