Sarkozy’s World

If you have an interest in French politics, you probably already know about Art Goldhammer’s blog, French Politics. It’s the most in depth and intelligent English language treatment of French domestic politics I’ve seen, equal parts policy analysis and cultural criticism. It’s also the principle reason I don’t spend more time writing about the subject here.

Art also has a piece on Sarkozy’s foreign policy in e-International Relations which dovetails nicely with this week’s WPR series on the French strategic posture review. I’ve seen Sarkozy’s method referred to as that of an “avocat d’affaires” before (literally business lawyer, but with a dealmaker connotation). But Art draws the interesting parallel between the emerging global order and the political playing field Sarkozy navigated in his rise to power. There’s a method to the madness, and Art does a good job of nailing it down.

As he suggests, the world order taking shape favors Sarkozy’s style of working multiple deals simultaneously, although it’s easy to imagine circumstances arising that could force his hand and make him pick a side once and for all. In the past, France has always responded by choosing France’s side, for better or worse. But with Sarkozy increasingly identifying France as part of the “family of the West,” this time might be different.

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