Great Decisions Forum to be held at WFU

Wake Forest University’s Center for International Studies will host Winston-Salem’s Great Decisions 2004, a six-week citizens’ forum on current foreign policy issues, March 18 through April 22. Each forum will be held at 7 p.m. in Scales Fine Arts Center, Room A102 on the Wake Forest campus.

The lecture series, which features a different discussion topic led by a Wake Forest expert each week, is free and open to the public.

The first lecture will be held March 18. The topic will be “Muslim Diversity: Its Challenges to U.S. Policy” and will be led by Fulbright scholar and Visiting Assistant Professor of Humanities Reda Bedeir. The discussion will focus on the Muslim world’s opinion of U.S. policies, ideas and customs and what, if anything, the government should do about it.

On March 25, Peter Furia, assistant professor of political science, will lead a discussion on “Public Diplomacy and U.S. Foreign Policy.” Furia will address the Bush administration’s efforts to reach out to Muslims and others throughout the world and educate them about the U.S. government’s values, policies and actions.

“Weapons of Mass Destruction: What Now After 9/11?” is the topic for the April 1 lecture. Wei-chin Lee, professor of political science, will lead a discussion about the historical threat of weapons of mass destruction and the increasing numbers of countries today who are trying to obtain such weapons.

Assistant Professor of Political Science Michaelle Browers will introduce the fourth Great Decisions Series topic, “Middle Eastern Political Reform” on April 8. Browers will address Western leaders’ criticism of the lack of political freedom in many Middle Eastern countries since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and whether reform can bring about the peaceful, stable democracies the United States envisions.

The fifth lecture, scheduled for April 15, will feature Peter Siavelis, associate professor of political science, who will discuss “Latin American Relations.” In the forum, Siavelis will speak about how Latin Americans initially welcomed George W. Bush’s enthusiasm for improving U.S. ties to the region, but since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the United States has largely ignored the Latin American hemisphere.

In the final lecture of the series “Europe Today: Blair’s War” to be held April 22, David Coates, professor of political science, will address Europe’s three key challenges: a troubled relationship with the United States, massive expansion of the European Union and the completion of the European Union constitution.

The Great Decisions Series is a national foreign policy education program sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association (FPA). Founded in 1918, the FPA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nongovernmental educational organization that strives to educate Americans about the significant international issues that influence their lives.

For more information about the Great Decisions Series, contact Yomi Durotoye, senior lecturer of political science and series coordinator, at 336-758-1910 or visit the Great Decisions web site.

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