European Journal of International Affairs

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Editor's Note

Building through the Crisis

Euro and Helmut Kohl’s Legacy

Seeing further?

A very prestigious British newspaper has recently praised former Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s “capacity to think further ahead than any of his rivals” (Merkel’s nail-biter, in Financial Times, June 28, 2010). Very appropriately in a moment when, faced with the crisis brought on by the near bankruptcy of Greece, many present-day politicians and commentators appear possessed by the urge to invoke profound lessons from the alleged mistakes made by the founders of the “Maastricht order”, in giving life to the single currency without first having brought into being political Europe.

One might wonder whether they are not being somewhat unfair and ungrateful towards the leaders who ruled Europe towards the end of the 20th century. Or, and this is more serious, whether the citizens of the Eurozone, confronted with the crisis pervading western societies, are in such a panic, they have lost all memory and capacity to place current problems in historical perspective.

In order to explain the cumulative nature of science, Bernard de Chartres, (12th century) suggested the metaphor of pygmies seated on the shoulders of giants, who see further than the giants themselves (Nani Gigantum humeris insidentes plus quam ipsi Gigantes vident). As citizens of the Eurozone we too ride on the shoulders of giants from the past, giants such as Helmut Kohl. But, unfortunately, we can’t see very far. Probably because at the strange beginning of this millennium we do not have even one hundredth of the political passion which characterised the two preceding centuries. […]

The World in Sixty Lines

We Are All in this Together or Are We?
by Leslie Colbert

The new transatlantic row over the rendition of terrorist suspects offers profound cause for public reflection even if, as appears, some European governments would prefer to gloss 2006 over its greyer areas. Immediately before the departure of Condoleeza Rice on her European visit in December the US administration declared the US line would be “we []

Front Page

The Revenge of Passions
by Pierre Hassner

In his criticism of Henry Kissinger’s geopolitical concepts as too narrow and traditional, Stanley Hoffmann wrote: “The map of passions must be added to those showing bases and resources”.
I certainly make no claim here to elaborate these “geopolitics of passion” for which, like Hoffman I think the need is urgentely felt. But I would like []

Moving Targets

Did the US Occupy Iraq?
by A Conversation with Edward Luttwak

EJIA – Looking at the international scene from both an American and a European viewpoint, the main reason of unease is clearly Iraq, and the main cause of preoccupation is obviously Iran. Today, the dissent of Europe on first of these two crises is no longer stressed, and barely mentioned in diplomatic circles, but the []

Journal A Pluisiers Voix

At the Heart of Europe: Germany

Two articles written with passion for this special section of the EJIA by two specialists (a french like Pierre Behar and a german as Jochen Thies), about the nation that is more and more becoming the pivot of the european continent: “The Discordant Nation” by Pierre Behar, and “On the Road Again, with Merkel”, by []

Old Europe

Of Torture, Of Punishment of Death
by Cesare Beccaria

In every human society, there is an effort continually tending to confer on one part the height of power and happiness, and to reduce the other to the extreme of weakness and misery. The intent of good laws is to oppose this effort, and to diffuse their influence universally and equally. But men []

Background File

The “West” and the Shadow of History
by Leslie Colbert

The unexamined word should not worth using, to adapt Socrates, and indeed in this age of rampant mass media the unexamined word in the geopolitical arena can be dangerously misleading. Words support people’s attitudes and colour their thinking  And sometimes it seems as if their seductive properties  can leave us blind to the actual qualities []

About the Journal

The European Journal of International Affairs, founded in 1988 by Prof. Giuseppe Sacco, is dedicated to shaping ideas and framing politics in order to give a European perspective in international affairs.

Published by the European Centre for International Affairs is a required reading for those who want to go beyond the headlines, and the conventional wisdom, of European vision in a rapidly-changing world.




Many authors have contributed to the success of the Journal. Among them:

Pino Arlacchi, Samuel Brittan, Cornelius Castoriadis, Philip G. Cerny, George Corm, Ralf Dahrendorf, Etienne Davignon, Jean-Luc Domenach, François Fejtö, Joachim Fest, Pierre Hassner, Peter Hebblethwaite, Roy Jenkins, Josef Joffe, Arrigo Levi, Edward Luttwak, Stevan K. Pavlowitch, Jaques Rupnik, Ghassan Salamé, Alexander Smolar, Michael Stürmer, Marie-France Toinet, Rudolf von Thadden, Richard von Weizsäcker