Your Friday Briefing

Those who cannot think or take responsibility for themselves need, and clamor for, a leader.
Hermann Hesse

By Azra Isakovic

Jan. 22, 2021

Good morning

Welcome to Your Friday Briefing


Livres – « L’extrême centre ou le poison français – 1789-2019 » de Pierre Serna | Éditions Champ Vallon
Verso Books – How Derrida and Foucault became the most misunderstood philosophers of our time, By Peter Salmon | Prospect Magazine


Revues – Insécurité collective – La Crise de multilatéralisme, Questions internationales, N° 105 Serge Sur, Sabine Jansen | La Documentation française


US – The Last Chance for American Internationalism, Hal Brands | Foreign Affairs   
US – The outlook for America looks grim, but that could quickly change, The Economist   
US/Nuclear – Proportionate Deterrence: A Model Nuclear Posture Review [ Carnegie Endowment
Europe/Health – What do vaccination passports mean for Europe?  | Wolff, Bruegel 
Turkey/Eastern Mediterranean – What Erdogan Really Wants in the Eastern Mediterranean | Foreign Policy   
Black Sea – The Black Sea…Or a Black Hole? Ben Hodges, CEPA

EU/China/Investment – The EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment: One Deal, Two Realities, Didi Kirsten Tatlow, DGAP   
EU/China/US – Transatlantic Awakening: Why Europe and China are Creating a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment, Valbona Zeleni and Joseph Vann, National Interest 
Eastern Partnership – The Eastern Partnership: Three dilemmas in a time of troubles, Bob Deen, Wouter Zweers, and Iris van Loon (eds.), Clingendael 
China – Beijing’s Parting Gift to Former Trump Officials  Jimmy Quinn, National Review
Russia – A Vision for Russia  Gordon Humphrey & Joe Lieberman, The Hill
US/Japan – How Biden Should Support the U.S.-Japan Alliance  Andrew Erickson, 1945


Research & Analysis

France/Africa – Operation Barkhane and the Future of Intervention in the Sahel, Denis M. Tull, SWP
EU – The European economic and financial system: fostering openness, strength and resilience, European Commission 
US/Climate – Choosing Wisely: How the Biden Administration can Build a Better Coalition on International Energy and Climate Policy in a Post-COVID World, David Goldwyn and Andrea Clabough, Atlantic Council   


Your Thursday Briefing

We are not makers of history. We are made by history.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Azra Isakovic

Jan. 21, 2021

Good morning

Welcome to Your Thursday Briefing


Samuel Beckett – The Wisdom of Surrender  Andy Wimbush, Aeon
Booksellers – Iconic Paris Bookshop Closes  Julia Webster Ayuso, The Guardian
LRB – Goodbye, Europe  Perry Anderson, London Review of Books
Postmodernism – Is Postmodernism Really Worthless?  Park MacDougald, Washington Examiner


US – Joe Biden’s Inauguration Speech Transcript, Washington Post
US – Donald Trump is Out. Are We Ready to Talk About How He Got In Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic 
US – What to Expect in Biden’s First 100 Days in Foreign Policy, Robbie Gramer, Amy Mackinnon, Jack Detsch, and Christina Lu, Foreign Policy   
US – Biden Wants to Unite the Country. How Can He Do It? Politico Magazine  
US – The Rebels Are Still Among Us, Anne Applebaum, The Atlantic   
Digital – 2021 Is the Year the Internet Gets Rewritten, Tyson Barker, Foreign Policy
Italy – Italy: No Political Crisis, But an Economic One, Valbona Zeleni, The Globalist
Russia – How to Contain Putin’s Russia, Michael McFaul, Foreign Affairs  
Health – Second report on progress, Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, WHO
Health – Wealthy Countries Should Share Vaccine Doses Before It Is Too Late, Lawrence O. Gostin, Eric A. Friedman, and Suerie Moon, Foreign Affairs 
US/Afghanistan – Writing Off Afghanistan: Does Biden Have a Choice? Anthony H. Cordesman, CSIS

Research & Analysis

Digital – A U.S. Grand Strategy for the Global Digital Economy, Robert D. Atkinson, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation 
US/Europe/Technology – Artificial divide: How Europe and America could clash over AI, Ulrike Esther Franke, ECFR 



