A sign of the times? Financial crisis and politics in the West

by Jack Owens

‘Money’, Machiavelli once said, ‘is the sinews of power’. Throughout history, sound money has proved to be critical to the stability of political systems. From Weimar Germany to Latin America post-import substitution, tremors in the domestic economy have shaken the foundations of politics. A decade on from the global financial crisis that rocked most of the developed world in 2007–2008, politics has scarcely seemed more brittle. Anger at austerity and global capitalism has provided a platform for rebellious voices from the sidelines of public life to be catapulted into the mainstream.

But while political incumbents struggle to adapt to new forms of political representation that appeal to the losers of globalisation in the wake of the last crisis, there might already be another on the horizon. Predictors of recession are notoriously difficult to pin down accurately, but some of the telltale signs of economic strain are beginning to appear.

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The end of The End of History?

by Jack Owens

Francis Fukuyama's book The End of History and the Last Man (1992) is so conspicuous that one risks cliché when talking about democratic decline. But now, more than ever, the foundations of liberal democracy are shaking. Jack Owens revisits Fukuyama's argument and asks if modern democracies can appease the desire for self-recognition that is currently testing the boundaries of liberalism.

Forget Trump and Brexit: the future of British defence rests on the French presidential election

by Jack Owens

Six years on from the signature of the Lancaster House Treaties – the Franco-British bilateral defence agreement signed by David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy – the long-term future of cooperation across the Channel is unclear. Bilateral cooperation in most areas of defence has increased, from the coordination of air and marine capabilities to counter-terrorism and joint R&D programmes. But the UK’s looming exit from the European Union could spell an end to the love affair.