Maas van den Top, Chair
The Great Decisions program is the Foreign Policy Association’s (www.fpa.org) core public education program. Great Decisions brings together people in communities throughout the USA each year to study timely issues important to American foreign policy. There are three parts to the program: the Great Decisions briefing book, the discussion groups, the opinion balloting process
Great Decisions briefing books provide readers:
- Historical perspective and current information on 8 global challenges
- Pros and cons to alternative policy options
- Sample topic questions (formulated to stimulate group discussion)
- Opinion ballots for each topic (enabling all readers to participate in FPA’s annual U.S. foreign policy poll
- Informative charts and maps
- Suggested readings and useful web sites (for further information on each topic)
The members of the Great Decisions discussion groups read the articles in the briefing book, research additional material and sometimes bring in an expert to the meeting. A lively discussion ensues. Where else can you argue about politics and religion without making enemies?
After each discussion participants fill out opinion ballots. Results are tabulated and sent to the Foreign Policy Association, government officials and the national media. An annual “National Opinion Ballot Report” is printed every year.