What does President Biden mean for the EU-US relationship? Dan Hamilton, Global Europe Unpacked 
Essential Geopolitics: China vs. Australia  Stratfor Worldview
4 Principles to Guide U.S. Policy Toward China  ChinaFile


Your Tuesday Briefing

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. Bertrand Russell

By Azra Isakovic

Jan. 19, 2021

Good morning

Welcome to Your Tuesday Briefing


Book Reviews –  Empire, race and global justice, by Dani Solomon | International Affairs
Livres/Recension – « Les capitalismes à l’épreuve de la pandémie », de Robert Boyer – Éric Monnet | La Vie des idées
Books – “Grounded Nationalisms: A Sociological Analysis”, by Siniša Malešević | Center for Nationalism Studies PDF


US – America’s New Corporate Tyranny, by Michael Lind | Tablet Magazine
US – America’s Political Decay Accelerates  Francis Fukuyama, Foreign Affairs
US – Last Chance for American Power  Andrew Michta, National Review
US – Conspiracy Theories will Doom the Republican Party, Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE), The Atlantic 
US – Foreign Policy Priorities for the Biden Administration, Chatham House   
US – America and the World: How to Build Back Better, Jonathan Tepperman and Fareed Zakaria, Foreign Policy 
Russia – Navalny Is Russian for ‘Domestic Enemy Number One’  Ben Hall, Financial Times
Russia – What Navalny’s Return Means for Putin  Felix Light, New Statesman
China – New Lessons on China’s International Aid  Zhang Chao & Tang Yuxuan, The Diplomat
China/AI – Can China Become the AI Superpower?  Jinghan Zeng with Ben Horton, Chatham House US/Europe/Corruption – Biden Can’t Fight Corruption Without Help From Europe, Kathleen Doherty, Foreign Policy 
Germany – Merkel era may only just be beginning, Matthew Karnitschnig, Politico  
US-EU/China –US-EU united front on China faces challenges | Hinrich Foundation
UK/EU – The UK and EU are heading for bad-tempered rivalry, unless we can avert it, Timothy G. Ash, ECFR
Technology –Why a dawn of technological optimism is breaking, The Economist 
US/Iran – Iran Struggles to Fill Vacuum Left by Soleimani  Ali Hashem, Center for Global Policy
Africa – Tunisia’s Revolution: Unfulfilled, Unforgotten  Tharwa Boulifi, African Arguments
Taiwan Policy – Sudden Policy Change Does Taiwan No Favors  Michael Green & Bonnie Glaser, CSIS

Research & Analysis

Germany/US – More Ambition, Please! Toward a New Agreement between Germany and the United States, German Transatlantic Group, GMF
US/Trade – The Trade Agenda for the 46th U.S. President – Advancing Global Economic Order? Peter Rashish, Konrad Adenauer Foundation  


Covid/écologie –  « Le confinement est définitif » Bruno Latour | France Culture

Ce que le numérique fait aux humanités, par Bruno Latour

Your Friday Briefing

Lying is an elementary means of self-defense ~ Susan Sontag

By Azra Isakovic
Jan. 8, 2021

Good morning

Welcome to your Friday briefing


Books – Underground Asia – Global Revolutionaries and the Assault on Empire, by Tim Harper | Harvard University Press
Book Review – Deplorable, yourself, by Isaac William Martin | Books & Ideas
Book Review: White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg | LSE USAPP blog


