Throughout this week, students will get a chance to learn about the foreign policies of the United States, both in regards to policy through the decades and in relation to the upcoming presidential election.
The program will be running from Monday through Thursday, featuring lectures on topics such as an overview of U.S. foreign policy, global security and defense, the global economy, and a student debate.
Foreign Policy Week was put together in conjunction with the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and UT's Center for International Education.
The goal, said Dr. Nissa Dahlin-Brown, associate director at the Baker Center, is not only to educate the audience on U.S. foreign policy in general, but also to prepare them to vote in November.
"It's really a chance to discuss foreign policy as a topic," said Dahlin-Brown. "And then also to tie into the election and focus on issues that are affecting us now."
Mark Bryant, assistant director at the International House, worked extensively with Dahlin-Brown in getting the Foreign Policy Week organized. He shares Dahlin-Brown's sentiment that a big focus on this week's lectures focus on the election season.
"Unless the discussion is foreign trade or something like terrorism, U.S. foreign policy doesn't always get a lot of play," Bryant said. "But how the U.S. relates to the rest of the world is really important. And in terms of how it relates to the election, it would an important component ... for people to consider when people make their decision on who they want to support."
The week on foreign policy has already gotten underway, with a presentation from Dr. James Todhunter, who provided an overview on the history of foreign policy and also some of the contemporary issues that are facing the country today.
Tonight, Dr. Brandon Prins will discuss global security and how it relates to U.S. foreign policy. In particular, he will focus on the policy changes implemented since 9/11 and the perceived policies of President Barack Obama and the GOP presidential candidate, Mitt Romney.
The event will be held at 6 p.m. in the Toyota Auditorium at the Baker Center.
Wednesday night will focus on the global economics of U.S. foreign policy with Drs. Tony Spiva and Jon Shefner. The primary topics will be on austerity, Latin America and Asia.
"Austerity is of course where you cut government service quite a bit," said Dahlin-Brown. "And that's been promoted a lot recently, but there's also beginning to be a turn around from that, too."
The Wednesday lecture will take place at 6 p.m. in the Toyota Auditorium as well.
The last event of Foreign Policy Week will be a student debate. The Tennessee Speech and Debate Society will be in the UC Shiloh Room at 6:30 p.m., debate on the different foreign policies from the Obama administration and the potential Romney administration, with each side of the debate assuming the roles of one administration or the other.
The debate is co-sponsored with the CPC Issues Committee.
All of the events are free and open to the public.