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Events & Classes

Great Decisions

Great Decisions is an ongoing program held at the Jacksonville Public Library, designed to engage citizens in learning about the world. Each year, the Great Decisions editorial board selects eight of the most pressing global issues and regions that will be the focus of the briefing book, television programs, and online resources. It is the oldest and largest grass-roots world affairs education program of its kind in the country.

Great Decisions discussions take place on selected Thursday evenings from 7- 8:30 p.m. at the Southeast Regional Library located at 10599 Deerwood Park Blvd. – 32256.

The Great Decisions 2016 Briefing Book is for purchase through the Foreign Policy Association website for $25, plus shipping. Note: Purchase of the briefing book is not required for participation.

 



Great Decisions - Conflict in the South China Sea

The South China Sea is a locus of competing territorial claims, and China its most vocal claimant. Beijing’s interest has intensified disputes with other countries in the region in recent years, especially since China has increased its naval presence. Despite rising international pressure, including an unfavorable ruling by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, China staunchly defends its policies in the region. Preventing tensions from boiling over is a matter of careful diplomacy.

Greatdecisions1 JPL50

Thursday, March 2, 2017 -
7:00pm to 8:30pm

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Great Decisions - Saudi Arabia in Transition

As Saudi Arabia struggles to adjust to the drastic decline in oil revenue, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman attempts to boldly transform the country and shift more power to the younger generation. At the same time, many countries such as the U.S. point out the lack of democracy, women’s rights and human rights in Saudi Arabia, and blame its promotion of Wahhabism, an extremely conservative version of Islam, for creating jihadists. Bipartisan criticism of Saudi Arabia is rising in Congress. Both countries need each other, but they are at a crossroads in bilateral relations.

Thursday, March 9, 2017 -
7:00pm to 8:30pm

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Great Decisions - Foreign Policy and Petroleum

What is the effect of U.S. petroleum security on foreign policy? For 45 years, the country has alternated between periods of energy security and insecurity, sometimes able to wield petroleum as a useful instrument of foreign policy, sometimes not. Despite the so-called “energy revolution,” the U.S. today is by no means disentangled from foreign dependence and global trends. In order to be successful, policymakers must recognize both petroleum security circumstances and patterns in the relationship between petroleum and foreign policy.

Greatdecisions1 JPL50

Thursday, March 16, 2017 -
7:00pm to 8:30pm

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