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Geopolitics

Sheepishly, The French Make Case For Christine Lagarde To Succeed Strauss-Kahn At IMF

Editorial: The next IMF chief should hail from the Old Continent, and the best European candidate is (another) French Finance Minister, says France's top business daily

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde
French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde
Dominique Seux

Nicolas Sarkozy and the French government were right this week to keep mum over who should succeed Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the head of the International Monetary Fund. France is no doubt less than ideally placed right now to push for its favorite candidate. But the former IMF chief's official resignation does signify the beginning of a new era, the post-Strauss-Kahn period, and France certainly does have a say in the matter.

Developing countries have made it extremely clear that they are keen to send one of their own to Washington, and thus break the unwritten rule that the top IMF job should always go to a European. Their claim is of course worthy of consideration. The truth, however, is that it's still too early for that.

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Geopolitics

Is Soft Power Dead?

With an activist Supreme Court creating a gap between democratic rhetoric and reality in the U.S., and Russia and China eager to flex military muscle, the full-force return to hard power looks bound for dominance.

U.S. flag and Chinese flag

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — Russia's war in Ukraine rages on, tensions are erupting in the South China Sea and now abortion rights are being stripped away in the U.S.: Looking around the world, we have to ask: what is left of the notion of soft power?

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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How can we talk about the power to convince when the power to coerce is increasingly the norm? And when there is such a gap between rhetoric and reality in the U.S. and in Russia and China, hard power almost seems to have become part of soft power?

“We will lead the world not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example,” Joe Biden said the day after his election. But what kind of example was he talking about? That of the Supreme Court’s judges, whose decision promises a terrible future to women and to all those who still wanted to believe in an enlightened and liberal America?

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