Articles by: "Mark Leonard"
Preparing for the long war

A nuclear spectre is haunting Europe once again. Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a mobilisation of some 300,000 reservists and announced that he will use ‘all available means’ to defend Russia, adding, ‘This …

Russia’s war viewed from China

Is Russia’s invasion of Ukraine merely the first in a series of conflicts that will make Europe seem more like the Middle East in the coming years? A Chinese academic who requested anonymity put that …

Europe’s wake-up call

For seven decades, European integration has been driven by the quest for peace. But since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, Europe has found itself unifying in response to war. The peace project has …

The decline and fall of Davos man

‘Davos man’ has had a grim 14 years. The late Harvard University political scientist Samuel Huntington popularised the term in 2004 to describe a new overclass of evangelists for globalisation. Davos man, he claimed, wanted …

Europe’s self-destructive identity crisis

The Ukraine crisis shows that the European Union has a problem with power. While its hard-power deficit has recently moved to the centre of attention, its philosophical and political shortcomings are an even bigger concern. …

Europe’s return to the geopolitical jungle

In his 1960 book, Crowds and power, Elias Cannetti observed that paranoid autocrats who identify as ‘survivors’ will surround themselves with empty space so that they can see any approaching danger. The only dependable subjects …

Has Putin united Europe?

A 21st-century war in Europe is no longer unthinkable. After weeks of speculation about whether Russia will invade Ukraine, a clear majority of respondents in a recent pan-European poll by the European Council on Foreign …

Who will rule the rules-based order?

Will the West remain committed to the rules-based international order when it is no longer the one making the rules? That will be one of the most intriguing questions of the next two decades. If …

The connectivity war

Many observers have long assumed that the future of geopolitics will be decided in a sea battle over the Taiwan Strait or some rocky outcrop or atoll in the South China Sea. Yet we could …

Why COP26 will fail

The United Nations Climate Change Conference better known as COP26 that’s underway in Glasgow might conclude with a big international agreement. But whatever tactical successes are achieved at COP26, the results are likely to mark …

Europe’s problems with AUKUS

The geopolitical story of the last few years has featured Western democracies’ gradual awakening to the realities of an increasingly ambitious and authoritarian China. European countries have gone from competing with each other to be …

The Afghan tragedy and the age of unpeace

The images of desperate Afghans scaling the perimeter fence at Kabul’s airport in an attempt to flee Taliban rule provide a heartbreaking record of our geopolitical moment. The brutal way in which the West’s former …