Capitol Hill – The Peril the U.S. Faces  International Crisis Group
Capitol Hill – Mike Davis, Riot on the Hill New Left Review
Capitol Hill – The storming of Capitol Hill was organized on social media by Sheera Frenkel | New York Times
Capitol Hill – Amid a transfer of power, Trump supporters break into Capitol – Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Capitol Hill – Trump Told Crowd ‘You Will Never Take Back Our Country With Weakness, by Maggie Haberman | New York Times
Russia – Russia’s Northern Fleet Upgraded  Roger McDermott, Jamestown
EU – With UK Gone, Smaller Nations Fight EU Integration  William Nattrass, CapX
Biden – What’s Next for Foreign Aid Under Biden?  Kristen Cordell, Council on Foreign Relations
Israel/IranIs This the Year Israel and Iran Go to War?  Seth Frantzman, 1945
France – France a Post-Imperial Power Seeking a Role  Philip Stephens, Financial Times
Russia – Russia’s Northern Fleet Upgraded to military District Status, Roger McDermott, The Jamestown 
EU/Russia – The EU in Action: Russia, Sarah Pagung, Internationale Politik Quarterly  
EU/Middle East/North Africa –The EU in Action: The Middle East and North Africa, Florence Gaub, Internationale Politik Quarterly 
EU/Turkey – The EU in Action: Turkey, Günter Seufert, Internationale Politik Quarterly 

Research & Analysis

US/China/Russia – The Biden Transition and U.S. Competition with China and Russia: The Crisis-Driven Need to Change U.S. Strategy, Anthony H. Cordesman with the assistance of Grace Hwang, CSIS
Arctic/Nuclear – Strategic Stability and Competition in the Arctic, Rebecca Hersman, Eric Brewer, and Maxwell Simon, CSIS
China/Central and Eastern Europe – Huawei in Central and Eastern Europe: Trends and Forecast, Ivana Karásková, ed., Association for International Affairs Prague
Arctic – Climate Change and the Opening of the Transpolar Sea Route: Logistics, Governance, and Wider Geo-economic, Societal and Environmental Impacts, Kristina Spohr and Daniel S. Hamilton, editors, Jason Moyer, associate editor 


Capitol Hill – Après l’assaut du Capitole, Donald Trump accepte enfin de quitter la Maison Blanche | France Culture



Welcome to your Tuesday briefing

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. Henry Miller

Azra Isakovic

Good morning and welcome to Tuesday, January 5.


Books/Review – Unravelling liberal interventionism: local critiques of statebuilding in Kosovo, by Gëzim Visoka and Vjosa Musliu | International Affairs
Books/Review – Boris Johnson: The Gambler by Tom Bower review – the defining secret by Jonathan Freedland | The Guardian
Books – Turkey–West Relations, by Oya Dursun-Ozkanca | Cambridge University Press.

Featured Study 

Middle East Studies Journal –  The most popular articles of 2020 – free to access through 20th January | History at Cambridge
Asian Studies Journal – The most popular articles of 2020 – free to access through 15th January | History at Cambridge


Trade/China/EU – Europe Hands China a Strategic Victory  Gideon Rachman, Financial Times
Trade/China/EU – The EU Takes a Gamble With China  Constantin Eckner, Spectator
Trade/UK/EU – 10 key details in the UK-EU trade deal, Anna Isaac, Politico 
Trade/UK/Turkey – UK signs free trade agreement with Turkey, Bethan McKernan, The Guardian 
UK/Northern Ireland – The Irish Sea widens, The Economist 
UK/Scotland – Brexit changed the game on Scottish independence, Nicola Sturgeon, Politico 
UK/France –Never mind Brexit. Britain and France are condemned to work together,John Lichfield, Politico 
UK/EU/Education – UK pulls out of ‘extremely expensive’ Erasmus scheme, Cristina Gallardo, Politico
EU/China/Investment – Europe’s disappointing investment deal with China, Alicia Garcia-Herrero, Nikkei Asia 
The Biden Transition – What Biden Must Do to Restore U.S. Foreign Policy  Robert Kaplan, National Interest
The Biden Transition – Biden Faces no Shortage of Foreign Policy Problems  John McLaughlin, Ozy
The Biden Transition – Biden Inherits a Challenging Civil-Military Legacy  Jim Golby & Peter Feaver, WOTR

Digital/US – As Understanding of Russian Hacking Grows, So Does Alarm, David E. Sanger, Nicole Perlroth, Julian E. Barnes, New York Times 
Digital/US – We Can Take Advantage of the Russian Hack. Here’s How, Glenn S. Gerstell, Politico 
Tactical Nuclear Weapon – Do tactical nukes break international law? By Jaroslav Krasny | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Research & Analysis

Digital/EU – The EU’s Cybersecurity Strategy for the Digital Decade, European Commission
EU/China/Investment – Key elements of the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment, European Commission


