"Why the IMF Should Be Led by a European" by Jean-Dominique Giuliani, head of the Robert Schuman Foundation, a think tank promoting stronger EU integration. Despite calls for the next Managing Director to come from the emerging countries in Asia or Latin America, the author makes the case succinctly for the Fund to reserve its top job for a European embodying deeply-rooted Western values such as openness, impartiality and accountability. Recommended by European Affairs. (6/2)

Events in Egypt confirm the recent movement in the Arab world away from belief in a theocratic Islamic state, according to Olivier Roy, an authority on political Islam. His most recent book on the subject – the ground-breaking “Holy Ignorance: When Culture and Religion Part Ways” – is available in English from the Columbia University Press. In a just-published article, he offers a magisterial analysis of developments in Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and also a larger view of the real political forces at work in the contemporary Arab and Muslim societies in the Middle East emerging without ties to jihadism or admiration for repressive Islamist regimes such as Iran and Salafism, the fundamentalist version of Islam derived Wahabism and present in radical movements in Arab countries. His perceptive insights capturing the trends at work in Egypt (and elsewhere) in a new generation of Arabs appeared in Le Monde newspaper in an article translated here by Georgio Comninos of the European Institute.

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“Europe is extinct.” “China cannot survive a billion pissed off peasants.” “Turkey is a power.”
“The U.S. will dominate the 21st Century.”

These are a few of the audacious and often controversial predictions of George Friedman, author of The Next 100 Years, A Forecast for the 21st Century, which has recently been issued in paperback with a new preface.

Friedman, founder and editor of Stratfor, a respected subscription global intelligence service, was recently in Washington DC, and sat down with Joëlle Attinger and Bill Marmon of the European Institute to talk about his book.

Although Friedman concedes that details of his predictions are likely to be off, he thinks he will succeed if he identifies “what will really matter” when looking back at the 21st Century.

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It is safe to say that Gordon Bajnai, the young, mild-mannered prime minister of Hungary, is hardly a household name in the United States or even in most of Europe. It is also safe to say that his imminent return to private life – he has announced that he is not standing for re-election in the parliamentary vote scheduled for April, in which the opposition center-right party Fidesz is heavily favored– will not grab headlines on either side of the Atlantic.

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Substantial Shift in Attitude Reflects Cumulative Reforms, Pollsters Say -- Not Just Obama Effect

African-Americans have become remarkably more upbeat about their personal prospects, according to a major national poll conducted at the end of President Barack Obama’s first year in office.

Fifty-three percent of African-Americans say life for their community is improving while only 10 percent predicted things getting worse. As recently as 2007, polls of the African-American community showed that 44 percent said things would get better and 21 percent expressed pessimism – nearly double the new figure.

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