Great Decisions 2023

Event Details

First meeting:  Energy Geopolitics.  Feb. 9, 2023 at 7 PM
Access to oil and gas has long held an influence over the politics of individual nations and their relations with others. But as more countries move toward sustainable energy, and supply chain shortages affect the availability of oil and gas, how will this change the way in which the United States interacts with the outside world? By Carolyn Kissane
  1. This is a bi-weekly discussion group held in the Larison Room at Chester Library.
  2. You must purchase the Briefing Book HERE
  3.  Review a 30-minute video and afterward discuss thoughts and views on the topic in a productive and positive manner.

Great Decisions is America’s largest discussion program on world affairs. The program model involves reading the Great Decisions Briefing Book, watching the DVD, and meeting in a discussion group to discuss the most critical global issues facing America today.

Second meeting: War Crimes.  Feb. 23,2023 at 7 PM

Russian’s invasion of Ukraine has resulted in widespread charges of war crimes and calls for justice. But what exactly are war crimes? Opinions of what constitutes a war crime have evolved, as have ways to identify and punish the perpetrators. How will the war crimes committed in Ukraine be dealt with? By Francine Hirsch

Third meeting: China ad the U.S.  March 9, 2023 at 7 PM

For the past ten years, the United States and China have been locked in a competition for who has the greatest global influence. One major point of contention is the status of Taiwanese sovereignty, which has become even more relevant recently with the possibility that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may prompt China to take similar action regarding Taiwan. How will the United States engage a China which is increasingly seeking to expand its sphere of influence? By David Lampton

Fourth meeting: Economic Warfare  March 23, 2023 at 7 PM

Waging economic warfare consists of a variety of measures from implementing sanctions to fomenting labor strikes. Such tools are utilized by stats to hinder their enemies, and in the case of the US have bee used as far back as the early 19th century.  Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, economic warfare has been the main means for the west to challenge Russia. How effective will these sanctions be at convincing Russia to cease its war? By Jonathan Chanis

Fifth meeting: Politics in Latin America.  April 13, 2023 at 7 PM

Electoral results in Latin America over the past four years have led many observers of the regional/political scene to discern a left-wing surge in the hemisphere, reminiscent of the so-called “Pink Tide” that swept the area some 20 years ago.  But how much do these politicians actually have in common? What implication does their ascendency have for the region. By Jorge Castaneda.

Sixth meeting: Global Famine  April 27, 2023 at 7 PM

Fears of global food shortages have followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has disrupted grain shipments from the major grain producer. But what about countries and regions that were suffering before this impending shortage?  How is famine defined, and is it different from simple food shortages? What if any remedies are there? By Daniel Maxwell.

Seventh meeting: Iran at a Crossroad  May 11, 2023 at 7 PM

By the fall of 2022, Iran was in a state of turmoil due to widespread protests against government-enforced wearing of the hijab, a failing economy, an ineffective new president, and the looming succession of the country’s leader, Ayatollah Khamenei. Abroad, renewal of the Iran nuclear deal seemed doubtful and tensions remain high between Iran, Israel, and Arab states.  Many Iranians have lost hope of a better future, and the country seems at a crossroads. How should the United States deal with it? By Lawrence Potter

Eight meeting:  Climate Migration  May 25, 2023 at 7 PM

As climate change accelerates and drought and rising sea levels become more common, millions of people in affected regions must uproot themselves and seek safety elsewhere. Who are these affected individuals, and how might the United States aid them, and be affected by the migration? By Karen Jacobsen