Pandemie/Democratie – Comment s’engager en pandémie ? Avec Barbara Stiegler | France Culture

Europe – Sarajevo Revisited  Benjamin Moser, New York Review of Books

Dreampolitik de Biden, par Bruno Maçães

Dans son nouveau livre opportun – une réflexion sur les ressorts intimes de la biographie et de la personnalité de Joe Biden – l’écrivain new-yorkais Evan Osnos note une contradiction centrale qui anime le candidat à la présidentielle. Pendant la campagne, Trump et la plupart des républicains ont tenté d’associer Biden à un plan malveillant de contrebande du socialisme aux États-Unis. En tant que stratégie électorale, elle n’était pas convaincante, se heurtant à une longue et distinguée carrière marquée par une sorte de centrisme détendu et flexible. Biden a en fait pris soin de souligner ces penchants même après les élections, alors qu’il se prépare à prendre le poste.

Et pourtant, il y avait une autre tension dans la campagne victorieuse et cela n’avait rien à voir avec le fait d’amener le Parti républicain dans ses excès habituels. Courant à un moment où un nombre record de démocrates sont heureux de se décrire comme socialistes, et où les braises des manifestations de rue brillent encore à travers le pays, Biden a dû éviter d’être trop prudent. Comme le dit Osnos, « au moment où Biden a effectivement décroché la nomination, en mars, il avait commencé à décrire sa candidature comme une offre de changement systémique à l’échelle du New Deal de Franklin Roosevelt ». Franklin Foer dans l’Atlantique a fait valoir que Biden avait inversé le modèle historique de chaque candidat démocrate. La politique de Biden n’a commencé à flirter avec la romance révolutionnaire qu’après avoir remporté l’investiture.

L’évolution a confondu les critiques. Osnos une fois de plus: « Biden a été simultanément accusé d’être une marionnette socialiste et un shill néolibéral ». C’était une contradiction productive. Le problème maintenant est de savoir comment continuer à l’explorer. Tout comme Trump a tenté de convaincre ses partisans qu’ils vivaient déjà dans une utopie nationaliste – souvent avec un succès notable – Biden devra convaincre les Américains qu’ils vivent déjà dans l’Amérique promise par les progressistes. Si le pays est déjà uni autour d’idéaux de justice sociale et raciale – si chaque secrétaire du Cabinet fournit la preuve que les minorités sexuelles et raciales ont véritablement surmonté leur oppression passée – le président Biden pourrait en fait être à la fois centriste et progressiste. Les idéaux progressistes seraient réalisés sans avoir besoin de la lutte et du conflit du mouvement progressiste.

Comme d’autres présidents, Biden a bien sûr présenté ses choix de cabinet comme la preuve et le symbole que l’Amérique a parcouru un long chemin depuis ses jours les plus sombres. Ce qui ressortait, c’était le caractère méthodique et perfectionniste de l’itération actuelle de la politique identitaire. À un moment donné, il a semblé que le président élu essayait de résoudre un casse-tête particulièrement complexe. Lorsque Biden a nommé le premier homme noir à diriger le Pentagone, les femmes ont crié au scandale. Les militants américains d’origine asiatique sont devenus de plus en plus préoccupés par le fait que les groupes minoritaires ne seraient pas suffisamment représentés au plus haut niveau de l’administration Biden. Les minorités sexuelles ont exprimé leur déception que Biden n’ait pas encore nommé un membre éminent de leur communauté dans son cabinet, ce qu’il a commencé à corriger. Il est alors devenu évident qu’il n’avait pas attribué suffisamment d’emplois clés dans son cabinet à des femmes noires. En principe, il devrait y avoir au moins cinq Latinos dans le Cabinet, y compris bien sûr des Latinas. Etc. La nécessité d’assurer la diversité ethnique, de genre et d’orientation sexuelle a conduit à enfoncer des chevilles carrées dans des trous ronds.

