1. Putin at Ease in Asia’s Power Politics

    The West’s desire to isolate Russia does not seem to resonate in Asia where powers’ interests trump liberal ideals.

    There is an expression in Japan: kumo o tsukamuyou. It translates roughly into "like grasping a cloud." We might call it "wishful thinking." The proverb springs to mind when reading Japan's former defense minister Yuriko Koike's…
  1. Why Ukraine, Thailand Are Not Venezuela

    The uprisings in the three countries may look similar but only a superficial analysis could conclude they actually are.

    After the "color revolutions," the European "indignados," "Occupy Wall Street" and the "Arab Spring," pundits are again trying to make sense of a wave of public demonstrations around the world. Parallels have been drawn between the protests in Thailand, Ukraine and Venezuela but only a…
  1. New York and Cairo: Triumphs of Demagoguery

    Both New York’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, and Egypt’s government put populism before sane economic policy.

    One of the fundamental qualities of a statesman is that of probity. Most oaths of office include the term for a very important reason: because popular support is but one of the standards for governance. Indeed, the public is fickle and…
  1. Populism Endangers Portugal’s Austerity Reforms

    As Portugal faces local elections, calls from within the ruling parties to weaken fiscal consolidation efforts are growing louder.

    Portugal's ruling liberal conservatives have, since they came to power in 2011, strived to balance incompatible pressure groups. Local elections in Portugal have precipitated tensions. Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho's Social Democrats and their conservative…
  1. Central Africa, Barometer of Multipolarity

    African power struggles are becoming less ideological in a multipolar world.

    There are a number of phenomena which currently define African politics and must be understood before commenting on the geopolitical evolution of today’s central Africa. One is that of "extraversion." Jean-François Bayart,…
  1. Hollande Doctrine? France Leads from Behind in Mali

    France intervenes militarily in Mali to solve a problem of its own making.

    Paris' gunships struck Islamist targets in the northern Malian town of Kona on Friday in support of a combined ground intervention by African troops from the Economic Community of West African States. French defense…
  1. Mediterranean Engenders Tyranny of the Majority

    Mediterranean society discourages individualism, undermining democracy.

    As predicted, the fate of the "Arab Spring" democracies is leaving much to be desired. Liberal societies can simply…
  1. For France, Gaddafi’s Demise Worth Mali’s

    The breakup of Mali is a price Western powers are willing to pay for removing Gaddafi.

    After the beginning of the War on Terror and the practical annihilation of Al Qaeda assets in Afghanistan, few expected militant Salafism to rise again. But simple ideas are the most resilient and Obama bin Laden's legacy resurged in Yemen and the Maghreb.…
  1. Nicolas Sarkozy’s Foreign Policy Should Be Vindicated

    Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidency was controversial but his foreign policy can serve as a standard for future decisionmaking.

    George W. Bush and his acolytes are these days fond of claiming that history will eventually judge the administration of the former American president kindly. This is supposedly especially true of their foreign policy legacy: the "freedom…