Mark Leonard

Seven reasons why the Arab uprisings are eclipsing Western values

The Arab awakening is about people claiming democratic rights to emancipate themselves from the traditional influence of the West, rather than trying to join it. Instead of being a region mired in the past, the clash of modern practices in the Arab world might offer some lessons for the future world order

Europe’s self-hating parliament

The Eurosceptics do not support the existence of the EU and by extension they oppose the European Parliament, into which they are seeking election. If, as polls predict, Eurosceptics emerge with strong support, we may see a “self-hating Parliament” that ultimately wants to secure its own abolition

The NSA and the weakness of American power

The public outrage that the NSA has spawned could be more damaging to the transatlantic relationship than the Iraq war was a decade ago. The real toxicity of the NSA revelations is that they replace a sense of shared values with deep public mistrust on both sides of the Atlantic

On Iran, Obama’s bigger challenge is with his allies

There is a tantalising prospect that the Iranian regime could become a partner to the US, rather than a rival. But when it comes to the Middle East, Obama’s thorniest problems come not from his enemies, but from his friends

Merkel’s anti-mandate

This election shows how much Merkel’s pragmatism has sucked the life out of national politics. The result of her victory could be to suck it out of European politics next. Her politics of “small steps” will rule out decisive moves on banking union or debt

Syria and the politicisation of British foreign policy

With the parliamentary rejection of a major foreign policy initiative, Britain has crossed a watershed in foreign policy making, but the question is not about whether the UK engages with the world. It is about how its foreign policy is made

Do democracies have the guts for diplomacy on Syria?

People used to ask whether democracies had the makeup for war. But when it comes to Syria, it seems that it is diplomacy rather than warfare that is most difficult for Western onlookers to digest.  

UK Independence Party renews culture wars

UKIP is just a small part of a broader phenomenon spreading across the developed world that resembles a political backlash against globalization and interdependence. But how should mainstream parties respond?  

Think again: European decline

Although it may seem that Europe is down and out as it struggles with multiple crises, things are in fact far, far better than they appear on the surface.   

The remarkable rise of continental Euroscepticism

A new ECFR analysis shows that trust in the EU has plummeted across the continent. Both southern debtors and northern creditors feel like they are victims.