Barry McNamara  |  Published January 25, 2023

Great Decisions

In its 43rd year at Monmouth, town-gown discussion series will again tackle Russia and Ukraine, among other topics.

FIRST TOPIC: U.S. President Joe Biden shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping as they meet... FIRST TOPIC: U.S. President Joe Biden shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping as they meet on the sidelines of the G20 leaders' summit in Bali, Indonesia, November 14, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin LamarqueMONMOUTH, Ill. – A year ago, Monmouth College kicked off its annual series of Great Decisions discussions with a very timely talk on Russia. A few weeks later, the nation had gone to war with Ukraine.

That topic will once again be on the agenda for the Great Decisions programs, which will open its 43rd year at Monmouth with a Feb. 1 discussion on China and the United States, led by Monmouth political science professor Michael Nelson.

MIKE NELSON: One of my favorite aspects of this series is that we always have a diverse audience... MIKE NELSON: “One of my favorite aspects of this series is that we always have a diverse audience. Getting a wide range of perspectives is one of the goals, because that's how we all become better informed.”The six Great Decisions discussions will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays in Room 276 of the College’s Center for Science and Business. They are sponsored by the College’s Center for Civic and Social Change, which is directed by Nelson.

The first 30 minutes of each session is a presentation by that week’s guest speaker, followed by 40 minutes of robust discussion of the issue.

“One of my favorite aspects of this series is that we always have a diverse audience,” said Nelson. “Getting a wide range of perspectives is one of the goals, because that’s how we all become better informed.”

Great Decisions is a foreign affairs discussion series sponsored nationally by the Foreign Policy Association. Founded in 1918, the association was created as a way to “really encourage engagement by Americans in our foreign affairs and foreign policy, and to make sure that there’s great public education regarding those issues,” said Nelson.

Other Great Decisions discussions at Monmouth College:

* Feb 8: “Iran at a Crossroads,” Petra Kuppinger, anthropology professor.
* Feb. 22: “Global Famine,” Eric Engstrom, biology professor.
* March 15: “Politics in Latin America,” Amy de Farias, history professor.
* March 22: “Climate Migration,” Jialin Li, sociology and anthropology professor.
* March 29: “War Crimes (Russia/Ukraine),” Hanna Pullen ’23 and Jessica Vivian, political science professor.

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