Global Issues

Sarasota Thursday Series

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General Information


Reflections on U.S. Policy in Post-Soviet Russia and Eastern Europe
John Tefft

The end of the Soviet Union was the greatest strategic shift in the last fifty years. Reflecting on his work as a U.S. policymaker and representative in Russia and Eastern Europe over four decades, Amb. John Tefft will offer his thoughts on U.S. policy and the way ahead for the United States in this region which is critical for U.S. national security interest.


Russian Covert Intervention in the 2016 U.S. Election and the Role of Intelligence in American Democracy
James Bruce

Dr. James Bruce will unpack the key controversies surrounding the election of the 45th U.S. President. How successful were Russian efforts to influence the outcome of that election? How should U.S. intelligence and law enforcement—vital to American democracy, and accustomed to attacks by Russia—counter Russian intervention when they are also under attack from the U.S. President himself?


Eurasia's Strategic Realignment: The Challenge to U.S. Predominance
S. Enders Wimbush

The dominant feature of Eurasia's emerging security landscape is rapid strategic realignment among virtually all actors on which the United States depends. S. Enders Wimbush will discuss what this emerging security landscape looks like. What are the key actor's objectives and strategies, and what challenges does the U.S. face to defend America's interests in this dynamic geostrategic environment?


The German Problem
Martin Walker

Brexit leaves Europe unbalanced, with Germany as the biggest and richest nation, and France a poor second. The Germans have learned -- painfully and profoundly -- to duck responsibility, but it is being thrust upon them. Martin Walker explores how Europe will cope, without widening its north-south divide.


The Impossible Presidency
Jeremi Suri

Dr. Jeremi Suri notes the American presidency changed from the limited role envisaged by the Founding Fathers to the most powerful job in the world. In recent years the presidency became a victim of its own success. Now it is almost impossible to fulfill the expectations placed upon it.


The Divided Kingdom of Britain
Margaret Jay

Britain is going through an identity crisis. With Brexit, Britain will detach from Europe and focus on internal affairs. Alternatively, the marriage of Prince Harry to a divorced, mixed race American has generated enthusiasm, with citizens embracing a more multi-cultural, multinational life. Baroness Margaret Jay will discuss what happens when normal conventions have been shattered. What does this imply for the future?


The Future of War
Sean McFate

The future of war is not what most think. The 21st century is maturing into a world mired in perpetual conflict. The weak defeat the strong, and battlefield victory achieves little. Forget what you know about war — it's obsolete. Dr. McFate will explain the new rules of war, and how to win.


Tensions in the Ukraine and Why It Matters
Nolan Peterson

Several years ago Russia-backed forces and Ukrainian nationalists came face to face. Today Ukraine is increasingly at the intersection of Russian, American, European and even Chinese interests. Foreign correspondent Nolan Peterson, the first U.S. journalist to be embedded with the Ukrainian army, will discuss the current situation and why it matters to the United States. Mr. Peterson will explain why the U.S. needs to strengthen its diplomatic presence in the Ukraine or risk losing influence to its adversaries in Eastern Europe.


India: Rise on the World Stage
Alyssa Ayres

Dr. Alyssa Ayres will look at India’s emergence into the global economy and world stage. After decades of looking inward, India’s leaders want the country to be featured in the ranks of the world's great powers. India’s vastness, history, and diversity render it incomparable to any other democratic power.


Understanding World Leaders
Margaret Hermann

What do we know about the backgrounds, experiences, world views, leadership styles, and policymaking predispositions of current world leadersóof people like Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Kim Jong-un, Angela Merkel, Bashar al-Assad, Emmanuel Macron, and Aung San Suu Kyi? Margaret Hermann takes us on a tour to learn more about current world leaders.


The End of White Christian America
Robert Jones

The United States is no longer a majority white Christian country. White Christians are a shrinking demographic and that has profound social and political implications. Dr. Robert Jones, founder and CEO of the Public Opinion Research Institute, will examine the effect of this population shift on the United States and what it means for the future---politically, socially, and culturally.


The U.S. Role in the World: Domestic Debates and International Context
Kathleen Hicks

Dr. Kathleen Hicks will explore links between the domestic and international contexts for U.S. foreign policy. She will address America’s internal debates over U.S. leadership in the world and present propositions on where we might rebuild American's security consensus.