Great Decisions takes you beyond today’s headlines by providing a look at significant challenges facing the world. We speak to the leaders who influence world policy such as Politicians, Journalists and Academics and find out their hopes – and regrets – on the issues.

Episodic Synopses

Pax Americana: The American Peace

The past 70 years has been the era of “Pax Americana,” a period of relative stability thanks to the influence and ballast provided by the United States. But with Russian expansion and a rising China, how long can it last?

Russia’s Foreign Policy

To his detractors, Putin is an autocrat, crushing any threat to his power, while renewing Soviet-style expansionism. To supporters, Putin represents Russia’s redemption as a global superpower – and an alternative to the liberal democracy espoused by the West. Great Decisions explores what drives Putin’s Foreign Policy.

South Africa: In the Shadow of Mandela

South Africa’s transition from apartheid to a democracy captivated the world in the early 1990’s. While it remains the most advanced country in Africa, allegations of state corruption and huge disparities in wealth threaten its revolutionary dream.

The Media and Foreign Policy

The US has thrived on its vibrant and free press since the Founding Fathers first put the concept into law in the Bill of Rights as an important, independent check on power. Now Foreign policy is tweeted from the White House and “fake news” has entered the zeitgeist, while social media is proving to be a double-edged sword. What’s next for media and the free press?

China: The New Silk Road

China is the second largest economy in the world, and it’s expected to bump the U.S. out of the top rank in less than a decade. Beijing is increasingly looking beyond China’s borders, toward investment in Asia and across the world. What does China’s massive One Belt One Road initiative mean for America?

Turkey: A Partner in Crisis

Once seen as a model of democracy, Turkey may be slipping toward autocracy. Critics charge that President Recip Tayyip Erdogan used a failed coup d’état in 2016 as a means of consolidating power – power he says is necessary to secure the state. Great Decisions producers traveled to Turkey to examine the relationship with this key U.S. ally.

Crossroads: America’s Defense Strategy

The global power balance is rapidly evolving, leaving the United States at a turning point with respect to its level of engagement and the role of its military. How does the military function in today’s international order, and what role should Diplomacy play in U.S. defense strategy?

Global Health: Preventing Pandemic

For decades, the U.S. has been a leader in promoting global health. But foreign assistance has fallen out of favor in some circles in Washington, they argue the U.S. should help America first. Is the golden age of global health coming to an end, or just getting started?