For two years, Qatar had been lobbying hard for its candidate, Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari, to become the next director general of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – only to see him lose narrowly to France’s candidate, former culture minister Audrey Azoulay.
To say that the Middle East is a region of instability would be an understatement. The ongoing violence in Syria & Iraq receives heavy international news coverage. Now though, it seems it's perpetuated up through to the highest levels of diplomacy.
Populism leaves its supporters spellbound, but it’s not sustainable. It’s a powerful explosive charge that sends taboo and politically incorrect, yet critical, subjects flying on to the discussion table. But politics and governance need the persistent drive of a steadily running engine with a set direction to achieve the promised goals.
Faceless Eurocrats denying EU member states their rightful sovereignty are the bête noir of Eurosceptics across the continent, a major factor in both the Brexit vote and perennial, continent-wide rumblings of discontent about Brussels. For those in the corridors of power across Europe, however, these ‘Faceless Eurocrats’ are actually a convenient scapegoat on which to pin the blame for unpopular moves that sovereign governments secretly want.
A French investigation into possible corruption in business deals related to Qatar’s winning of World Cup hosting rights moved the 2022 tournament a step closer to becoming enmeshed in the two- month-old Gulf crisis.
Both Chirac and Sarkozy had five minutes to leave power, while François Hollande could even have five months to do so. In fact, at the time, eight Frenchmen out of ten approved his decision not to run for another term. As you may recall, part of President Hollande’s establishment did not accept automatically to lend a hand to Manuel Valls, the Prime Minister who wanted to join the "two Lefts", the one resulting from Hamon’s proposals for the primary election - a so-called gauche de la tradition - and the one which was being shaped around Macron, with whom Valls had nothing in common at political level.
From the 1970s onwards, politics has undergone a very extensive and thorough conceptual transformation. I am not referring to the usual and trivial issue of the "crisis of ideologies" or the end of Right or Left all-encompassing narratives. Nevertheless the idea that the post-modern world - which was already on the horizon at the time - could do without what Wittgenstein called "super-orders of super-concepts" has been currently wiped out by reality.
Today, July 14, is Bastille Day. It is the day when the common people of France, despairing their grievances would never be addressed, stormed the Bastille It was a turning point for the French Revolution, and is celebrated annually with parades, fireworks and general festivity.