Articles by: "Mark Leonard"
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 …

Germany’s patriotism paradox

As Germany prepares for its federal elections in September, many are wondering what will come next. Under outgoing chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany has become an ‘indispensable nation’ in Europe and within the broader rules-based international …

Germany’s green velvet revolution?

In the last 50 years, Germany has experienced three miracles. The one-time sick man of Europe became an Exportweltmeister (export world champion). It also overcame its past (Vergangenheitsbewältigung). And it built a political and economic …

The new China shock

Some months ago, Chinese authorities approached some of the biggest foreign companies in the country and asked them to tap a representative to participate in a small closed-door gathering on China’s new economic strategy. The …