Great Decisions generic 2020 photo with logo
Tuesday, December 31, 2019 Charleston County Library

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Join America’s largest discussion series that fosters civic participation through conversations about world affairs. Read the briefing book for background information about the featured topic each week, then join one or both of the foreign policy discussion groups. 

CCPL is kicking off the new year with events at three branches: Wando Mount Pleasant, Hurd/St. Andrews, and Mt. Pleasant. Books are available at the participating libraries, or can be ordered online through the Great Decisions website. The series will expand to Cooper River Memorial, John's Island, and Otranto Road branches during the spring!

Find the issues we'll be discussing and each branch's schedules below. 

 



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 a 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 
Combatting 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?


Mt. Pleasant Regional Library Discussion Series
If you’re interested in joining the discussion at the Mt. Pleasant branch, please contact Susan Frohnsdorff at 843-849-6161 or [email protected]. She has ordered some briefing books which may be purchased from her, but she asks that you then commit to attending at least some of the discussions at the Mt. Pleasant Regional branch. 

*Please note that the same topic is discussed on Tuesday and Thursday of a shared week, and each meeting is considered a complete session in and of itself. 

Jan. 21 and 23 - Climate Change and the Global Order 

Jan. 28 and 30 - India and Pakistan 

Feb. 4 and 6 - Red Sea Security 

Feb. 11 and 13 - Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking 

Feb. 18 and 20 - U.S. Relations with the Northern Triangle 

Feb. 25 and 27 - China's Road into Latin America 

March 3 and 5 - The Philippines and the U.S. 

March 10 and 12 - Artificial Intelligence and Data 


Wando Mount Pleasant Library Discussion Series
Registration is requested; please call 843-805-6888 or email [email protected] to register or learn more about the discussion series.

Jan. 22: Climate Change and the Global Order  

Jan. 29: India and Pakistan  

Feb. 5: U.S. Relations with the Northern Triangle    

Feb. 12: Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking    

Feb. 19: Red Sea Security     

Feb. 26: Artificial Intelligence and Data    

March 4: The Philippines and the U.S.  

March 11: China’s Road into Latin America  

March 18:  Make-up day (if needed) 


Hurd/St. Andrews Regional Library Discussion Series
Briefing books are available at the Reference Desk prior to the discussion for participants to photocopy or read in the library. 

Feb. 6: Climate Change and the Global Order  

Feb. 13: India and Pakistan  

Feb. 20: Red Sea Security    

Feb. 27: Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking    

March 5: U.S. Relations with the Northern Triangle    

March 12: China’s Road into Latin America    

March 19: The Philippines and the U.S.  

March 26: Artificial Intelligence and Data  

April 2:  Make up day (if needed)