Tribune européenne, Futuribles Journal n° 420

Géopolitique - Institutions

When Populism Dictates Foreign Policy

The last two years have perhaps marked a turning point in the — relatively peaceful — international relations that had prevailed in the developed world since the end of the Cold War. A wind of change has been perceptible for some time now, with the growing resonance of populist movements, particularly in Europe, a newly expansionist China and Russia, and the spread of Islamic terror onto European soil etc.

And, as Jean-François Drevet shows here, three recent events confirm that there is cause for concern: first, Brexit, the consequence of a form of populism that runs the risk of leaving the UK isolated on the international stage; second, the accession to power of Donald Trump, whose erratic behaviour in the diplomatic field — also tinged with populist overtones — is tending to cause or aggravate crises rather than resolve them; and, last, the clampdown in Turkey by President Erdo?an who, like Donald Trump, manages his foreign policy on an emotive basis, without always foreseeing the consequences. These three events are changing the way international relations are conducted and raise questions over the future security of Europe, since, with the foreign policy of three of the EU’s major neighbours or partners being dictated by populist considerations, Europe has to be able to cope with new crises and to do so alone, outside the US umbrella. That will no doubt be one of the major challenges for the European Union in the medium term.

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