Publié le 10/12/2021

An exceptional issue of Politique étrangère

Confronted with a world in which the fundamentals are being redefined, France’s foreign policy is under scrutiny. In which geographies should France assert its presence? To which major challenges should France be responding in order to survive in tomorrow’s world? What kind of relationship to that world should France be establishing, as thirty years of Western intervention have ended in catastrophic failure in Afghanistan?

The European option is a priority for all French foreign policy thinking. But which Europe? Will the legacy of the Covid-19 crisis be a “federalized” Union, or will the crisis confirm the resilience of national egotisms? Is the European Union determined to provide itself with the resources—financial in particular—needed to make its digital and environmental transition a success? And will it finally decide to assert itself in the interests of its own security?

In the Sahel, have France and its European partners grasped the scale of the local and regional problems they face? Is it possible to declare that there is a need for a return of state authority without an in-depth study of the legacy of colonial history, the diversity of societies, and the specificities of populations’ political cultures?

Two current affairs investigations confirm the breadth of the challenges facing foreign policy. Will the Taliban be able to govern an Afghanistan weakened by economic and food crises, the growing threat of terrorism, and ostracism from the international community? And what about Poland? What are the long-term prospects of a regime that is on the receiving end of criticism from Brussels but that is also responsible for defending the Union’s borders?

This issue is available in French only.


The Direction of France’s Foreign Policy over the Next Thirty Years [1], by Thierry de Montbrial (in French only - La politique étrangère de la France: un cap pour les trente prochaines années [2])

Preparing for 2050: From “Foresight” to “Grand Strategy” [3], by Martin Briens and Thomas Gomart (in French only - Comment préparer 2050 ? De la « prévoyance » à la « grande stratégie » [4])

Game Over: Western Military Interventionism, 1991–2021, by Louis Gautier



Covid-19 and Other Crises: What Lessons Should be Drawn?, by Jim Cloos

After Brexit and Covid, What is the Future for Europe?, by Federico Fabbrini

The European Union, Between Fragmentation and Consolidation, by Maxime Lefebvre

European Economic Governance: Past Errors and Future Promises [5], by Vivien Schmidt (read the article [6])

European Defense: Acting in Time [7], by Claude-France Arnould



Introduction: Waiting for the Return of the State

What Does Mali’s Political Future Look Like?, by Monique Chemillier-Gendreau

Pastoral Societies and the State in Mali: The History of a Hiatus, by Charles Grémont

Mali: The Obstacles to Security Sector Reform, by Marc-André Boisvert

Islam and Politics in the Sahel, by Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim

Gold Rush: A Challenge to the Stability of Saharan States, by Laurent Gagnol and Rhoumour Ahmet Tchilouta



By the Grace of Allah: The Taliban and the Challenges of Government, by Jean-Luc Racine

Poland: Is the Slippery Slope Toward Autocracy Reversible?, by Georges Mink



Le premier XXIe siècle. De la globalisation à l'émiettement du monde (The First Twenty-First Century: From Globalization to World Disintegration), by Jean-Marie Guéhenno

By Pierre Buhler