Fall 2008

Védrine’s World: The Outlook of Nations around the Globe

Atlas du Monde Global [Atlas of the Globalized World] - By Pascal Boniface et Hubert Védrine Armand Colin/Fayard, 2008, 125 pages [French] Reviewed by François Clemençeau

This new atlas of commentary and illustrated maps is designed to provide fresh perspectives enabling readers to discern the real world we live in. [English Version: History Strikes Back: How States, Nations, and Conflicts are Shaping the 21st Century, Brookings Institution Press. November 2008.] The authors are a team that combines a practitioner’s long experience and a researcher’s academic analysis. Hubert Védrine served as a key presidential diplomatic councilor and as French foreign minister in successive Socialist governments, and Pascal Boniface heads a strategic think tank in Paris. Their key lesson, they explain in their preface, is to “warn readers without alarming them” that they need to move to a new vision of the planet that escapes the “narrowly Western or European world vision which continues to blind so many people from seeing a fair interpretation and analysis of world events.”

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The Demilitarization of Europeans

Reviewed by Michael Mosettig

With “change” being a hot topic this year both in the European Union and the United States, there are a plethora of books about the possibilities for the West to rethink our future and to understand our recent past. Many eminent thinkers have weighed in, as bookshelves in Washington and elsewhere are bulging these days with weighty tomes by big thinkers. This literary surge coincided with the Iraq war and started with the 2003 publication of Robert Kagan’s Of Paradise and Power that sharply contrasted U.S. and European attitudes toward the use of military force. That book was followed (and the reflection broadened) by Fareed Zakkaria’s The Post-American World, Thomas Friedman’s The World Is Flat and, more recently, Parag Khanna’s The Second World, just to name a few. All of these authors are laying out a vision of the world in the midst of tumultuous change and their theses try to highlight the role the United States will play in it.

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New Markets Expanding for Dirty Businesses

Reviewed by Michael Mosettig

When journalist and author Misha Glenny was attending Bristol University in the 1970’s, little could he realize that his generation’s motto of Drugs, Sex and Rock & Roll would, along with Russian oil, provide the foundation for a global shadow economy that now accounts for 15 to 20 percent of all economic transactions worldwide.

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The Way Globalization Actually Works in Europe

Reviewed by Megan Watson
Seen from 15,000 meters, globalization is a clear and beneficial force. Seen from the street, the view is muddled, and the winds of change appear more threatening. Europe as a whole has gained from globalization. But tell that to the assembly worker without a job or the IT technician forced to take a pay cut.
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Lisbon Treaty’s Stumble - and Prospects

John BrutonIn his first public remarks since the Irish rejected the Treaty of Lisbon, His Excellency John Bruton, Head of the Delegation of the European Commission to the United States, offered a rich and insightful assessment of the historic vote and its implications for Ireland and the European Union. Expressing his personal views, the former Prime Minister of Ireland addressed an invited audience of diplomats, business leaders, experts and journalists at the Washington event organized by The European Institute on July 11th.

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