|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, more than 300,000 Americans participated in Great Decisions across the U.S. In 2004 the Great Decisions program celebrates its 50th anniversary. 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 2022 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 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 who 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 works with more than 30 discussion groups in the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota, and offers local speakers able 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 majoring in international relations, political science, public policy, area studies and 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 the Workplace and Schools
The Great Decisions program may also be conducted in the workplace or a high school setting.
Great Decisions briefing books are available for purchase through MIC. MIC also offers discussion group leaders and a directory of local speakers for each topic.
For more information about participating in Great Decisions discussions, starting a group, or purchasing materials, contact MIC at 612.625.4421 or
Great Decisions is sponsored nationally by the Foreign Policy Association and coordinated in Minnesota by the Minnesota International Center. This program is made possible in part with funding from the Minnesota State Legislature.