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Leaders for a Leaderless World

PARIS – The newspaper commentaries that I write often have a dark perspective. Sadly, this one will be no different. But there are two pieces of good news that break through the gloom.

First, the global significance of US President Barack Obama’s reelection is clear: the world has escaped a disaster for international cooperation. The US was on the verge of sinking into isolationist nationalism, reinforced, perhaps, by xenophobic sentiment. Obama’s victory, despite America’s economic travails, clears the way for cooperation based on a sympathetic ear to others and on negotiations in which the US does not deny the legitimacy of a global public interest (as it has done, unfortunately, on the issue of climate change).