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Keene State Hosts Four Discussions on Politics and Policy

KEENE, N.H., 09/10/08 - Keene State College invites the community to join four free discussions focusing on international issues.

Organized by Great Decisions, America’s longest-standing global affairs education program, the discussions offer the public an opportunity to learn about and discuss foreign policy. Everyone has the opportunity to speak. Each participant’s point of view carries equal weight, and everyone is encouraged to share opinions and ideas. Consensus is not the goal, and no attempts are made to “convert” others because the focus is a critical examination of issues and opinions.

The program begins September 18, 2008, with “U.S.-China Trade Policy,” followed by “Iraq End Game” on October 2, and “Latin America: Shift to the Left?” on October 16, before concluding with “Russia” on October 30.

While there is no cost for the program, attendees are encouraged to buy the Great Decisions 2008 publication. The publication costs $18 and is available at the Keene State College bookstore, located in the Student Union. The discussions are scheduled for Thursdays, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Rhodes N120. The format is a 45-minute lecture, followed by moderated discussion. Contact Continuing Education to RSVP.

“U.S.-China Trade Policy,” led by Jules Larocque, focuses on the role China plays in supplying products to the United States. Effects of America’s trade imbalance with China and the undervalued Chinese currency are among topics discussed. Larocque is a retired economics professor, Lawrence University, Wisconsin, and an instructor for the Cheshire Academy of Lifelong Learning.

Wesley Martin teaches political science at Keene State College. In his session, “Iraq End Game,” discussion focuses on the end game for the United States in Iraq and how U.S. decisions about continued engagement will affect Iraq itself and the Middle East.

“Latin America: Shift to the Left?” is led by Charles Weed, political science professor at Keene State and state representative for District 3 since 2000. Weed addresses factors preventing the United States and Latin American countries from forging a strong relationship, challenges confronting U.S. policy in Latin America, and discusses whether the United States can offer an alternative to the influence of leaders such as Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.

During his two terms as president, Vladimir Putin attempted to remake Russia into a major, independent world power. Some of his country’s recent policies raised concern in the United States and Europe.

Patrick Dolenc’s discussion on Russia speculates on the course the country will take. Dolenc is chairman of the Economics and Political Science Department at Keene State.

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Keene, New Hampshire 03435