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Great Decisions Directed by the Foreign Policy Association, Great Decisions is a nationally sponsored program which reviews current foreign policy issues of vital importance to the United States. It is implemented locally by hundreds of civic, educational and religious institutions and associations, and in 2001, over 300,000 Americans participated in Great Decisions across the U.S. The Minnesota International Center (MIC) is the official coordinator of the Great Decisions program in Minnesota.

The purpose of Great Decisions is to educate citizens about issues of vital importance to American foreign policy and to provide them with the information to make informed decisions about the topics covered. Great Decisions is both a briefing book and a nationwide study/discussion program.

For a listing of the Great Decisions 2002 Topics click here.

MIC provides materials and support to many local community-based discussion groups. In 1999, MIC began offering the Great Decisions series as an academic program to local colleges and universities.

With the help of MIC, Great Decisions enables individual citizens to participate in the foreign policy process. You can make your own opinion count with the Opinion Ballot included in each briefing book. The Foreign Policy Association forwards the results of these ballots each year to Congress and the media, to make an impact on future foreign policymaking.

If you would like to learn more about Great Decisions, or want to start your own discussion group in Minnesota, please us.

The Briefing Book

The briefing book, which is prepared annually by the Foreign Policy Association, comprises of eight current foreign policy issues which are addressed by concise and impartial articles. Each piece provides in-depth background and current data, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of alternative policy decisions. The information provided is useful to citizens that are interested in foreign affairs as the book does an outstanding job of presenting current foreign policy challenges.

A Study/Discussion Program

The study/discussion program takes citizens one step further by integrating them into the democratic foreign policy decision-making process. Public discussion about the issues offers a way to share ideas and opinions and learn other perspectives, thereby raising the commitment and involvement of the American people in the democratic process. By offering you the opportunity to join this process through discussion, Great Decisions gives you a voice in world affairs.

Community-based Discussion Groups

MIC oversees several discussion groups in the Twin Cities Metro area and invites various speakers to present information on each of the topics. Group participants consistently rate the discussions as enjoyable and enlightening experiences. They also agree that the discussion groups are an excellent way to exchange ideas and build understanding between Minnesotans and the rest of the world. By participating in these discussion groups, citizens are able to advance their views and ideas on the specific topics and ponder the pros and cons of policy decisions.

Great Decisions on Campus

The Great Decisions on Campus program provides significant benefits to college and university students who are enrolled in international relations, political science, public policy, area studies and many more. Educating students about international affairs can have a direct impact on the future of the United States, as they are the decision-makers of tomorrow. Making them aware of the global environment and various perspectives on international issues increases their understanding of the world and will provide them with a competitive edge as future jobholders in a global market. The Great Decisions on Campus program also increases the visibility of colleges' and universities' involvement in international understanding.

Great Decisions in Minnesota is made possible in part with funding from the Minnesota Humanities Commission in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Minnesota State Legislature.

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