Great Decisions


Great Decisions is America’s largest discussion program on world affairs.

The Foreign Policy Association, Great Decisions Program explores policy options for the eight (8) most critical issues facing America each year, these issues serve as the focal text for discussion groups across the country.

Foreign Policy Association STREAMS 2020 Great Decisions Videos

In a democracy, it takes an informed public to inform policy. During this time of public health crisis, the Foreign Policy Association has decided to release the 2020 Great Decisions series to the public via YouTube.
Watch and share the Great Decisions videos and learn more through the 2020 Great Decision Topic Links below to inspire debate, discussion, and decision.
The Foreign Policy Association publishes
America in the World 2020-Great Decisions Special Edition
Great DecDuring the 2016 American presidential election, charges were leveled that foreign policy had become the preserve of specialized elites removed from the concerns of Americans outside the Beltway and Wall Street. Yet since 1918 the FPA and since 1919 the Hoover Institution have been at the forefront of encouraging informed public debate on vital international issues through dissemination of relevant and timely scholarship. We are delighted that FPA and Hoover have come together at this crucial juncture to stimulate public discussion over the path forward for America in a troubled world. Edited by FPA CEO Noel Lateef and Michael Auslin, Payson J. Treat Distinguished Research Fellow in Contemporary Asia at the Hoover Institution. Order Now!



The Savannah Council on World Affairs is pleased to sponsor Great Decisions in February and March 2021 under the voluntary leadership of SCWA Board Member, Mohamed H. Mukhtar, Ph.D.

The traditional Great Decisions program model provides background information and 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.

Unable to attend the 2020 Great Decisions program? You can still learn more through the linked Topics below.

2020 Great Decision Topics

Climate Change and the Global Order by Ronald Bee:  Climate change has become one of the defining issues of our time. As much of the world bands together to come up with a plan, the U.S. remains the notable holdout. What is the rest of the world doing to combat climate change? What impact will the effects of climate change have on global geopolitics?

India and Pakistan by Barbara Crossette:  India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi rode a wave of Hindu nationalism to historic reelection in 2019. His first order of business was to revoke the special status granted to the Kashmir region, inflaming the rivalry between India and Pakistan. How will the Kashmir situation affect the region, both economically and politically?

Red Sea Security by David Shinn:  The Red Sea has remained vital for global trade since the time of ancient Egypt. Once home to the spice trade, the Red Sea now sees millions of barrels of oil a day transported across its waters. With major nations like China, France, Italy, and the U.S. building large ports and bases in the region, what does the future of the region look like? How important is Red Sea security for global security? Can the region be a place of global cooperation?

Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking by Ronald Weitzer:  Almost every nation has enacted laws criminalizing human trafficking, and international organizations, governments, and NGOs sponsor a large variety of projects to curb trafficking and slavery. Billions of dollars have been allocated to these efforts. What is the international community doing to combat slavery and trafficking? What are the experiences like for those being trafficked?

U.S. Relations with the Northern Triangle by Michael Shifter and Bruno Binetti:  Combating illegal immigration has become a priority of the Trump administration. The Northern Triangle of Central America, made up of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, is a special target of the administration, which hold the nations responsible for the large flow of migrants from Latin America to the U.S. With funds from the U.S. cut, how can the Northern Triangle countries curtail migration?

China’s Road into Latin America by Margaret Myers:  As the Trump administration continues to withdraw from the world stage, China is looking to fill the void. How does Latin America fit into China’s “One Belt, One Road” plan? How will the relationship with China affect the region? Should the U.S. be concerned about China’s growing “sphere of influence?”

The Philippines and the U.S. by Julio Amador and Deryk Matthew N. Baladjay:  The Philippines has had a special relationship with the United States since the islands were ceded by Spain to the United States after the Spanish-American War at the end of the 19th century.  However, since the election of Rodrigo Duterte, the country has pivoted more toward China, and away from the U.S. Duterte has also launched a large-scale war on drugs that many criticize for its brutality. What does the future hold for U.S, relations with the Philippines?

Artificial Intelligence and Data by Susan Ariel Aaronson:  Policymakers in many countries are developing plans and funding research in artificial intelligence (AI). Global growth is slowing, and not surprisingly, many policymakers hope that AI will provide a magic solution. The EU, Brazil, and other Western countries have adopted regulations that grant users greater control over their data and require that firms using AI be transparent about how they use it. Will the U.S. follow suit?

GD20 Cover


Great Decisions 2021

The 2021 Great Decision 8 preliminary topics will each have a corresponding episode of GDTV that will broadcast on PBS and be available on DVD or streaming with Vimeo.

Topic 1: The role of international organizations in a Global Pandemic

Topic 2: Global supply chains and national security

Topic 3: China and Africa

Topic 4: Korean Peninsula

Topic 5: Persian Gulf Security

Topic 6: Brexit and the European Union

Topic 7: The fight over the melting Arctic

Topic 8: The End of Globalization?

Stay tuned for more information about Great Decisions 2021!