Prepare to discuss the world as professors from the University of North Georgia (UNG) lead a series of eight discussions on complex global issues beginning this month at the Post Road Library, 5010 Post Road, Cumming.
The series is part of Great Decisions 2019, a national program developed by the Foreign Policy Association (FPA) to help local communities better understand global politics, government, and foreign issues that affect the United States and its citizens.
“The FPA describes Great Decisions as America’s largest discussion on world affairs,” explains Programming Manager Tracy Walker.
“It’s certainly a large program for the library and it’s one of the most popular programs we offer for adults. We find that our patrons are interested in understanding more about the world and gaining new perspective on the challenges we face as a nation, and this gives our community a chance to talk personally with experts who can share specific details or guide them to further resources and information on these complex topics,” adds Walker.
Raluca Viman-Miller, Ph.D., an assistant professor of comparative politics, international relations, and European politics at UNG, will lead the first discussion, Refugees and Global Migration, at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 22.
Dr. Viman-Miller will share information about the laws and policies created by each state regarding who is permitted to cross its borders and how they will do so, as well as provide insight into how certain countries react to migration and the effectiveness of laws and policies regarding refugees and migrants.
At 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 29, Victoria Hightower, Ph.D., an associate professor of Middle East and Persian Gulf history, will lead the next discussion, The Middle East: Regional Disorder.
Dr. Hightower will explain the ways the Trump administration has aligned itself with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Israel to thwart Iranian expansion. She will also describe possible actions the U.S. might take in troubled countries such as Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Iraq.
After tackling those complicated topics, the series continues into February and March with discussions on nuclear arms, the rise of populism in France, Germany, and the UK, the trade war with China, cyber conflicts, and the current state of U.S. diplomacy and its relationship with Mexico.
Each discussion will include a presentation on the topic and a question-and-answer period with the presenter. Admission to each discussion is free.
“If you have a desire to educate yourself on any or all of these topics before attending a discussion, the FPA publishes a briefing book and DVD to provide an overview of the situations and perspectives that influence the most important challenges in national and global politics at the moment,” explains Walker.
Copies of the Great Decisions 2019 Briefing Book and DVD are available at the library and library cardholders may place hold requests at
“Reading the briefing book or watching the DVD are not requirements. If you’d like to learn about global politics and how those decisions affect people here in the U.S., I encourage you to come and listen to a presentation and then feel free to ask questions of the professors from UNG,” says Walker.
For more information, and to see the full schedule of Great Decisions 2019 discussions, please visit the events calendar at