Starting this spring until the end of 2023 members of the International Affairs faculty from UNG are presenting and leading a series of community discussions on various current international affairs topics.  The presentation series, BECOMING A GLOBAL CITIZEN – Discussions on International Issues, is sponsored by the Forsyth County Library Speaker Series. This will be an excellent UNG/Community event that not only showcases UNG faculty but the willingness of the PSIA faculty to support community efforts. It is hoped this speaker series will provide clarification and understanding of some of the most pressing geopolitical topics of the day.  

 PSIA faculty will address topics such as our relationship with Korea; the nature of the European Union; the directions China and Russia are taking in relationship to the rest of the world; the politics of Latin America; State Fragility; and the war in Ukraine. Each session consists of a 45-minute presentation and a 45-minute discussion session where the audience is both encouraged and welcomed to engage. While the target audience is primarily citizens of Forsyth County, all UNG students are encouraged to attend as well.  Here is an opportunity to create generational bridges on issues that affect all of us.  

 The inaugural session will be held on April 2nd. Succeeding sessions will take place on the first Sunday of each month through December (except September’s which will be on the 10th) at the Sharon Forks Library, 2820 Old Atlanta Road, Cumming, GA at 2:30 pm.  

  Come, listen, engage and share with the community with the community.   

 Below is the list of topics and speakers:


Discussions on International Issues 

 Presented by Forsyth County Public Library in partnership with the University of North Georgia’s Political Science & International Affairs Department 

Dr. Dlynn Armstrong Williams
4/2/2023 @ 2-3:30 PM 
US -South Korean Cooperation: Client State to Reliable Ally?  
  The relationship between the United States and South Korea has evolved from that of a client state to a strategic partnership. The US-ROK relationship is critical to ongoing stability in the East Asian region, but it is not without friction. This discussion will cover the evolving relationship, as well as the changing nature of US alliances in Asia and the growing influence of the ROK in the region . 
Dr. Cristian Harris
5/7/2023 @ 2-3:30 PM 
Global Governance 
  A broad range of issues affect the international community: armed conflict, famine, poverty, economic instability, and climate change. However, who should be involved? Whose responsibility is it to address these issues? Global Governance is the collection of governance-related activities, rules, and mechanisms established to address these issues. The presentation will examine the many ways individuals and institutions, public and private, manage their common affairs at various levels in the world today. 
Dr. Craig Greathouse
6/4/2023 @ 2-3:30 PM 
The European Union:  A cooperative Enterprise from Enemies to Partners 
  This lecture will look at the European Union as the institution which has helped change the economic and political relationships between the states of Europe. It will cover history and institutional structure of the EU. 
Dr. Nathan Price
7/2/2023 @ 2-3:30 PM 
EU Investment in Human Capital & the Evolution of European Identity 
  Discuss  how the Europeans are currently navigating several crises that are related: ongoing civil wars in north Africa and the Middle East and a wave of refugees fleeing these conflicts.  Additionally, their economies are suffering from high inflation and economic uncertainty.  However, important investments in human capital (education in particular) have helped many of these refugees integrate into European society and build skills they will need for gainful employment.   
Dr. Laurel Wei
8/6/2023 @ 2-3:30 PM 
Chinese Foreign Policy: Playing the role of Strategic Competitor to the US 
  The purpose of this talk is to help the general audience understand China’s ambitions and goals in the contemporary era, the US’s response, and a few highly contentious issues likely to trigger armed conflict in the near future. The focus will be on politics and security.   Dr. Wei will give an overview of China’s grand strategy since Xi Jinping’s presidency, from 2013 to the present. This is followed by a brief discussion of the US’s response. After that, there will be a short introduction to the most contentious issues in US-China relations. The talk concludes with a prediction about China’s future moves.  
Dr. Raluca Viman-Miller
9/10/2023 @ 2-3:30 PM [Note non-standard date] 
Russian Foreign Policy: Russia’s Changing Relationship with the World 
  A brief history of the evolution of Russian foreign policy post Cold War. A debate of the changes that led to the more aggressive Russian behavior in international relations.  
Dr. Cristian Harris
10/8/2023 @ 2-3:30 PM 
Soft Power in Latin America 
  Futbol, telenovelas, and Cinco de Mayo. Sports, entertainment, and cuisine are some of the strongest features of the soft power of Latin America. The culture, values, and customs of Latin America generate a lot of goodwill toward the region around the world. However, can Latin American governments capitalize on their countries’ soft power? The presentation seeks to explore the role soft power plays in the foreign policies of selected Latin American cases and discuss strategies to develop Latin America’s soft power. 
Dr. Eddie Mienie
11/12/2023 @ 2-3:30 PM 
State Fragility 
  This presentation seeks to answer the question: ‘Do existing measures of state fragility measure fragility accurately?’ Using South Africa as a case study, Dr. Mienie examines the extent to which measures of political legitimacy and good governance; effectiveness in the security system, especially with respect to the police system; and mounting economic challenges may be undermining the stability of South Africa in ways undetected by existing, commonly-used measures of state fragility. 
Drs. Nathan Price and
Craig Greathouse
12/3/2023 @ 2-3:30 PM 
Fallout from the Conflict in Ukraine 
  Going to give an overview of the situation that will be appropriate for the time period of the presentation.  Assuming Russia is still performing poorly, we will talk about how the unified response from the west has helped deter future aggressors.  Additionally, we will focus on what comes next for Ukraine in regard to rebuilding and integration into western organizations such as the European Union and NATO. 

 These presentations will be held at the following library location: 

Sharon Forks Library 

2820 Old Atlanta Road
Cumming, GA 30041