Great Decisions at the Library - 2018

Now part of Library U, the Bainbridge Public Library’s lifelong learning program, Great Decisions at the Library is sponsored by the Kitsap Regional Library with funding support from the Bainbridge Island Friends of the Library and a generous donation in memory of Louise Brody Weissman.

 
Email to be added to the mailing list for suggested background readings on the topics and other information about Great Decisions at the Library. The readings will also be posted here about a week before each discussion. Beginning in early January, copies of the Briefing Book may be purchased for $20 (cash or check only) at the Bainbridge Public Library information desk. A copy will also be available for reading in the library.

Great Decisions at the Library
Saturdays, January 13 - March 3, 2018
9:30 – 11 a.m. at the Bethany Lutheran Church
Free, with donations welcome 
Refreshments provided!

Beginning January 13, the community is invited to learn about and weigh in on eight of the most important foreign policy issues facing the United States today: The waning of Pax Americana, Russia's foreign policy, China and America: the new geopolitical equation, Media and foreign policy, Turkey: a partner in crisis, U.S. global engagement and the military, South Africa's fragile democracy, and Global health: progress and challenges.

January 13: South Africa's Fragile Democracy
The African National Congress (ANC) party has governed South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994. But the party today suffers from popular frustration over official corruption and economic stagnation. It faces growing threats from both left and right opposition parties, even as intraparty divisions surface. Given America’s history of opportunistic engagement with Africa, there are few prospects for a closer relationship between the two countries. Meanwhile, a weaker ANC could lead to political fragmentation in this relatively new democracy.
Moderator: Matthew Adeiza, U.W. PhD candidate studying political campaigning in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

January 20: Global Health - Progress and Challenges
The collective action of countries, communities and organizations over the last 30 years has literally saved millions of lives around the world. Yet terrible inequalities in health and wellbeing persist. The world now faces a mix of old and new health challenges, including the preventable deaths of mothers and children, continuing epidemics of infectious diseases, and rising rates of chronic disease. We also remain vulnerable to the emergence of new and deadly pandemics. For these reasons, the next several decades will be just as important—if not more so—than the last in determining wellbeing across nations.
Moderator: Sara Tifft, Project Director, Reproductive Health, PATH 

January 27: The Waning of Pax Americana?
During the first months of Donald Trump’s presidency, the U.S. began a historic shift away from Pax Americana, the liberal international order that was established in the wake of World War II. Since 1945, Pax Americana has promised peaceful international relations and an open economy, buttressed by U.S. military power. In championing "America First” isolationism and protectionism, President Trump has shifted the political mood toward selective U.S. engagement, where foreign commitments are limited to areas of vital U.S. interest and economic nationalism is the order of the day. Geopolitical allies and challengers alike are paying close attention.
Moderator: Daniel Bessner, Assistant Professor in American Foreign Policy at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies 

The lively discussions take place from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Saturday mornings at Bethany Lutheran Church. All events are free, with donations appreciated. Refreshments are provided. 

Now in its thirteenth year, Great Decisions at the Library is part of a nation-wide, non-partisan program of the Foreign Policy Association intended to broaden public involvement in foreign affairs. While enjoying coffee and pastries, Great Decisions at the Library participants first view a 30-minute Foreign Policy Association DVD on the topic under consideration and then engage in a discussion lead by an informed moderator. A Briefing Book, published by the Foreign Policy Association, is also available. 

Check back for the February topics and presenters!

Great Decisions 2018
Great Decisions 2018

Funding support for Great Decisions at the Library is generously provided by the Bainbridge Island Friends of the Library.