Comme l’a écrit Nesrine Malik, l’exercice était révélateur car il montrait à quel point Biden est engagé dans Dreampolitik – dans ce cas, la promesse de la diversité comme changement cosmétique sans transformation plus profonde. La sélection du Cabinet n’a pas été un moyen de remédier aux inégalités structurelles qui produisent la marginalisation des groupes minoritaires en premier lieu, mais un exercice de «mission accomplie», une sorte de «fin de l’histoire» pour ceux qui ne croient plus en l’histoire et , dans leurs moments de tranquillité, peuvent même ne pas croire au progrès. Kamala Harris explique: «Quand Joe m’a demandé d’être son vice-président, il m’a parlé de son engagement à faire en sorte que nous choisissions un cabinet qui ressemble à l’Amérique – qui reflète le meilleur de notre nation. C’est ce que nous avons fait. »

Source: Biden’s Dreampolitik

Brexit : Londres et Bruxelles sont arrivés à un accord | Une année pas comme les autres: 2020 en images | Votre briefing du jeudi

« Il est difficile d’imaginer offrir des ensembles de livres de sociologie pour les cadeaux de Noël, ce serait tout à fait impensable » – Pierre Bourdieu

Azra Isakovic

Good Evening

Your Thursday Briefing: What you should know for Thursday, December 24

Brexit : Londres et Bruxelles sont arrivés à un accord Les Echos

Covid-19 – Emmanuel Macron, Free of Covid-19 Symptoms, Leaves Isolation, By Constant Méheut | The New York Times

Brexit – Britain and E.U. Scramble to Reach Brexit Deal Before Christmas Mark Landler | The New York Times

Book Review – The Sociologist and the Historian by Pierre Bourdieu and Roger Chartier by Canan Bolel | LSE Review of Books

Sociologie – Jaurès, Durkheim, Lévi-Strauss : il y a un siècle, quand les sciences sociales étaient socialistes Par Chloé Leprince |  France Culture

EU/China – Paris will block EU-China deal, says trade minister |  POLITICO Europe

China – How to Deter China: Enter the Democratic Armada  James Holmes, 1945

China/Asia – Will China Turn Off Asia’s Tap?  Brahma Chellaney, Project Syndicate

US/Russia With Biden’s New Threats, the Russia Discourse is More Reckless and Dangerous Than Ever | Glenn Greenwald

Covid19 – Maybe Freedom is Having No Followers to Lose by Zeynep Tufekci

Russia – Has Navalny’s Prank Finally Shattered the FSB Myth?  Sergey Radchenko, M. Times

China/India – The SCO’s Limited Role in Easing India-China Tensions    James MacHaffie, Jamestown

Azerbaijan – A Pyrrhic Victory for Azerbaijan?  Ido Vock, New Statesman

Turkey/Erdogan Erdogan’s Political Challengers Are Getting Tougher  Bobby Ghosh, Japan Times

2020 – A Year Like No Other: 2020 in Pictures | The New York Times

Pierre Bourdieu & Robert Chartier – Série de 5 entretiens

We hope you have a Merry festive period and we’ll see you in 2021.

Merry Christmas! Joyeux Noël!

NATO-Russia Crisis, Baltic states and Russia, What the New Geopolitics Means for Europe – Your Friday Briefing

“A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.” ― John le Carré

Azra Isakovic

Good Morning

Here’s what you need to know

FT/Books/EssayWhat makes John le Carré a writer of substance, by Simon Schama | Financial Times
Liberal InternationalismThe End of the Wilsonian Era  By Walter Russell Mead | Foreign Affairs

US/Cyber warfareUS cyber hack poses ‘grave risk’ to critical infrastructure by Hannah Murphy | Financial Times
Biden TransitionInstagram is Using False “Fact-Checking” to Protect Joe Biden’s Crime Record From Criticisms | Glenn Greenwald

NATO/Russia –  NATO-Russia Crisis Brief PDF 📥 | December 2020 | Global Zero

Russia/BalticsManaging Adversity: Russia and the Baltics | Carnegie Russia

Technology/Digital – Artificial Intelligence Cybersecurity Challenges, EU Agency for Cybersecurity 
Technology/Democracy – Artificial Intelligence and Democratic Values, Center for AI and Digital Policy
UK/Indo-Pacific –A Very British Tilt: Towards a new UK strategy in the Indo-Pacific Region, Policy Exchange’s Indo-Pacific Commission 

