There is a regular series that happens this time of year in Delaware County called Great Decisions. The lecture-style discussions take place weekly to discuss critical issues within U.S. foreign policy and international relations that impact both our nation and the world.
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.
This year, the Great Decisions organizers have found a way to deliver the talks virtually using Zoom with advanced registration. The series began on March 12 and continues every Friday until May 6. The one-hour programs begin at noon. Register at delawaregreatdecisions.com or find the group’s Facebook page at facebook.com/GreatDecisionsDelOH.
The Delaware County District Library is happy to offer additional resources to anyone who wants to delve into some of the subjects discussed in this year’s series. The Briefing Book, created by the Foreign Policy Association, which includes in-depth articles on each of the topics, can be found at the Delaware Main Library, 84 E. Winter St., to read or make copies from.
Additionally, our reference librarians have created a booklist of recommended readings in conjunction with the 2021 Great Decisions discussion topics. Just yesterday the group discussed “Struggles Over the Melting Arctic” with Nathan Amador Rowley, associate professor of geology and geography at Ohio Wesleyan University, and Erinn Nicley, associate professor of political science and geography at Western Governors University.
April topics will include “China’s Role in Africa,” “The Korean Peninsula,” “Roles of International Organizations in a Global Pandemic” and “The End of Globalization?” The May 6 series finale will be presented by Ji Young Choi, associate professor of politics and government, director of East Asian Studies, and affiliate professor of international studies at Ohio Wesleyan University on the subject of “Global Supply Chains and National Security.”
Should you find yourself interested in any of the upcoming topics, you can find a related book below, or by visiting us at delawarelibrary.org. We’re always “glad you asked.”
• “China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants are Building a New Empire in Africa” by Howard French. A former New York Times bureau chief and Pulitzer Prize finalist documents the burgeoning Chinese presence in Africa to examine China’s potentially world-changing role in reshaping Africa’s culture and economy.
• “North Korea: What Everyone Needs to Know” by Patrick McEachern. Diplomatic expert Patrick McEachern unpacks the contentious and tangled relationship between the two Koreas in an approachable question-and-answer format. Why have the two Koreas developed politically and economically in such radically different ways? What are the origins of a divided Korean Peninsula? Who rules the two Koreas? This book tackles these broad topics and many more to explain what everyone needs to know about South and North Korea.
• “COVID-19: The Pandemic That Never Should Have Happened and How to Stop the Next One” by Debora Mackenzie. In this captivating, authoritative, and eye-opening book, science journalist Debora MacKenzie lays out the full story of how and why it happened: the previous viruses that should have prepared us, the shocking public health failures that paved the way, the failure to contain the outbreak, and most importantly, what we must do to prevent future pandemics.
• “Globalization: A Very Short Introduction” by Manfred Steger. Steger considers the major dimensions of globalization: economic, political, cultural, ideological, and ecological. He looks at its causes and effects, and engages with the hotly contested question of whether globalization is, ultimately, a good or a bad thing.
If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at www.delawarelibrary.org or directly to Nicole at firstname.lastname@example.org. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!