2006: a lost year?

Abstract

The year 2006 did not see any significant development in international relations: this is a time for medium-term dynamics, marked by successive inflections, rather than decisive turns. Nevertheless, such an assessment does not mean in the least that everything is fine or that problems are being solved: on the contrary, they are getting worse. Among them, three interrelated trends have presided over and dominated this past year: the United States and the Middle East, the politics of emerging powers and the overall problems linked with globalisation. Indeed, dead ends in the Middle East have provoked the demotion of the American leadership, which other powers have not compensated, as they remained virtually immobile during 2006, like Europe, or engaged in rather inconclusive games, such as China, Japan or Russia. This context has not created auspicious conditions for an international handling of the great globalisation problems, which prevailed increasingly in 2006, as shown by the attention devolved by world opinion to the matters of global warming or international migrations.

AFRI 2007 Summary