Making Democracy Work

Great Decisions - Global Outreach

Great Decisions_Global Outreach

A discussion group to engage citizens in learning about the world, co-sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association, the Durango Branch of the American Association of University Women the League of Women Voters of La Plata County and the Durango Public Library. Please plan to join us in January 2019.

Upcoming Sessions-19


The 2019 Great Decisions series has concluded. See you in 2020.

Great Decisions 2019

GD2019

The 2019 Great Decisions series has concluded. See you in 2020.

Past Events

Briefing Book: The Great Decisions briefing book is designed to deepen your understanding of the issues and prepare you to discuss solutions. There is one book at the library that you may read, and you can order them from the Foreign Policy Association.

More Information: Follow this link to a complete 2019 discussion schedule. More information about Great Decisions can be found on the websites, Foreign Policy Association and the League of Women Voters of La Plata County.

For more information about this email and the next discussion, contact Lyle Hancock at lylehancock54@gmail.com.

*For more info, click Feb 26 GD session info

*Click HERE To view the remaining 2019 Great Decision Sessions

Cyber conflicts

*On Tuesday, May 7th, at 11:45 a.m. at the Durango Public Library, our eighth and last discussion for 2019 will be "Cyber Conflicts and Geopolitics." Facilitator Gail Harris will present background materials and a film by the Foreign Policy Association, and lead participants in a discussion of the issues.

Cyber conflict is a new and continually developing threat, which can include foreign interference in elections, industrial sabotage and attacks on infrastructure. Russia has been accused of interfering in the 2016 presidential elections in the United States and China is highly committed to using cyberspace as a tool of national policy. Dealing with cyber conflict will require new ways of looking at 21st century warfare. Is the United States prepared to respond to such threats?

Growing up, Gail spent the school year in Newark. NJ, and summers in Andalusia, Alabama. At the age of 5, she watched a WWII themed movie, "Wing and a Prayer", starring Don Ameche. Mesmerized by a scene of the actor briefing Navy pilots before the climactic Battle of Midway, she decided that was what she would do when she grew up. Unaware of the existence of a federal law which prohibited women from going into combat, one that would not be changed until 1994, she forged ahead with her dream. In 1973, Captain Gail Harris, United States Navy (Retired), broke a 200-year-old tradition, becoming the first woman in Naval History to serve as an Intelligence Officer in a Navy combat job 20 years before federal laws changed making it a more common occurrence.

Join the discussion.

We encourage you to attend and bring a brown bag lunch.

More Information

Follow this link to a complete 2019 discussion schedule. More information about Great Decisions can be found on the websites, Foreign Policy Association and the League of Women Voters of La Plata County.

For more information about this email and the next discussion, contact Lyle Hancock at lylehancock54@gmail.com.

*Click HERE To view the remaining 2019 Great Decision Sessions

nuclear proliferation

On Tuesday, April 9th, at 11:45 a.m. at the Durango Public Library, our sixth discussion will be "Nuclear Negotiations: Back to the Future?" Facilitator Guinn Unger will present background materials and a film by the Foreign Policy Association, and lead participants in a discussion of the issues.

Nuclear weapons have not gone away, and the Trump administration has brought a new urgency, if not a new approach, to dealing with them. The President has met with Vladimir Putin as the New Start Treaty with Russia comes up for renewal in 2021, the first presidential summit ever with Kim Jong-un occurred to discuss denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, and President Trump has decertified the Obama nuclear deal with Iran. To what degree should past nuclear talks guide future U.S. nuclear arms control negotiations? Can the art of the deal apply to stabilizing our nuclear future?

*On Tuesday, March 26th, at 11:45 a.m. at the Durango Public Library, our fifth discussion will be "State of the State Department and Diplomacy." Facilitator Curt Johnson will present background materials and a film by the Foreign Policy Association, and lead participants in a discussion of the issues.

During the Trump administration, the usual ways of conducting diplomacy have been upended. Many positions in the State Department have never been filled, and meetings with foreign leaders such as Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin have been undertaken with little advance planning. What effect are these changes having now, and how will they affect ongoing relationships between the United States and its allies and adversaries?

Prior to his "official" retirement on July 1, 2002, Curt completed a 35-year career in public education. He served as a teacher and administrator at all levels, ranging from elementary school through graduate school. Most of the 35 years were spent as a principal in Northbrook, Illinois. Since his retirement, he has been a member of the adjunct faculty in the graduate school of education at National-Louis University. Additionally, he continues to serve as an educational consultant and trainer as well as serving as a facilitator for public employee contract negotiations specializing in Interest-based negotiations. While enjoying the many benefits of retirement in Durango, Curt, and his wife Marilyn, are active volunteers at Mesa Verde National Park, and they have found meaning and pleasure as Habitat for Humanity Volunteers. Curt also serves on several advisory boards as well as remaining active at the First United Methodist Church. He is finding that retirement comes in starts, stops, and phases, and the most treasured is the grandparent phase.

Join the discussion. We encourage you to attend and bring a brown bag lunch.

*On Tuesday, March 12th, at 11:45 a.m. at the Durango Public Library, our fourth discussion will be "The Rise of Populism in Europe." Facilitator Paul DeBell will present background materials and a film by the Foreign Policy Association, and lead participants in a discussion of the issues.

Mass migration, and the problems associated with it, have directly abetted the rise of populist parties in Europe. Opposition to immigration was the prime driver of support for Brexit, it brought a far-right party to the German Bundestag for the first time since the 1950s, and propelled Marine Le Pen to win a third of the vote in the French presidential election. In addition to calling for stronger borders, however, these parties are invariably illiberal, anti-American, anti-NATO and pro-Kremlin, making their rise a matter of serious concern for the national security interests of the United States. Follow this link to the Glossary for this program.

Paul DeBell has been an Assistant Professor in Political Science at Fort Lewis College since 2016. Previously, he was a teaching associate at The Ohio State University, focusing on American foreign policy and modern democratic politics. His expertise is in Comparative Politics, Political Psychology, Populism and Anti-Establishment Movements, Campaigns and Elections, Political Communications and Media, Democratization, and Post-Communist Politics. Paul received both his Ph.D. and M.A, in Political Science from Ohio State, where he received numerous fellowships, including the Distinguished University Fellowship in 2014, and the FLAS academic year fellowship for Russian, Center for Slavic and East European Studies in 2010. Paul received his B.A. in Government and Philosophy from the College of William & Mary.

Paul loves learning about other cultures and their languages. In addition to English, he is fluent in Hungarian and conversant in Russian and Spanish. His teaching and research focuses on the interactions between political elites and voters, particularly the uses of emotional appeals and the dynamics of ideological thinking. During his dissertation fieldwork in Budapest, he had the honor to work from the Political Science Department at Central European University.

Join the discussion.

We encourage you to attend and bring a brown bag lunch.

*For more info, click Feb 26 GD session info

*Click HERE To view the remaining 2019 Great Decision Sessions