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Global Studies Roundtable Discussions

Great Decisions Lecture Series 2021
Wednesday,
Feb. 3

6:30 p.m.
Global Supply Chains and National Security
Amulya Gurtu, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

The shutdown of global supply chains due to the COVID-19 pandemic brought to the fore an issue with the high level of global economic interdependence: What happens when one country is the main source for an item, say face masks, and then can no longer supply the item? Countries suddenly unable to meet the demand for certain supplies are faced with growing calls for economic nationalism. What are some of the lasting effects that the pandemic could have on global supply chains and trade? How would this affect national security?

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Wednesday,
Feb. 17

6:30 p.m.
Korean Peninsula
David Fields, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Center for East Asian Studies
University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Korean Peninsula is facing a defining era. Attempts by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump to repair the rift between North and South have lost any momentum as Pyongyang continues to test long-range missiles for its nuclear weapons program. As the rift between the U.S. and China grows further, South Korea may end up in the middle of the two superpowers. What does the future hold for the U.S. relationship with the ROK?

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Wednesday,
March 3

6:30 p.m.
Struggles Over the Melting Arctic
Rebecca McKean, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Geology
St. Norbert College

U.S. President Donald Trump left many scratching their heads when it was rumored that he was looking to purchase the large island nation of Greenland from Denmark. While any potential deal seems highly unlikely, the event shows the changing opinion within the U.S. government toward engagement with the Arctic region. Because of climate change, large sheets of arctic ice are melting, exposing vast stores of natural gas and oil. With Russia and China already miles ahead with their Arctic strategies, can the U.S. catch up?

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Wednesday,
March 17

6:30 p.m.
The End of Globalization?
Arthur Cyr, Ph.D.
A.W. & Mary Margaret Clausen Distinguished
Professor of Political Economy & World Business
Director of the Clausen Center for World Business
Carthage College

As the United States enters another election season, the merits and drawbacks of globalization are again being debated by the presidential candidates. With the passing of the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s America First doctrine, protectionist policies have become more prevalent, challenging globalization. What is globalization and how will it be affected by protectionist trade policies? How will the United States and the world be affected by such policies? Is globalization really at an end or in need of a refresh?

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Wednesday,
March 31

6:30 p.m.
Brexit and the European Union
Neil McGarvey, Ph.D.
Senior Teaching Fellow
University of Strathclyde-Glasgow

With the “Brexit transition period” coming to an end this year, the United Kingdom will formally leave the European Union at the start of 2021. With negotiations between the two entities continuing to stall, what does the future of Europe and the UK look like? Will the UK survive a possible Scottish vote to leave? Who will step up and take command of Europe now that Angela Merkel is out of the spotlight?

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Wednesday,
April 14

6:30 p.m.
China’s Role in Africa
Allen Xiao
Geography Ph.D. Candidate
University of Wisconsin-Madison

The COVID-19 crisis has put a massive strain on what was growing a positive economic and political relationship between China and the continent of Africa. As Chinese President Xi Jinping’s centerpiece “Belt and Road initiative” continues to expand Chinese power, the response to the spread of Covid-19, as well as the African government’s growing debt to China, has seen pushback. What are some of the growing economic and political issues between China and Africa?


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