Great Decision Lecture Series brings the world's challenges to ECSU discussion table

Kesha Williams
February 14, 2011


News reports of financial crisises and crippled economies are common in the media followed by reports of the world's rising wealthy nations. Dr. Kwabena Okofo Boansi, a professor in the department of History and Political Science, said he and participating faculty and staff will use the next two months to spotlight topics that dominate the media.

Boansi predicts these topics will challenge today's young adults over the course of their lives. As are result, people across the nation are participating in The Great Decisions Discussion Program, a public education initiative organized by the Foreign Policy Association to inform and engage citizens. Their sessions bring them together at universities, high schools, public meeting halls and more to discuss U.S. foreign policy and global affairs issues.

The Great Decision Lecture Series at ECSU, will parallel those topics. Sessions will be held on Thursdays from February through April at 3:30 p.m. in room #246 of Moore Hall.

"These are problems the U. S. government faces each day so foreign policy is relevant all the time. This year we have a lecture on bank, government and debt crisis to reflect a very common problem," Boansi said.

"Today's global problems have to be dealt and with not only with Europeans.  The group of 25 leaders exploring the problems of the world now must include representatives from Brazil, Argentina, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and China. There are so many developing countries, which are rich, they must now be brought to the table."

According to Boansi, today's youths and young adults must anticipate ongoing competition from students in those rising nations for status in categories where American has long stood as a beacon of success.

"Now you have 20 countries reviewing the proposed solutions for world's greatest problems. India, China, Brazil and Saudi Arabia now are power centers that cannot be ignored," Boansi said. "Their contributions are important but their proposed solutions may differ from those America has offered in the past. That will require many, multi-national discussions."

While the Great Decision Lecture Series targets students, it is open to the public. Participants will also explore topics related to the recovery and reconstruction of nations such as Haiti struggling in the aftermath of an incredibly, destructive, natural disaster. Discussions will also explore those regions facing political and social ruin.

"With the Great Decision Lecture Series, students realize they cannot walk aloof to these problems. We cannot be solely concerned with domestic issues. The competition for dominance in this world and the availability of resources that grant dominance will never go away."

Upcoming lectures for the series include:

  • Dr. Margery Coulson-Clark-----"Rebuilding Haiti
  • Dr. Lynn Barnes---------"American National Security Since 9/11"
  • Dr. Ebere Oriaku----------"Banks, Governments, and Debt Crisis"
  • Dr. Charles Reed--------"Germany's Ascendency
  • Dr. Jingbin Wang----------"Sanctions & Non Proliferation
  • Dr. Glen Bowman----------"The Caucasus
  • Dr. Shahidullah Shahid---------"Making Sense of Multilateralism