The Case Against a New Concert of Powers

Demographic, Wild Cards

The Case Against a New Concert of Powers

Global politics today is a mess, and it can be tempting to turn to history for clues about how to clean it up, as Richard Haass and Charles Kupchan did recently in “The New Concert of Powers” (March 23). But one must be careful to learn the right lessons. Haass and Kupchan argue that the nineteenth-century Concert of Europe provides a model for managing great-power relations, avoiding major wars, and balancing an imbalanced world. These are worthy goals, but the Concert of Europe failed to achieve them—and so would any new organization inspired by it.

In 1815, Austria, France, Prussia, Russia, and the United Kingdom founded the concert to maintain their power and stabilize a continent roiled by wars and revolutionary uprisings. The concert is sometimes depicted as producing a golden age of diplomacy: a time when diplomats and statesmen fostered mutual respect, maintained a balance of power, avoided one another’s spheres of influence, and eschewed war in favor of joint sorties to the opera and late-night discussions over whiskey and cigars.

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Agricultural Policies in the EU and US: A Comparison of Policy Objectives and their Realization

Agriculture, Policies

Agricultural Policies in the EU and US: A Comparison of Policy Objectives and their Realization

In this book, the author analyzes to what extent EU and US agricultural policies are driven by comparable overall concepts and whether there is evidence that the two major agricultural trading blocks are moving towards more similarities and a more sustainable form of agriculture.

Based on the perception of desirable policy models, expressed by major think tanks and advisory groups, criteria for comparison are elaborated. After an analysis of corresponding regulations already in force, conclusions on identifiable common trends and remaining ‘question marks’ are drawn. The analysis is structured by applying an evaluation grid based on four major policy areas concerning economic, social, ecologic and institutional objectives. In light of future challenges, proposals for reform are developed.

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