Great Decisions is a national program of the Foreign Policy Association. It’s a non-partisan citizen education effort that includes a free public lecture series.
In North Carolina, the Office of International Programs at UNC Charlotte is the state coordinator.
The eight topics for 2021 are:
- Global Supply Chains and National Security
- Persian Gulf Security Issues
- Brexit and the European Union
- Struggles Over the Melting Arctic
- China’s Role in Africa
- The Korean Peninsula
- Roles of International Organizations in a Global Pandemic
- The End of Globalization?
The Office of International Programs at UNC Charlotte coordinates a local community lecture series annually. The Charlotte Great Decisions Lecture Series consists of five weekly sessions and is an opportunity for citizens to meet, discuss and learn about some of the issues facing our world.
Each week a local expert from nearby colleges and universities provides additional perspective on the topic of interest and answers questions regarding the information presented in the Briefing Book and through the lecture. A registration form is available here.
If you have questions, please email email@example.com.
The 2021 lectures will be virtual and will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays from February 3rd to March 3rd. Please register so that you’ll receive the Zoom link.
Wednesday, February 3, “Struggles Over the Melting Arctic”
Mark Kelso, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Political Science and Sociology, Queens University
U.S. President Donald Trump left many scratching their heads when it was rumored that he was looking to purchase the large island nation of Greenland from Denmark. While any potential deal seems highly unlikely, the event shows the changing opinion within the U.S. government toward engagement with the Arctic region. Because of climate change, large sheets of arctic ice are melting, exposing vast stores of natural gas and oil. With Russia and China already miles ahead with their Arctic strategies, can the U.S. catch up?
Wednesday, February 10, “China-Africa Relations, the Pandemic, and the Future of the Belt and Road Initiative”
Lina Benabdallah, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Politics and International Affairs Department, Wake Forest University
The Belt and Road initiative opened up opportunities for African governments to cement their ties to China and transform decades of solidarity and friendship rhetoric into investments and development projects. With several years into the Belt and Road Initiative, what are the challenges and advantages facing Africans in their partnerships with Chinese actors? How has the pandemic influenced China-Africa cooperation and what is the future of the Belt and Road Initiative post-pandemic?
Wednesday, February 17, “The World Health Organization’s Role in a Global Pandemic” (Sponsored by Charlotte Sister Cities)
Michael Thompson, Dr.PH., Associate Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Public Health Sciences, UNC Charlotte
As Dr. Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902), father of modern pathology and founder of social medicine noted, “Medicine is a social science, and politics nothing but medicine at a larger scale.” The COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the political climate during which it occurred, has laid bare the fragility of our global health “honor system,” shortcomings whose deadly consequences we now measure in the millions. This talk addresses the historical context of global efforts during pandemics, focusing on the World Health Organization (WHO). We will examine the WHO’s mission and structure and explore the structural and political challenges it faces.
Wednesday, February 24, “The End of Globalization?” (Sponsored by the Young Professionals of the World Affairs Council of Charlotte)
Dale Smith, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Global Studies, UNC Charlotte
Globalization has a direct and profound impact on all our lives. Some see it as enormously positive, leading to healthier and wealthier lives around the world. Others see it as a direct threat to our jobs, and even our planet. In this talk we will explore the origins and impacts of globalization in order to have a better understanding of how it might evolve in the future.
Wednesday, March 3rd, “Brexit and the European Union” (Sponsored by the Charlotte Country Day School)
Joshua Miller, Ph.D., Lecturer, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, UNC Charlotte
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More virtual eventsCheck out our big list of upcoming virtual events, or look at a few of them here:
Sunday, February 28, 2021
Monday, March 1, 2021
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Thursday, March 4, 2021
Friday, March 5, 2021
Saturday, March 6, 2021
Sunday, March 7, 2021
Monday, March 8, 2021
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Thursday, March 11, 2021
Friday, March 12, 2021
Saturday, March 13, 2021