Tue, Mar 30 | Zoom Webinar

Great Decisions 2021: Eight part series on critical issues in U.S. Foreign Policy

The World Affairs Council of Maine has been offering opportunities to engage in Americas largest, longest running conversation of world affairs for twenty years.
Registration is Closed
Great Decisions 2021: Eight part series on critical issues in U.S. Foreign Policy

Time & Location

Mar 30, 2:59 PM – May 18, 4:29 PM
Zoom Webinar

About The Event

Join the World Affairs Council of Maine as we explore the Foreign Policy Association’s 2021 Great Decisions. series. Sign up for  the whole series, or individual sessions!


  • March 30, 3:00-4:30  📷The end of globalization? 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? With Clifford Gilpin
  • April 6,3:00-4:30  📷Brexit: taking stock and looking ahead 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? With Andrea Hester
  • April 13, 3:00-4:30 📷The two Koreas 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? With Brad Babson
  • April 20, 3:00-4:30 📷The future of Persian Gulf security 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? with Allison Hodgkins
  • April 27, 3:00-4:30 Global Supply Chains and U.S National Security 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? With William Hall
  • May 4, 3:00-4:30 The coldest war: toward a return to Great Power competition in the Arctic? 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? With Charles Norchi
  • May 11, 3:00-4:30  China and Africa 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? with Bob Moore
  • May 18, 3:00-4:30 The World Health Organization's response to Covid-19 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? With Leila Bisharat.

This series is open to the public free of charge, with opportunities for sponsorship. 

What is Great Decisions? Foreign Policy Association’s Great Decisions is this country’s largest discussion program on world affairs. For over twenty years, our Council has brought these Great Decisions to the state of Maine. We’ve provided hundreds of hours of discussion to members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Southern Maine and hosted numerous dinner discussion groups across southern Maine. Click here for more information on our Great Decisions program.


What will each session look like? Each virtual session will last 90 minutes, divided between presentation and discussion.  Discussion questions and a suggested reading list will be provided to all registered attendees. 

I’ve never used Zoom. How will I know what to do? Virtual programming is new to most of us. We’re all learning together! We will send instructions on how to download Zoom to your device, as well as suggested settings to improve your Zoom experience. We will review Zoom functions at the start of each session and help members to troubleshoot. We can’t promise a flawless experience, but let’s not let perfect be the enemy of good! 

We recommend you review our WACM Zoom user document before your first session. 

IMPORTANT: Please register for each device being used to attend the webinar. For example, if you and a family member will be attending on one computer, only one registration is necessary. Alternatively, if you each will be using your own devices to attend, please register separately. This will ensure that each attendee is placed in a breakout room for the discussion portion of the webinar. 

  • Free for public
  • Great Decisions Series Sponsor

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