GREAT DECISIONS DISCUSSION SERIES 2015

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Privacy: Is It a Thing of the Past?

Aarti Shahani

Technology Correspondent for National Public Radio, San Francisco

The idea of “privacy” has undergone significant changes in the digital age, as has the idea of privacy “harm.” Legislation, both at home and abroad, hasn’t kept pace with technological developments (e.g. North Korea hacking of Sony) leaving some wondering if privacy as we know it is long dead.  Join Aarti Shahani as she discusses the latest developments in regards to digital privacy and the implications of it as we move forward in the 21st Century.

Monday, February 16, 6pm

What are the Consequences from the Crisis in Ukraine?

Matthew Rojansky

Director of the Kennan Institute Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Putin’s pushback against European expansionism has the West wondering: If Putin’s Russia isn’t afraid to take an aggressive stance against Europeanization in Ukraine, what does that mean for Russia’s relationship with the U.S. or for that matter, Euro-Atlantic Security?

Monday, February 16, 6pm

Is it Religion or Politics that Divides the Middle East?

Sebastian Maisel

Assistant Professor of Arabic and Middle East Studies – GVSU

Many of the current conflicts in the Middle East have been attributed to sectarianism, a politicization of ethnic and religious identity. From the crisis in Iraq and Syria to the tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the struggle between Sunni and Shi‘i groups for dominance is tearing apart the region and shows no signs of abating. But for all the religious discourse permeating the conflict, much of its roots are political, not religious. How does sectarianism fit into a larger narrative of the Middle East? How have governments manipulated sectarian differences? And finally, what is the U.S. doing about it?

Monday, February 23, 6pm

Human Trafficking: In Everyone’s Backyard

Becky McDonald

President, Women At Risk, International

Amanda Colegrove

Coalition Organizer, Coalition Against Trafficking & Exploitation (CATE), Crime Victim Advocacy Center, St. Louis, Missouri

Many of the current conflicts in the Middle East have been attributed to sectarianism, a politicization of ethnic and religious identity. From the crisis in Iraq and Syria to the tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the struggle between Sunni and Shi‘i groups for dominance is tearing apart the region and shows no signs of abating. But for all the religious discourse permeating the conflict, much of its roots are political, not religious. How does sectarianism fit into a larger narrative of the Middle East? How have governments manipulated sectarian differences? And finally, what is the U.S. doing about it?

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