Europe – What the New Geopolitics Means for Europe  Charles Grant | CER
US/China – Competition With China Could Be Short and Sharp, Michael Beckley and Hal Brands, Foreign Affairs  
EU – Upgrading Europe’s Civilian Crisis Management, Christian Mölling and Fiorence Schimmel, DGAP  
Arab Spring – Ten years after the start of the Arab Spring, it’s time to accept that the revolution may never return, by Steven A. Cook | Foreign Policy

Welcome to Our Tuesday Briefing – Here’s what you need to know

If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal. – Emma Goldman

Azra Isakovic

Good morning and Welcome to Our Tuesday Briefing – Here’s what you need to know

US presidential election 2020 –  Republicans accept Joe Biden’s victory after Electoral College vote | Financial Times  

US🇺🇸Barr to step down as US attorney-general after Trump attacks | Financial Times  
Cyber warfare US orders emergency action after huge cyber security breach | Financial Times

EU/UK – Why the World Should Root for the EU in Brexit Talks, Edward Alden, Foreign Policy 
Germany – Who Will Succeed Merkel? Josef Joffe, Project Syndicate 
US – Al Gore: Where I Find Hope, Al Gore, New York Times  
US/Intelligence – Crisis of Confidence: How Biden Can Restore Faith in U.S. Spy Agencies, Foreign Affairs 
US/Russia – Managing US sanctions toward Russia, Steven Pifer, Brookings  
US/Russia – How to Safely Manage U.S.-Russian Great-Power Competition, Dmitri Trenin and Thomas Graham, Carnegie Moscow 

China – China pulls back from the world: rethinking Xi’s ‘project of the century’, James Kynge and Jonathan Wheatley, Financial Times 
China/NATO – China’s Rise Can Unite NATO, Henrik Larsen, Center for Security Studies, ETH Zurich
US🇺🇸/China🇨🇳/Tech/Techno-nationalism and corporate governance, by Alex Capri | Hinrich Foundation
China claims quantum supremacy with new supercomputer

China🇨🇳/Nuclear notebookChinese nuclear forces, 2020 | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
OSCE – Strengthening the OSCE’s Role in Election System Monitoring, Tyson Barker, DGAP 
BiographyOn a New Biography of Karl Marx by Branco Milanovic | Brave New Europe
EconomyThe Friedman doctrine in the 21st century by Michael Roberts | Brave New Europe

Our Monday Briefing – Here’s what you need to know

    The truth is lived, not taught. Hermann Hesse

Azra Isakovic

Good morning and welcome!

Here’s what you need to know

Biden Transition Five things to watch when the Electoral College votes | The Hill

Biden TransitionGerman-American Relations After Trump  Christiane Hoffmann & René Pfister, Spiegel

Biden TransitionRussia, Biden and Cyber Regulation  Pavel Sharikov, Riddle

Biden Transition‘This Must Be Your First’ – Acting as if Trump is trying to stage a coup is the best way to ensure he won’t, by Zeynep Tufekci | The Atlantic

Biden Transition –  President Joe Biden and the restoration of US global leadership: Turning the tide? – | FIIA

China/BRIChina’s Policy Banks Are Lending Differently, Not Less | The Diplomat

China/Energy China’s Footprints in Kazakh Oil and Gas Industry  | The Diplomat

Books/ReviewThe Audacity of Disappointment: Barack Obama’s A Promised Land by Frankie Bond | The Social Review

Brexit – EU and UK agree to continue Brexit trade deal talks  | Financial Times

Brexit/EU🇪🇺/UK🇬🇧 – UK puts Royal Navy on standby to deter European fishing boats, by  Jim Pickard via Financial Times

Brexit/EU🇪🇺/UK🇬🇧/ Brexit negotiators make progress on key issue in trade talks, by George Parker, Jim Brunsden and Sam Fleming | Financial Times

Brexit More Brexit Talks Are Worst Possible Outcome  Matthew Lynn, Spectator

Brexit The Shape of Our Bad Deal Is Clear  Tom Kibasi, Guardian

Brexit/EU🇪🇺/UK🇬🇧 – EU and UK still ‘far apart’ but Brexit deal hopes rise | Financial Times