French President Francois Hollande, center left, flanked by French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, right, walks outside the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo’s office, in Paris, Jan. 7, 2015 (AP photo by Remy De La Mauviniere).

PARIS—For the seven years I have lived here, the French military has been at war, first in Afghanistan, then in Libya, Mali and the wider Sahel region. Yet if the French armed forces were not only engaged, but at times stretched to the breaking point by their operational pace, the French people seemed oblivious to the country’s role in the fight against Islamic extremism in Africa and now the Middle East. In all but the most dramatic circumstances, casualties were ignored, and while the spotlight of breaking news at times put these wars in the public’s mind, the debate was […]

Supporters of Beji Caid Essebsi hold his portrait outside his party headquarters after he was elected Tunisian President, Dec. 22, 2014 in Tunis, Tunisia (AP photo by Ilyess Osmane).

Editor’s Note: This is the second of a two-part briefing on Tunisia’s elections. Part I looked at the state of democratic transition with the rise of the Nedaa Tunis party. Part II focuses on economic issues and whether Tunisia’s progress is sustainable. Despite Tunisia’s success navigating its political transition by holding peaceful, fair elections, the challenges of keeping it sustainable remain enormous. If Tunisia’s newly elected leaders don’t deal with those challenges carefully, they could undermine the steady progress Tunisia has made over the past four years. The most alarming issue is the absence of a clear economic agenda in […]

Beji Caid Essebsi puts his hand on the Quran to be sworn in as Tunisia’s president during a ceremony at the National Assembly in Tunis, Dec. 31, 2014 (AP photo by Hassene Dridi).

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a two-part briefing on Tunisia’s elections. Part I looks at the state of democratic transition with the rise of the Nedaa Tunis party. Part II will focus on economic issues and whether Tunisia’s progress is sustainable. Tunisians are making history again. The birthplace of the Arab Spring seems to be setting itself up to be the home of Arab democracy, pluralism and peaceful transition—and a model for the entire Arab world. Last month, for the first time since its independence from France in 1956, Tunisia successfully held competitive parliamentary and presidential elections—praised by […]

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi attended the signing of a deal between Italian steelmaker Lucchini and Algerian conglomerate Cevital, Rome, Italy, Dec. 9, 2014 (Photo from the office of the Italian Prime Minister).

In a reversal of historical trends, emerging countries are now going to great lengths to buy into portions of Europe’s sluggish industrial system. In the gloomy context of an old continent struggling to overcome the crisis that has been gripping its economies since 2007, businesses from developing nations are queuing to purchase valuable European assets, often in countries that were once their colonial rulers. As a consequence of the growing importance that their own countries have gained on the world stage, private and public managers from China, India and the Persian Gulf countries are now familiar figures in the governing […]