Is Europe Ready for Power Politics ?

20 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2019

See all articles by Zaki Laïdi

Zaki Laïdi

Sciences Po - Centre d'Études Européennes (EEC)

Date Written: June 2019


Among the misunderstandings that are constantly fueling the debate on Europe, is its collective inability to shape the global game. And this at the moment when it faces American nationalism, Russian revisionism and China’s rise. To explain this lack of European reactivity there is a simple and common interpretation: European states are cruelly divided on all subjects and struggle to act collectively. But, this explanation confuses causes and consequences. The bottom line is that the European project born in 1957 was built against the idea of power. The whole question, is then to assess the capacity of Europe to reverse that trend and play power politics in taking into consideration the feeling of strategic loneliness in a less and less Kantian world (I) and the sense of danger in a more and more Hobbesian world (II).This is what we call a gaullian moment for Europe.

Keywords: China, European Union, France, Gaullian, Gaullist, Germany, Power, Power politics, Trump, United States

Suggested Citation

Laïdi, Zaki, Is Europe Ready for Power Politics ? (June 2019). Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies Research Paper No. RSCAS 2019/42, Available at SSRN: or

Zaki Laïdi (Contact Author)

Sciences Po - Centre d'Études Européennes (EEC) ( email )

27 rue Saint-Guillaume
Paris, 75337

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