Our Must Reads

Has Populism Reached Its High Water Mark?

Has Populism Reached Its High Water Mark? Two interesting pieces, written in the wake of the first round of French presidential elections, warn not to count populism out.
The New York Times (4/26) suggests ”Western Populism May Be Entering an Awkward Adolescence”.
In Carnegie Europe, Judy Dempsey asks a group of foreign policy experts: “Is Populism on the Run?”.

Recommended by European Affairs.


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Will the EU Fall? Three Scenarios, Four Explanations, by Frédéric Mérand,  Université de Montréal, published as a blog of the American Sociological  Association. A crisp and insightful summary of the EU crisis and where it could lead.  Recommended by European Affairs.


Forging an EU Digital Single Market: Difficulties and opportunities, by Miriam Sapiro

Forging an EU Digital Single Market: Difficulties and opportunities, by Miriam Sapiro, Sept.22, in Brookings “Up Front”—A trenchant look at the implementation challenges and opportunities of the EU’s Digital Single Markeet strategy announced last spring designed to rationalize the digital silos within the 28 nation EU. Sapiro served as Deputy U.S. Trade Representative from 2009 to 2014 and is currently non-resident Senior Fellow. Recommended by European Affairs.


“Net of Insecurity--A disaster foretold — and ignored,” by Craig Timberg

Washington Post, June 22—Excellent piece on the roots of the Internet’s vulnerability to hackers, featuring early “grey hat” hacker group, known as “the Lopht” who testified in1998 to a Senate panel that the whole system, network, hardwire and software was riddled with weaknesses that would permit easy intrusion. This is the third of a multi-part series in the Post on security issues with the internet. Recommended by European Affairs.


Why Are Germans So Sympathetic to Russia? By Markus Ziener

Why Are Germans So Sympathetic to Russia? By Markus Ziener, Non-Resident Fellow at German Marshall Fund of the United States, based in Berlin, published April 21 by GMF. Interesting discussion of why so many Germans are willing to give Russia the benefit of the doubt in the ongoing Ukraine crisis and why continuation of sanctions represents potential political issue for Chancellor Merkel.


Greece and Sisyphus, When Myths Risk Becoming a Reality, by Alexander Privitera

Greece and Sisyphus, When Myths Risk Becoming a Reality, by Alexander Privitera, AICGS. Good sketch of the extremely high stakes at play for the the Greek government, as it seeks to avoid a default and maintain the support of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF. Privitera is a member of the Board of Advisors of the European Institute’s European Affairs Journal.


EU Governance by the Jacques Delors Institute

The Commission’s Leadership and the EU Governance, published by the Jacques Delors Institute. A summary of an important conference on the challenges and opportunities of the EU Commission with participation of Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and former Commission vice president Etienne Davignon, coming 100 days into the life of the  new  Commission.  Among the substantive and pithy comments Juncker says: “The digital issue is very real, and we are lagging behind.  We have not more than two years to bring ourselves up to the level of the U.S. and other global competitors.”


Bob Hunter on Charlie Hebdo

"Charlie Hebdo: What Is To Be Done?" In a compellingly clear assessment of the implications of the asymmetric attacks recently made and planned by Islamist terrorists in Europe, Robert E. Hunter, former U.S. Ambassador to NATO, outlines clear policy prescriptions for the U.S. and its allies to stem the rise of Islamic extremism.


The Quiet German by George Packer

“The Quiet German” The astonishing rise of Angela Merkel, the most powerful woman in the world. By George Packer, in "The New Yorker,” Dec. 1.  Excellent piece showing how Merkel has deployed her quiet, laconic, even boring style into an extraordinary political success and become the crucial player in Europe’s handling of the Ukraine crisis and in relations between Europe and both Russia and the U.S. (Recommended by European Affairs).


Power Struggle Looms after EU Vote by Honor Mahony and Valentina Pop

“Power Struggle Looms after EU Vote,” by Honor Mahony and Valentina Pop, in EUObserver.   Excellent article on likely power struggle between the European Parliament and the EU Council over appointment of the new European Commission President.   Parliamentary elections take place later this month and the new EU treaty language, which increases parliamentary powers, will be tested in the selection process for the new Commission President. Recommended by European Affairs.


Will This Be The Next Ukraine? by Robert Coalson

Will This Be the Next Ukraine?” by Robert Coalson, The Atlantic, reprinted in Defense One. Excellent article on Moldova, where most of the issues currently tormenting Ukraine, tensely await resolution. Moldova is scheduled to sign, over Russian opposition, on June 9 an “Association Agreement” with the EU—the same agreement that touched off the crisis in Ukraine. Recommended by Tim Clark, editor at large Government Executive magazine.


Taking on Adam Smith by Steven Erlanger

Taking on Adam Smith (and Karl Marx), by Steven Erlanger in Apr. 19, 2014, New York Times,  is a good primer on Thomas Piketty, the French economist and author of blockbuster treatise, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century.”  An immediate bestseller since its release in the United States, the 685 page analysis of rising inequality has been hailed as an “an intellectual tour de force, a triumph of economic history over the theoretical, mathematical modeling that has come to dominate the economics profession in recent years” by the Washington Post. (Recommended by European Affairs.)


Collapse of the World Order?, The Emergence of a Polycentric World and Its Challenges

Collapse of the World Order?,   The Emergence of a Polycentric World and Its Challenges,” by Alexei Arbatov, Director of the International Security Center at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations.  A rigorous, nuanced and balanced  assessment of the Ukraine crisis by a leading Russian scholar and former member of the State Duma, and its impact on Russian relations with the West.   Recommended by  “European Affairs.”


Net Neutrality Event 8/6/14

Net Neutrality Event 8/6/14.  (Scroll down)  Video recording of  presentation by Scott Marcus at the Internet Society-DC, on the complexities of the net neutrality  issue, too often  reduced to slogans “pro and con.”   Marcus, a principal at WIK Consult, also authoritatively discusses the substantial differences in the way the issue of net neutrality is addressed in the U.S. and Europe.   Recommended by Mike Nelson, adjunct professor at Georgetown University and member of The Board of Directors of the European Institute.


The Experience of African Migrant Workers in Italy by Nicole Crowder

The Experience of African Migrant Workers in Italy,” by Nicole Crowder, Washington Post Sept. 18. A compelling photo essay on the perils facing African immigrants who make the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean in shoddy life rafts from Tripoli, Libya. Recommended by European Affairs.


The Making of Vladimir Putin by Strobe Talbott

The Making of Vladimir Putin,” by Strobe Talbott, Aug. 19 Politico Magazine. A detailed and authoritative assessment of the President of the Russian Federation and his vision, offered by notable Russian and foreign policy expert. Talbott served as Deputy Secretary of State during the Clinton administration and is now president of the Brookings Institution.


New president, new "Constitution"?

"New president, new "Constitution"?" by Yves Bertoncini, Director of Notre Europe - Jacques Delors Institute.  Recommended by European Affairs.