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scientist on international politics: Bertrand Badie: “the west must count with a world that is no longer exclusively hers”
According to the political scientist bertrand badie, the north can no longer control the international agenda, the battlefield of the world moving towards the south. Despite this, the mode of governance strategy has not changed since the decolonization and the emergence of new actors.
Between terrorism, wars and new territorial restructuring, how do you explain the new works of the world, which raises questions and fears? A question to which bertrand badie has not given up to respond.
Far from being nostalgic a bipolar representation as a result of the cold war, this professor at sciences-po, specialist in international relations, describes the emergence of new global players. After a book on the humiliation as an engine of international relations, he checks today the effects in his latest book, we are no longer alone in the world. And outlines the routes of an unjust world order.
That means this track, “we are no longer alone in the world”?
It is both a way to highlight the emergence of states that were not previously, but also to take into account the emergence of civil societies in the international order. This latter concept was invented on a continental scale by Europeans at the conclusion of the peace treaty of westphalia [in the seventeenth century, ed]. The Europeans have made sure that this European normative order is synonymous with international order. Decolonization, which would have had to reorganize this world, has been held in edge by bipolarity of the world of the cold war. This is neither more nor less than a series of circumstances that have matched the modern idea (d ‘” International ” with the idea of ” Classic European concert “. So much so that the United States are truly internationalized that becoming a European power of more, including going to fight during the two world wars on European soil. Then they are enrolled in a system of alliances certainly atlantic but deeply rooted in the old continent.
The Europeans have dominated the world through their colonial empires…
Colonization has permanently put in place a division between a dominant world and a world dominated. This logic has perpetuated the perimeter. The idea of a system of inequality has thus trivialized and grafted on a European institutional order composed of equal. Has this geographical changes adds the effect of social overflow that causes globalization. Today, the west must count with a world that is not exclusively hers, but also with the emergence of social actors gone global. The companies themselves are bursting through the global order: those in the south, in particular, just break the “Western” between itself, while the classic power can do nothing on them.
What is this what you call “the power of the weak”?
The Battlefield of the world has left Europe and moved to the south, in Sahelian Africa and Central Africa, the middle east, or even in Central Asia. New conflicts that have made strain are no longer conflicts of power but of weakness. The military power decides over the outcome of warfare now derived from the weakness of the institutions and companies in the south. And more importantly, the international agenda is controlled by the process of decomposition surrounding and affects them. The main conflict of the world, in the sahel, for example, combine a decomposition of political and state institutions, a virtual non-existence of nations and social contracts as well as an extreme weakness of the socio-economic development. Powerful people don’t decide more nor borders or conflicts: they only react or attempt to contain. The beginning of our twenty-first century has been more marked by events activated by a bin laden or a al-Baghdadi that by a bush. Barack Obama is the first American President who has understood the limits of the posture reactive power and which therefore has amended the routine interventionist.
When was the emergence of “low”?
There’s a long time. And in retrospect, the most astonishing thing is that we didn’t see it coming. It is sufficient to observe the chronicle of the twentieth century to see everywhere in the world of claims that not only were exempt from the western attraction, but which, in addition, tended to define themselves against this order west. In the first time, it was not a violent assertions. The First Pan-African Congress held in 1900 and goes unnoticed, but the first world war wake up identities who claim as others, as in the case of conferences panasiatiques. The First Pan-Islamic Congress held in 1926 in Cairo, very little time before the formation of the movement of the Muslim Brotherhood. All these meetings should have set up alerts, but westerners have not paid attention to this will be out of the west.
How do you explain the failure of decolonisation?
This process has completely failed for two reasons. The first is the simplistic Formula: we thought we were going to dump our model on others. Westerners felt that these countries décoloniseraient to become of states in their image. Paradoxically, the main importers and promoters of the reproduction of the western model were among the nationalists who had fought the most fiercely against the colonial powers. They had learned this model at the colonizer – Nehru was formed to Cambridge -, And the most turbulent of African independence have made their apprenticeship in metropolis. But as this model European policy is non-reproducible, he lost its legitimacy, and often collapsed. The collapse of all these states of the south is the primary cause of conflicts of today.
Decolonization was a failure because it has not made in our imaginary?
But above all, the mode of governance of the world hasn’t changed after the decolonisation. The power remained within a club oligarchic extremely limited, that this is the security council or the g7. the g20 has never actually seen the light of day. So this system has continued to exclude. Proof that nothing has changed and that we have not learned anything, westerners always react the same way to new conflicts, of a sudden to military interventions, as if we still had to deal with wars clausewitziennes. And even armed with the best of intentions, we do that we possess the war of the other and more complex and even more the situation. Whether in Afghanistan, Iraq, Mali, not to mention the Libya.
You say that there are two mondialisations: that of the strong and weak. What do you mean by that?
We have committed, and recurrent, a fault capital, to the left and the right, that of confuse globalization and completion of a neoliberal model or even an ultra-Liberal. Globalization, originally, is not an economic phenomenon. She wishes to a transformation of the system of communication. Today, this immediate communication is lethal for international relations such as we knew them before. Until recently, the borders and the territories enabled sovereignties of exercised. Today, we are witnessing a rise of transnational mobilizations irreversible. One of the main consequences of this deepening of the communication is that today, the poor sees the fort and the rich: Here’s that renews deeply the imaginary and also calls for new forms of solidarity.
What can an average power like France?
France has not yet really integrated that she was an average power and that she was no longer alone in the world. As the average power, she doesn’t lack for as many strengths. She has a good anchor multilateral, whether in Europe as a whole or to the United Nations. This is where she can continue to play a role. But we must break with the simplistic idea, archaic and reductive a “Western” family which it would be a member. We must adopt a foreign policy truly globalized, which relies on the relay of various regional organizations and who understands in addition that the conventional martial models are no longer effective. And finally, we must build a real policy of otherness: recognize the other doesn’t mean be okay with him but admit the plurality to negotiate then the modes of international coexistence instead of the decree.
This would be better than to ward off the new threats?
The new forms of confrontations that await us manufacture wars to floors, the wars which have certainly a lot of conflict, but who also have the capacity to expand by rhizome everywhere in the world. Thus, the war in Mesopotamia [Iraq and Syria] is also present by the attacks in Paris, in molenbeek or in Seine-Saint-Denis. However, our first reaction in the aftermath of the 13 November was to announce the bombing raids on Syria: it is an anachronistic diplomacy of battlefield. Ditto in Mali, where françois hollande stated his intention to “destroy” terrorists. You don’t destroy the shreds of societies. There are in the world some 500 000 child soldiers. These are not our enemies, they are children of companies who collapse. In response to which the choice martial is absurd. The treatment that is needed is no longer in the military, but social. Let us therefore to a work of containment and international police more than international military action.

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