France

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Snapshot,
Jonathan Laurence

Although the absolutism of French republican ideals has inspired democracies worldwide for centuries, it has only been France's gradual adjustment of those ideals to social and demographic realities—first to its Jewish population and in the future, perhaps, to the Muslim community or to the right—that afforded the country lasting political stability.

Snapshot,
Robin Simcox

Recent history has shown that there will always be a new jihadist cause. If it is not France’s involvement in Libya in 2011, then it is its invasion of Mali in January 2013; if it is not foreign policy, it is domestic; if it is not banning head scarves in public, it is drawing insulting cartoons. That is why, even as governments look to the recent attacks for lessons, they cannot allow them to dictate policies.

Snapshot,
Jytte Klausen

The death toll makes this week’s attack the most significant on French soil since the Nazi occupation—a huge milestone in al Qaeda’s campaign against the West.

Snapshot,
Arthur Goldhammer

Nicolas Sarkozy has just been elected head of UMP, the party he led before becoming president. Sarkozy hopes that the victory will give him a leg up in the battle to become France’s next president in 2017.

Snapshot,
Rory Miller

Tomorrow, the French National Assembly is set to vote on a resolution recognizing a Palestinian state. Although the act would be nonbinding, the vote is a referendum on whether France can follow through on its claim as the West's truest champion of the Palestinian cause.

Snapshot,
Michael Moran

France plans to sell Russia two helicopter carriers this year, giving the Russian navy something it currently lacks: the ability to carry out swift seaborne invasions on its neighbors. If Washington wants to sink the sale, it should should buy the ships itself.

Video,
Justin Vogt and Thomas Piketty

Justin Vogt, deputy managing editor of Foreign Affairs, sits down with Thomas Piketty, professor at the Paris School of Economics and the author of Capital in the Twenty-first Century.

Snapshot,
Brendan Simms

Margaret Thatcher re-established the United Kingdom as a major force on the international scene. But she failed to see that the best hope for Europe's future was integration.

Review Essay, Mar/Apr 2013
Brendan Simms

Foreign policy realists have long found inspiration in the ideas of Lord Castlereagh, who served as British foreign secretary during and after the Napoleonic Wars. A new biography of the statesman presents him as more ideological than is traditionally assumed, and suggests that his example is more relevant than ever -- and might even hold the key to solving Europe's ongoing crisis.

Snapshot,
Etienne de Durand

France's intervention in Mali has so far succeeded, but expelling Islamist militants was the easy part. Now Paris must turn its tactical achievements into a lasting victory -- which will require a light but enduring presence in the country.

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