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Democracy in distress

By Dominique Moisi PARIS: Is democratic time too slow to respond to crises, and too short to plan for the long term? At a time of deepening economic and social crisis in many of the world’s rich democracies, that question is highly relevant. In Italy, for example, Prime Minister Mario Monti has the necessary and legitimate …


A Russian spring?

By Dominique Moisi PARIS: Russia is not Egypt. And Moscow is not on the eve of revolution as Cairo was less than a year ago. Indeed, Russia’s powerful have at their disposal assets that former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s regime lacked. As an energy superpower, Russia can open its coffers to appease, at least in part, …


The nemesis of Turkish power

By Dominique Moisi PARIS: A few days ago, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Al Jazeera, the pan-Arab television network, that he would use his warships to prevent Israeli commandos from again boarding Gaza-bound ships, as they did last year. And in a speech in Cairo, he declared support for the United Nations’ recognition of …


Israel’s lonely prosperity

By Dominique Moisi PARIS: It is difficult not to be struck by the contrast between the “Asian”-like energy of Israel’s economy and civil society and the purely defensive nature of its approach to political change, both within and outside the country. A recent law bars Israeli citizens from supporting Western boycotts aimed at reversing the country’s …


What Failed in Norway?

By Dominique Moisi PARIS: Japan in March 2011 and Norway in July 2011: any comparison between the madness of nature and the pure madness of man in Norway may sound artificial. Yet, confronted with their respective tragedies, Japan and Norway displayed a very similar combination of qualities and flaws. In both countries, civil society reacted to …


A Europe of women?

By Dominique Moisi PARIS: Are women in Europe on the verge of becoming an engine for political change? In economic-development circles, experience and common sense suggest that progress, accountability, and hard work start with and depend on women. Micro-credits, for example, are much more efficient when women receive and repay them. Perhaps because they bear children …


Geneva on the Rhine

By Dominique Moisi PARIS: Twenty years ago, in the immediate aftermath of Germany’s reunification, French magazines were full of caricatures of Chancellor Helmut Kohl wearing the traditional pointed Prussian helmet. The new Germany was perceived as a threat to the European balance. Germany was simply “too much” again. German geopolitical ambitions, it was believed, would invariably …


Sarkozy goes to war

By Dominique Moisi PARIS: In 2003, France, under President Jacques Chirac, took the lead in opposing America’s planned invasion of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin’s flamboyant speech at the United Nations encapsulated the “spirit of resistance” against what proved to be a dangerous adventure. In 2011, under President Nicolas Sarkozy, France has …


An Arab spring?

By Dominique Moisi PARIS: Is Tunisia the first Arab authoritarian domino to fall? Or is it a unique case that should not be viewed as a precedent for either the Arab world in general or the Maghreb in particular? The region’s dictators have sought to dismiss the “Jasmine Revolution,” but the spark that started in …


New wave nationalism

By Dominique Moisi PARIS: Could the world be on the verge of a new period of re-ordering itself, similar to the one experienced nearly 20 years ago? In the 1990s, the fall of the Soviet empire and the brutal implosion of Yugoslavia led to a spectacular increase in the number of independent states. To follow the …


The closing of the European mind

By Dominique Moisi PARIS: Kishore Mahbubani, a prominent Asian voice from Singapore, and a man often highly critical of Europe, was recently asked what Asia could learn from Europe. His reply: Europe was above all the continent of peace, compassion, and cooperation. “Asia” may not exist culturally, historically, religiously, socially, and economically, the way that Europe …


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