L’ombre persistante de la Grande Guerre

BERLIN – Cette année marquera le centenaire de l’explosion de la Première Guerre mondiale, une raison fort suffisante pour nous inciter à réfléchir sur ce que cette catastrophe européenne majeure nous enseigne aujourd’hui. Les conséquences de la Grande Guerre sur les relations internationales et le système des États à travers le monde sont encore aujourd’hui palpables. Ainsi, avons-nous tiré quelque leçon de cet échec politique des gouvernements, des institutions et de la diplomatie internationale qui retentit en ce fameux été 1914 ?

Plusieurs régions étendues de l’hémisphère nord sont encore aujourd’hui aux prises avec l’héritage des grands empires européens – Habsbourg, russe et ottoman – qui s’effondrèrent au lendemain de la Première Guerre mondiale, ou dont le déclin, dans le cas par exemple de l’Empire britannique, fut amorcé par la guerre et scellé par une séquence encore plus sanglante une génération plus tard. Les zones de fracture qui en résultent – par exemple dans les Balkans et au Moyen-Orient – constituent la source de certaines des menaces les plus sérieuses à l’heure actuelle pour la paix régionale, voire mondiale.

Après la fin de la guerre froide et l’effondrement du successeur soviétique de l’Empire russe, la guerre est réapparue dans les Balkans selon des circonstances très similaires à celles qui avaient caractérisé la période antérieure à 1914, un nationalisme agressif reconfigurant en fin de compte la désintégration de la Yougoslavie en six États distincts. Et si ce fut bien l’aspiration de Slobodan Milošević en direction d’une « Grande Serbie » qui déclencha le conflit, le président serbe ne fut pas le seul protagoniste : pendant un temps, l’Europe faillit bien replonger dans la confrontation de 1914, la France et le Royaume-Uni soutenant la Serbie, et l’Allemagne et l’Autriche la Croatie.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.


Log in

  1. Television sets showing a news report on Xi Jinping's speech Anthony Wallace/Getty Images

    Empowering China’s New Miracle Workers

    China’s success in the next five years will depend largely on how well the government manages the tensions underlying its complex agenda. In particular, China’s leaders will need to balance a muscular Communist Party, setting standards and protecting the public interest, with an empowered market, driving the economy into the future.

  2. United States Supreme Court Hisham Ibrahim/Getty Images

    The Sovereignty that Really Matters

    The preference of some countries to isolate themselves within their borders is anachronistic and self-defeating, but it would be a serious mistake for others, fearing contagion, to respond by imposing strict isolation. Even in states that have succumbed to reductionist discourses, much of the population has not.

  3.  The price of Euro and US dollars Daniel Leal Olivas/Getty Images

    Resurrecting Creditor Adjustment

    When the Bretton Woods Agreement was hashed out in 1944, it was agreed that countries with current-account deficits should be able to limit temporarily purchases of goods from countries running surpluses. In the ensuing 73 years, the so-called "scarce-currency clause" has been largely forgotten; but it may be time to bring it back.

  4. Leaders of the Russian Revolution in Red Square Keystone France/Getty Images

    Trump’s Republican Collaborators

    Republican leaders have a choice: they can either continue to collaborate with President Donald Trump, thereby courting disaster, or they can renounce him, finally putting their country’s democracy ahead of loyalty to their party tribe. They are hardly the first politicians to face such a decision.

  5. Angela Merkel, Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron John Thys/Getty Images

    How Money Could Unblock the Brexit Talks

    With talks on the UK's withdrawal from the EU stalled, negotiators should shift to the temporary “transition” Prime Minister Theresa May officially requested last month. Above all, the negotiators should focus immediately on the British budget contributions that will be required to make an orderly transition possible.

  6. Ksenia Sobchak Mladlen Antonov/Getty Images

    Is Vladimir Putin Losing His Grip?

    In recent decades, as President Vladimir Putin has entrenched his authority, Russia has seemed to be moving backward socially and economically. But while the Kremlin knows that it must reverse this trajectory, genuine reform would be incompatible with the kleptocratic character of Putin’s regime.

  7. Right-wing parties hold conference Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

    Rage Against the Elites

    • With the advantage of hindsight, four recent books bring to bear diverse perspectives on the West’s current populist moment. 
    • Taken together, they help us to understand what that moment is and how it arrived, while reminding us that history is contingent, not inevitable

    Global Bookmark

    Distinguished thinkers review the world’s most important new books on politics, economics, and international affairs.

  8. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Bill Clark/Getty Images

    Don’t Bank on Bankruptcy for Banks

    As a part of their efforts to roll back the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, congressional Republicans have approved a measure that would have courts, rather than regulators, oversee megabank bankruptcies. It is now up to the Trump administration to decide if it wants to set the stage for a repeat of the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008.