Mark Leonard

Why Scotland looks like the canary in the independence coal mine

By Mark Leonard
September 16, 2014

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Scotland’s drive to independence has been interpreted by many as a throwback to ancient identity politics – but many of the trends on display in the Scottish referendum have more to do with the politics of the future than those of the past.

from The Great Debate:

Clashes with Russia point to globalization’s end

By Mark Leonard
July 30, 2014

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As the European Union and the United States ramp up their sanctions on Russia, President Vladimir Putin’s plans for retaliation seem to include an attack on McDonald’s. There could not be a more powerful symbol that geopolitics is increasingly undoing the globalization of the world economy.

Decline of U.S. influence means Iran and Saudi Arabia may just have to get along — eventually

By Mark Leonard
June 25, 2014

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Thirty-five years ago Iranian students stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran chanting “death to America.” But today Iran wants to work with the United States to stabilize Iraq while negotiating a deal on its nuclear program. The journey from death threats to diplomacy is both a triumph of U.S. statecraft and a symbol of its declining power.

Does Europe have a hero waiting in the wings?

By Mark Leonard
May 27, 2014

Italy's PM Renzi arrives at an informal summit of European Union leaders in Brussels

What Europe needs now is a hero.

Before the European elections, many predicted a political earthquake. Now it has struck, leaving the mainstream parties of Europe battered, bloodied and in disarray.

The revolution in Putin’s head

By Mark Leonard
April 24, 2014

When Ukrainians took to the streets to protest their government in late November, they hoped to launch a revolution. What they didn’t realize when they toppled President Viktor Yanukovich in February is that a larger revolution would be in Vladimir Putin’s head.

Why Crimea matters

By Mark Leonard
April 9, 2014

 

“We have spent thirty years trying to integrate Russia into the international system, and now we are trying to kick it out again.”

How to help Ukraine help itself

By Mark Leonard
February 26, 2014

According to Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the front-runner to be Ukraine’s acting prime minister, there is a simple way for the country to avoid the fate of a failed revolution without a leader: “take responsibility.”

To see Obama’s legacy, look to Europe

By Mark Leonard
February 19, 2014

This week the 39-year-old former mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi, was invited by his party to form a government in Rome. If he succeeds, he will be Italy’s youngest-ever prime minister. Renzi has never had a job in central government or even been a member of parliament. His governing record in Florence is paper-thin. But lack of experience was not a setback in his quest for the top job in Italian politics. It was, in fact, his main qualification.

The revenge of the German elite

By Mark Leonard
February 4, 2014

This week, Germany’s foreign policy establishment struck back against a public they say has become increasingly insular, self-satisfied and pacifist. In surprisingly blunt language, German President Joachim Gauck took to the stage last Friday at the Munich Security Conference to declare: “While there are genuine pacifists in Germany, there are also people who use Germany’s guilt for its past as a shield for laziness or a desire to disengage from the world.”

Seven reasons why the Arab uprisings are eclipsing western values

By Mark Leonard
January 21, 2014

This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the collapse of the Berlin Wall — an event that led Francis Fukuyama to predict the end of history and the beginning of universal western liberal values. It is three years since the Arab uprisings threatened to upend the Middle East and North Africa. Many at that time predicted that the region would embrace liberal democracy and human rights.