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KNOXVILLE — The Great Decisions Program, coordinated by the Center for International Education and funded by the Ready for the World initiative, will bring five speakers from around the country to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, this semester to address our nation’s most pressing foreign policy issues.

Stephen Zunes
Stephen Zunes
The series will kick off with Stephen Zunes, professor of politics and international studies at the University of San Francisco, speaking about Afghanistan and Pakistan at 7 p.m. on Feb. 4, in the Great Room of the International House.

Other lectures in the series, all to be held at 7 p.m. in the Great Room of the International House, are:

– Feb. 18 – Wally Tyner, professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University, “Global Food Supply.”

– March 11 – Wayne Smith, senior fellow and director of the Cuba Program at the Center for International Policy in Washington, D.C., “Cuba after Castro.”

– March 25 – John Mearsheimer, the R. Wendell Harrison Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, “The U.S. and Rising Powers.”

– April 15 – Andrew Leonard, staff writer at and “How the World Works” blogger, “Energy and the Global Economy.

Zunes, who chairs the Middle Eastern Studies program at the University of San Francisco, has made frequent visits to the Middle East and other conflict regions, where he has met with top government officials, academics, journalists and opposition leaders.

He serves as a senior policy analyst for the Foreign Policy in Focus project of the Institute for Policy Studies, an associate editor of Peace Review, and chair of the academic advisory committee for the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.

Zunes is a foreign affairs columnist for the National Catholic Reporter and a regular contributor to the Common Dreams Web site and Tikkun magazine. His op-ed columns have appeared in major daily newspapers throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. In addition, he has spoken at more than 80 colleges and universities and scores of community groups and is a frequent guest on National Public Radio, Pacifica Radio, PBS, BBC, MSNBC and other media outlets for analysis on breaking world events. He serves as a consultant and board member for a number of peace and human rights organizations in both the United States and overseas.

Zunes is the author of many scholarly and general readership articles on Middle Eastern politics, U.S. foreign policy, international terrorism, nuclear nonproliferation, strategic nonviolent action and human rights. He is the principal editor of “Nonviolent Social Movements” (Blackwell Publishers, 1999), the author of the highly acclaimed “Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism” (Common Courage Press, 2003) and co-author (with Jacob Mundy) of the forthcoming “Western Sahara: Nationalism, Conflict and International Accountability” (Syracuse University Press).

He has been a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship on Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies at Dartmouth College and a Human Rights Fellowship at the Center for Law and Global Justice at the University of San Francisco. He also has served as a research associate for the Center for Global, International and Regional Studies at the University of California—Santa Cruz. He has been a recipient of a Joseph J. Malone Fellowship in Arab and Islamic Studies as well as research grants through the Institute for Global Security Studies, the United States Institute of Peace and the International Resource Center. In the early 1990s, Zunes served as founding director of the Institute for a New Middle East Policy in Seattle. In 2002, he won recognition from the Peace and Justice Studies Association as Peace Scholar of the Year.

A native of North Carolina, Zunes received his doctorate from Cornell University, his master’s degree from Temple University and his bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College.

All Great Decisions lectures are free. However, for $50 participants get parking for all five events, a resource book published by the Foreign Policy Association and an invitation to the receptions following the lectures.

For more information about this event or to arrange disability accommodations, contact the International House at (865) 974-4453.


Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034,