Dominique Moisi

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Latest by Dominique Moisi


Sarkozy chooses dishonor

PARIS: “Britain and France had to choose between war and dishonor. They chose dishonor. They will have war.” Winston Churchill’s famous denunciation of the delaying tactics of the British and French on the eve of World War II should be a warning to French President Nicolas Sarkozy. In fanning vicious anti-immigrant passions for short-term political …

Dominique Moisi

From 'Les Bleus' to 'the Blues'

PARIS: Is football (soccer) just a mirror that reflects the collective emotions of a country? Or should it instead be seen as a magnifying glass, if not sometimes a distorting mirror, that reveals on the playing field the frustrations, fears, ambition, or hope of a nation? It would be tempting to attribute to football a …

Dominique Moisi

Israel's dangerous political system

PARIS: What is wrong with Israel? In the last few years, the Jewish state seems to have done more than all of its combined enemies to delegitimize itself in the eyes of the world. Its leaders’ apparent inability to think in strategic terms, and their indifference to the tribunal of global public opinion, is resulting …

Dominique Moisi

Europe's doubting generation

PARIS: The contrast between the Schuman Declaration of May 9, 1950, which launched the European unification project through the Coal and Steel Community, and the fearful bid to save Greece and rescue the euro of May 9, 2010, could not be more stark. Of course, in 1950 the Cold War was raging and recovery from …

Dominique Moisi

India's wary rise

PARIS: Some countries are naturally at ease with the concept and the reality of strategic power. Such was clearly the case of France under Louis XIV, the Sun King in the seventeenth century, and such is the case today of China, whose leadership is comfortable with the balance-of-power games of classical Europe. India is clearly …

Dominique Moisi

The Kremlin temptation

PARIS: What is the significance of France’s recent sale of four powerful Mistral-class warships to Russia? Was it business as usual or an irresponsible move contributing to a dangerous shift in the balance of power in the Baltic and Black Seas? It is sometimes said that Germany has become a “second France in its “selfish …

Dominique Moisi

The Final Decline of the West

PARIS: In 2040/2050, will demographers speak of “the white man’s loneliness in the way historians once referred to “the white man’s burden to describe the so-called “imperial responsibilities of some European nations? Demography is not an exact science. Countless dire predictions, from that of Malthus to that of the Club of Rome, have been proven …

Dominique Moisi

Europe's fearful natives

PARIS: A referendum in Switzerland forbids the construction of new minarets. Racial violence explodes in the southern Italian region of Calabria. An intense and controversial debate takes place in France on the issue of national identity. These events have little in common, yet they all point to a growing European trend. More than ever before …

Dominique Moisi

India remembered

PARIS: “Do not forget India. That warning made sense 10 or 15 years ago; not any longer. India is now impossible to ignore, much less forget, owing not only to its rapid economic growth, but also to the country’s increasing geopolitical stature. Europeans often speak of an emerging “G-3, implying an international system dominated by …

Dominique Moisi

The past is never past

PARIS: A nation’s relationship with its past is crucial to its present and its future, to its ability to “move on with its life, or to learn from its past errors, not to repeat them. There is the past that “isn’t dead and buried. In fact, it is not even past, in William Faulkner’s famous …

Dominique Moisi

The Democracy Paradox

PARIS: Elections stolen in Iran, disputed in Afghanistan, and caricatured in Gabon: recent ballots in these and many other countries do not so much mark the global advance of democracy as demonstrate the absence of the rule of law. Of course, elections that lead to illiberal outcomes, and even to despotism, are not a new …

Dominique Moisi

The Return of Franco-German Leadership

PARIS: Whoever wins September’s parliamentary election in Germany, the time has come once again for a major Franco-German initiative. Regardless of their economic conditions or their confidence – or lack of it – in each other, France and Germany are more than ever jointly responsible for the future, if not the very survival, of the …

Dominique Moisi

One World, One Europe

PARIS: G-8, G-5, G-20, G-2, G-3, and now the G-14 (the G-8 plus the G-5 plus Egypt): never have the “mathematics of world order seemed more complex and confusing. Kofi Annan, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the United Nations in 2005, attempted to adjust the multilateral institutions of our world to fit …

Dominique Moisi

The Battle for Hope

PARIS: Since the arrival of President Barack Obama in the White House, there has been an undeniable rapprochement between Europe and the United States. But on the deeper and more fundamental level of emotions and values, is it possible that the gap between the two sides of the Atlantic has widened? Today, there is much …

Dominique Moisi

Israel's Nightmares

PARIS: “It is reasonable to believe in miracles, David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, once said. Today’s Israelis do not seem to believe in miracles. Instead, more than ever before they are obsessed by nightmares, foremost among them, the prospect of a nuclear Iran. To prevent a regime imbued with an absolute ideology …

Dominique Moisi

The new revolt of the masses

PARIS: Is the current economic crisis uniting the democratic world in anger as much as in fear? In France, with many factories closing, a wave of executive hostage-taking – “bossnapping, as this newfangled crime is called – is agitating board rooms and police across the country. In the United States, big bonuses given to executives …

Dominique Moisi

1929 or 1989?

