This house believes the euro, as a single currency, is dividing Europe and should be abolished.
Have you just choked on your Friday morning coffee in outrage? Or are you nodding in agreement? Either way, join the debate. The above is currently the subject of a live debate over at Economist.com, to which our own Thomas Klau has today contributed expert insight as a featured guest. You can vote, or add comments from the floor, by clicking here. As I type, the vote is 36% in favour of the motion, up from 31% when the poll opened...
The debate closes on Wednesday 3rd August.
Parag Khanna argued at a recent ECFR London event that perhaps the most striking geopolitical implication of the Arab Spring might prove to be the birth of a new Arab self-confidence and self-reliance. The protests in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere were indisputably home-grown, and in their wake, Arab peoples are taking responsibility for both the errors and abuses of the past and the future direction of their countries.
Not so in Iraq. There, there is already democracy – of a sort – and the state has already been through the first phases of transition away from dictatorial rule. The huge difference here, of course, is that the removal of Saddam was anything but a domestic affair.
Emma Sky, a former political advisor to the coalition forces and provisional authority in Iraq who is now a fellow at Harvard, travelled around the Arab world in the wake of this year’s protests. The
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On Monday, I wrote about the political challenge of sustaining the EU’s soft power tools – international development aid and humanitarian assistance – in a period of austerity. As I emphasised, many well-intentioned arguments for providing aid to the needy that were uncontroversial before the financial crisis are now losing traction. There’s a big market for polemics like Linda Polman’s The Crisis Caravan, which argues that the humanitarian industry is inefficient and even fuels civil wars.
The politics of humanitarian aid are particularly complex in the EU, however, because it’s one of the few areas where the Union is still unquestionably a big player. That’s one reason why Catherine Ashton, who never claimed to be an expert in disaster management, faced a great deal of unfair criticism for her handling of the Haitian earthquake last year. Ashton, the critics argued, failed to
The hideous massacre of 76 young Norwegians seems to confirm the average Turk’s worst stereotypes about Europe. It is xenophobic, racist, steeped in a feeling of cultural superiority, prone to Christian fundamentalism, and prone to violence against Muslims and immigrants. The 237 references to the Ottoman Empire and republican Turkey in Anders Breivik’s 1,500-page “manifesto”, 2083: An European Declaration of Independence, do not help either.
According to Today’s Zaman (thanks to journalist and analyst Firdevs Robinson for alerting me!), the mass murderer was “obsessed with Turkey”, discussing at length its 19th and 20th century history, (not least the modernisation reforms of the Tanzimat period!). His ranting prose portrays Turks as genocidal invaders of the Old Continent that threatened to re-Islamise it once again, as they undo the doomed experiment in secularisation
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Every day we speak of leadership, praising it when we find it, or regretting its absence when we miss it. In the general public’s opinion — for example, with the crisis of the euro — certain leaders tend to be portrayed as shortsighted and unscrupulous, on the lookout for short-term political profit. The politicians don’t help much, talking away about the general interest, as if it were so easy to identify what this is. Worse, by harping on their noble and altruistic motives, they end by convincing us that to defend the interests of those who voted for them is something dirty and ignoble, that has to be hidden.
We know little about leadership, especially in view of the importance it has. Much of our ignorance here stems from our entering psychological, or even psycho-pathological, terrain. Of course, leaders are not made of the same stuff as the rest of us. Churchill in his memoirs
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