Alta Foreign Policy Series

Discuss critical global issues

FEB 1-MAR 22
6:00 PM
Alta Branch Library

The Program

  • Watch a 25-minute video to get up to speed on the week’s topic.
  • Join the group discussion.
  • Come to the entire series or just drop in for single topics of interest.

Prepping for the Conversation

Request a PDF of a briefing article by emailing
Or pick up a briefing book or article in advance at the Alta Desk.
All articles are also available at the evening programs.
Plus, online resources available at the Foreign Policy Association website.

Presented with Great Decisions, America’s largest discussion program on world affairs.

2023 topics

image of a smokestackEnergy Geopolitics, WED, FEB 1

Access to oil and gas has long held an influence over the politics of individual nations and their relations with others. But as more countries move toward sustainable energy, and supply chain shortages affect the availability of oil and gas, how will this change the way in which the United States interacts with the outside world?

image of a makeshift graveWar Crimes, WED, FEB 8

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has resulted in widespread charges of war crimes and calls for justice. But what exactly are war crimes? Opinions of what constitutes a war crime have evolved, as have ways to identify and punish the perpetrators. How will the war crimes committed in Ukraine be dealt with?

 image of Chinese presidentChina and the U.S., WED, FEB 15

For the past ten years, the United States and China have been locked in a competition for who has the greatest global influence. One major point of contention is the status of Taiwanese sovereignty, which has become even more relevant recently with the possibility that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may prompt China to take similar action regarding Taiwan. How will the United States engage a China which is increasingly seeking to expand its sphere of influence.

image of line of people going into a storeEconomic Warfare, WED, FEB 22

Waging economic warfare consists of a variety of measures from implementing sanctions to fomenting labor strikes. Such tools are utilized by states to hinder their enemies, and in the case of the United States have been used as far back as the early 19th century. Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, economic warfare has been the main means for the west to challenge Russia. How effective will these sanctions be at convincing Russia to cease its war?

image of Latin American political rallyPolitics in Latin America, WED, MAR 1

Electoral results in Latin America over the past four years have led many observers of the regional/political scene to discern a left-wing surge in the hemisphere, reminiscent of the so-called “Pink Tide” that swept the area some 20 years ago. But how much do these politicians actually have in common? What implication does their ascendency have for the region? 

image of person walking in a desert tent campGlobal Famine, WED, MAR 8

Fears of global food shortages have followed Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has disrupted grain shipments from the major grain producer. But what about countries and regions that were suffering before this impending shortage? How is famine defined, and how is it different from simple food shortages? What if any remedies are there?

iran at crossroadsIran at a Crossroads, WED, MAR 15

By the fall of 2022, Iran was in a state of turmoil due to widespread protests against government-enforced wearing of the hijab, a failing economy, an ineffective new president, and the looming succession of the country’s leader, Ayatollah Khamenei. Abroad, renewal of the Iran nuclear deal seemed doubtful and tensions remain high between Iran, Israel, and Arab states. Many Iranians have lost hope of a better future, and the country seems at a crossroads. How should the United States deal with it?

climate migrationClimate Migration, WED, MAR 22

As climate change accelerates and drought and rising sea levels become more common, millions of people in affected regions must uproot themselves and seek safety elsewhere. Who are these affected individuals, and how might the United States aid them, and be affected by the migration? 

image of TCL Foundation funding logo

This series also takes place online via the Jackson Main Library on Mondays. Information here.