«Rien n'est plus facile que de dénoncer un malfaiteur; rien n'est plus difficile que de le comprendre» ---Fédor Dostoïevski

mardi 14 avril 2009

L'Ordre à Venir...les Conséquences de la Crise

Je viens de publier un article dans la revue américaine World Politics Review sur les conséquences stratégiques et géopolitiques de la crise économique. L'article n'est accessible qu'à ceux qui ont un abonnement. Cependant, il est possible de prendre une période d'essai gratuite de 4 mois, sans engagement. En voici quelques extraits:

The current global financial crisis is unique in that, unlike most previous crises -- which started in the periphery of the world economy, and whose deep and long-lasting impacts were limited to isolated parts of the globe -- today’s crisis is rooted in Wall Street, at the heart of the globalized market, from where it has grown and spread worldwide.

As a result, powerful, globalized economies have taken the first and hardest punches. Although still a bit groggy, they are now struggling to get back on their feet. But while economists discuss how and when economies will emerge from this crisis, strategists are beginning to debate its geopolitical implications.


The resilience, in particular, of European and emerging economies is attracting attention in many capitals today, not least of all in Washington. This concern is not driven by a sense of solidarity, but instead by security and geopolitical considerations. For obvious reasons, those countries that come out of the crisis faster and stronger (or less weakened) than others stand to gain regional and even global influence. As U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair stated in his annual threat assessment to Congress [http://www.dni.gov/testimonies/20090212_testimony.pdf ] in February, “[T]he primary near-term security concern of the United States is the global economic crisis and its geopolitical implications.” Meanwhile, in a March interview with Newsweek [http://www.newsweek.com/id/186957], U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg confirmed that the Obama administration is very concerned with maintaining America’s position as global leader.

Steinberg’s remarks are not limited to the crisis, but refer more broadly to shifts in the global balance of power. An emerging consensus suggests that America’s “unipolar moment,” [http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/46271/charles-krauthammer/the-unipolar-moment], as described by Charles Krauthammer in 1990, has come to an end. As illustrated by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. ability to take unilateral military action, without the support of its allies, has been weakened. The Russia-Georgia war and the closing of the U.S. air base in Manas, Kyrghyzstan, demonstrated diminished U.S. influence in Central Asia and the Caucasus, along with a corresponding Russian resurgence. Even Slumdog Millionaire’s clean sweep of the latest Academy Awards ceremony can be seen as a signal of a relative decline of American soft power. Finally, the financial crisis revealed that the U.S. economy, for all its might, is not immune to major crashes.


Just what that new order will look like is difficult to foresee, because it is impossible to forecast with certainty who will emerge from the current crisis a relative winner and who a relative loser. But a closer look at the impact of the crisis in specific areas can offer some ideas about the possible range of strategic and geopolitical outcomes. In particular, the impact of the crisis on military, economic and other less tangible forms of power, as well as on global stability, will prove determinant.

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