PARIS: As the economic crisis deepens and widens, the world has been searching for historical analogies to help us understand what has been happening. At the start of the crisis, many people likened it to 1982 or 1973, which was reassuring, because both dates refer to classical cyclical downturns. Today, the mood is much grimmer, …

Dominique Moisi

Who lost Turkey?

PARIS: “Who lost Turkey? That question, often raised in the past, has been heating up in the aftermath of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s emotional outburst during the recent World Economic Forum 2009 in Davos, when he abruptly left a panel he was sharing with Israeli President Shimon Peres. And the Turkish question matters greatly, …

Dominique Moisi

The Sarkozy option

PARIS: From the Caucasus in August 2008 to the Middle East in January 2009, is France under President Nicolas Sarkozy attempting to incarnate what might be called “the West by default, making maximum use of the window of opportunity opened by America’s presidential transition? Or is Sarkozy simply trying to capitalize on his global visibility …

Dominique Moisi

Europe's Obama challenge

PARIS: Will the year 2009 and the beginning of Barack Obama’s presidency mark the beginning of a new era in transatlantic relations, or will the old divisions linger, nurtured by the depth and gravity of the economic crisis? Will the crisis lead to nationalistic and selfish attitudes on both sides of the Atlantic, stymieing the …

Dominique Moisi

Lincoln, Roosevelt, Churchill…Obama?

PARIS: Exceptional circumstances – namely, the depth and urgency of the financial and economic crisis – have contributed to bringing an exceptional man, Barack Obama, to the American presidency. But will they also prevent him from succeeding? Will the spirit of hope that brought Obama to power triumph over the winds of economic and social …

Dominique Moisi

Blue Europe, Red Asia

PARIS: Could Europe be a Democratic “blue state and Asia a Republican “red state ? American presidential elections provide a near perfect test to understand the difference between European and Asian worldviews, even if the two continents are far from united internally. If you want America to lead by the power of example, you favor …

Dominique Moisi

A 'third way' for confronting Russia

PARIS: “Let’s engage Russia if we can, but contain it if we must. These two alternatives already defined Western strategy toward Russia in the mid-1990s. Since then, Russia may have changed dramatically, but not our questions about it. What do you do when your big neighbor widens the gap that exists between its culture, which …

Dominique Moisi

Russia's neurotic invasion

PARIS: At the very moment China was getting a “gold medal in diplomacy for the success of the opening ceremony in Beijing, Russia earned a “red card for the extreme and disproportionate violence of its military intervention in Georgia. Whereas China intends to seduce and impress the world by the number of its Olympic medals, …

Dominique Moisi

Sarkozy Agonistes

“Why do they hate us? asked the Americans of the Islamic fundamentalists after 9/11. “Why do they not like me? could be the question asked by Nicolas Sarkozy to the French after more than one year in power. Sarkozy is omnipresent both domestically and internationally. On July 13, the leaders of more than 40 countries …

Dominique Moisi

The Hollow Heart of the West

It is tempting to compare NATO and the European Union to the French and Italian football teams in this year’s Euro 2008 competition. What unites them, above all, is a process of “competitive decadence. The EU and NATO may see themselves as potential rivals or complementary partners in the field of defense. But what their …

Dominique Moisi

Post-American Israel

Israel is one of the only places in the world where Georges W. Bush can be greeted with real enthusiasm and even affection. The most unpopular American president in recent history thus relished his recent triumphal welcome in Jerusalem, where he was the guest of honor of the International Conference planned and devised by Israeli …

Dominique Moisi

From Olympia to Impasse

“Do not mix sports and politics! That defiant cry from China’s rulers to the threat of a boycott of this summer’s Beijing Olympic Games does not stand the test of reality. Sport and politics have always been closely linked. Obvious examples abound. The 1936 Berlin Olympics were dominated as much by Nazi propaganda as by …

Dominique Moisi

The trouble with hope

America’s presidential election campaign is being followed in Europe with passionate interest. It is seen as a long saga full of surprises. The human and intellectual qualities of the three remaining candidates are even viewed with some envy on this side of the Atlantic, where you can hear statements such as: “Could we borrow just …

Dominique Moisi

Saving public Sarkozy

Ever since key public figures signed a manifesto in a French magazine denouncing the dangers of a monarchical drift – without ever mentioning the president’s name – the political atmosphere in France has been electric. Nicolas Sarkozy’s rapid fall from grace is unprecedented in the history of the Fifth Republic. His popularity ratings are plummeting, …

Dominique Moisi