Foreign Policy Association's Great Decision's Program

GCIVlogoFPAlogoAGSC partners with the Georgia Council for International Visitors (GCIV) who serves as the statewide coordinator for the Foreign Policy Association’s (FPA) Great Decisions program by helping facilitate discussion groups and lecture series that give participants the opportunity to expand their understanding of world affairs.

Topics change annually and are based on the Foreign Policy Association’s nonpartisan briefing book. 

The 2021 Dunwoody Great Decisions Lecture Series will take place virtually every Thursday at 7:30 PM February 4 – March 25, 2021.

The lecture series is free, but registration is required to receive the event link. Please click here to register.

Preordered briefing books must be picked up at the Dunwoody United Methodist Church or at the GCIV office in January 2021. Briefing books will not be mailed. Please contact Emily Shaw for more information.

Great Decisions 2021 Seriess


Increase your awareness of global issues during this eight-week discussion series

2021 Great Decisions Topics and Speakers

Click here to register

The lecture series is free, but registration is required to receive the event link.


Global Supply Chains and National Security, Feb 4  -  Dr.  Chelsea “Chip” White, Schneider National Chair in Transportation and Logistics and Professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech​
The shutdown of global supply chains due to the Covid-19 pandemic brought to the fore an issue with the high level of global economic interdependence: what happens when one country is the main source for an item, say face masks, and then can no longer supply the item? Countries suddenly unable to meet the demand for certain supplies are faced with growing calls for economic nationalism. What are some of the lasting effects that the pandemic could have on global supply chains and trade? How would this affect national security?

Persian Gulf Security Issues, Feb 11 -  Dr. Lawrence Rubin, Associate Professor, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Tech.  Dr. Rubin is also the Associate Editor of the journal Terrorism and Political Violence. His areas of expertise include the Middle East and the Gulf as well as Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Policy. 
The Persian Gulf remains tense as the rivalry between the regional powers of Saudi Arabia and Iran continues. Tensions escalated in early 2020 as the United States began to intervene in the Gulf, launching an airstrike that killed two Iranian military commanders. What are the historical influences that have led to these tensions? What role, if any, should the United States play? Is using military force a viable foreign policy option for 2021 and beyond?

Brexit and the European Union, Feb 18 -  Dr. Alasdair Young, Professor and Neal Family Chair; Co-director of the Center for European and Transatlantic Studies and the Center for International Strategy, Technology, and Policy; Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Tech
With the “Brexit transition period” coming to an end this year, the United Kingdom will formally leave the European Union at the start of 2021. With negotiations between the two entities continuing to stall, what does the future of Europe and the UK look like? Will the UK survive a possible Scottish vote to leave? Who will step up and take command of Europe now that Angela Merkel is out of the spotlight? 

Struggles Over the Melting Arctic, Feb 25 -  Dr.  Anna Stenport, Professor of Global Studies; Chair, School of Modern Languages; Founding co-Director, the Atlanta Global Studies Center, Georgia Tech.  Co-author of Introduction:  Arctic Modernities, Environmental Politics, and the Era of the Anthropocene
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?

China’s Role in Africa, Mar 4 -  Dr. Maria Repnikova, Assistant Professor of Communication, GSU.  Director of the Center for Global Information Studies.  Expert in Chinese and Russian politics.
The Covid-19 crisis has put a massive strain on what was growing a positive economic and political relationship between China and the continent of Africa. As Chinese President Xi Jinping’s centerpiece “Belt and Road initiative” continues to expand Chinese power, the response to the spread of Covid-19, as well as the African government’s growing debt to China, has seen pushback. What are some of the growing economic and political issues between China and Africa?

The Korean Peninsula, Mar 11 - Dr. Sohoo Lee, Associate Professor and Graduate Director, Civic Engagement and Public Service, University of West Georgia. Political Commentator for Atlanta Radio Korea (AAM1040 located in Atlanta) and Political Columnist for News Today and W's (an Atlanta-based Korean weekly news magazine)
The Korean Peninsula is facing a defining era. Attempts by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump to repair the rift between North and South have lost any momentum as Pyongyang continues to test long-range missiles for its nuclear weapons program. As the rift between the U.S. and China grows further, South Korea may end up in the middle of the two superpowers. What does the future hold for the U.S. relationship with the ROK?

Roles of International Organizations in a Global Pandemic, Mar 18  - Dr. Jennie Ward-Robinson, Senior Advisor to the Dean of College and Arts and Sciences and Director of Operations and Outreach, Center for Studies on Africa and its Diaspora at GSU; Strategic Advisor to the Global Health Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst; member of the Board of Directors at the Smithsonian Science Education Center and the Dean’s Council at Emory Rollins School of Public Health
The Covid-19 pandemic has thrust the World Health Organization (WHO) into the limelight, for better and for worse. While some of the Trump administration’s criticism of the organization is unfair, the response to the early stages of the pandemic left many experts wanting more from the WHO. What is the WHO’s role in responding to international pandemics? What can be done to improve the WHO’s response to future global health crises?

The end of globalization?,  Mar 25  -  Mr. Joe Bankoff, Professor of the Practice and Former Chair, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Tech. Former CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center. Senior Partner at King & Spalding.  Expertise in Globalization in the Modern Era.
As the United States enters another election season, the merits and drawbacks of globalization are again being debated by the presidential candidates. With the passing of the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s America First doctrine, protectionist policies have become more prevalent, challenging globalization. What is globalization and how will it be affected by protectionist trade policies? How will the United States and the world be affected by such policies? Is globalization really at an end, or in need of a refresh?