Great Decisions discussion series returns Feb. 2

Gazette Staff -

The 2018 Great Decisions Community Discussion Series on U.S. Foreign Policy will give Delaware County residents an opportunity to evaluate the changes that have taken place during the year since President Donald Trump was elected.

According to a press release issued by series organizers, “The liberal international order that had prevailed since World War II under U.S. leadership as the ‘indispensable nation’ has given way to a considerable degree of disengagement in the diplomatic/military arena as well as in economic commitments. ‘America First’ is a phrase often repeated.”

The opening talk on Friday, Feb. 2 by Sean Kay, professor of international politics at Ohio Wesleyan University, will focus on “Russia’s Foreign Policy.” OWU professor Ji Young Choi will offer the presentation “China and America: The New Geopolitical Equation.” Related presentations will focus on “The Waning of Pax Americana?” by Randall Schweller of The Ohio State University and “U.S. Global Engagement and the Military” by retired Maj. Gen. Dennis Laich.

Discussions about Turkey’s crises, South Africa’s fragile democracy, global health issues, and the media and foreign policy will complete this year’s roster of topics.

Topics & speakers

Following is the schedule for the eight-session series:

• Feb. 2 — Russia’s Foreign Policy presented by Sean Kay, Chair, International Studies Program; Professor, Department of Politics and Government, Ohio Wesleyan University; Mershon Associate, The Ohio State University

• Feb. 9 — Media and Foreign Policy presented by Paul E. Kostyu, Associate professor and chair, Department of Journalism and Communication, Ohio Wesleyan University

• Feb. 16 — South Africa’s Fragile Democracy presented by Raissa Kanku, Student, Department of Politics and Government, International Studies Program, Ohio Wesleyan University

• Feb. 23 — U.S. Global Engagement and the Military presented by Dennis Laich, Major General, U.S. Army (retired)

• March 2 — Global Health: Progress and Challenges presented by Mary Howard, Professor, Department of Sociology/Anthropology, Ohio Wesleyan University

• March 9 — The Waning of Pax Americana? presented by Randall Schweller, Professor, Department of Political Science, The Ohio State University

• March 16 — Turkey: A Partner in Crisis presented by Michael Houlahan, Foreign Service Officer (retired), U.S. State Department

• March 23 — China and America: The New Geopolitical Equation presented by Ji Young Choi, Associate professor, Department of Politics and Government, Ohio Wesleyan University

Discussions will be held at noon in the William Street United Methodist Church fellowship hall, 28 W. William St. Attendees are welcome to bring lunch. Complimentary coffee and tea will be provided. For information, go to

Following each discussion, participants will have the option of completing a survey, prepared by the Foreign Policy Association, to add their opinions to thousands of others across the nation. Survey results will be sent to executive and legislative policymakers in Washington, D.C.

About Great Decisions

The Great Decisions Discussion Program, a free community discussion series, is designed to encourage debate and discussion of the role of the United States in world affairs. The program provides materials that help people reach informed opinions on issues and encourages them to participate in the foreign-policy process. Developed by the Foreign Policy Association (FPA) in 1954, it’s the longest-standing and largest grassroots world affairs educational program of its kind. It is the core of FPA’s civic education outreach efforts, bringing millions of Americans together in communities across the country to discover, discuss, and decide their opinions on foreign policy issues.

The Foreign Policy Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring the American public to learn more about the world. Founded in 1918, FPA provides independent publications, programs, and forums to increase public awareness of, and foster popular participation in, matters relating to those policy issues.

The series receives support from the following organizations: the American Association of University Women, Kiwanis, the League of Women Voters, the International Studies Program at Ohio Wesleyan University, William Street United Methodist Church, Willow Brook Christian Communities, Anchor and Away Travel, and private donors.

Gazette Staff

Information for this story was provided by Corinne Lyman, professor emerita of politics and government at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Follow The Delaware Gazette on Twitter @delgazette. Like The Gazette on Facebook.

Information for this story was provided by Corinne Lyman, professor emerita of politics and government at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Follow The Delaware Gazette on Twitter @delgazette. Like The Gazette on Facebook.