Raison ou Déraison d’Etat

A first glance at today’s world confirms the prevalence of raison d’état in international relations, and shows a higher level of raison in the defense and promotion of national interest. We are living in the least violent period in history. Despite all of this, the ‘reason of the state’ remains the focus of critique. The bad press relates to (a) the challenges of the reason of the state by other interests at lower and higher system levels, (b) the cost-ineffectiveness of ways and means used to defend or promote national interest, and (c) changes in the moral-political climate. Most disturbing are the coercive diplomacy and military interventions of the West in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). These interventions may benefit particular interest groups, but on the whole they are foreign policy failures. Within the decline of Western influence in the MENA lie seeds of hope for healthier relations in the future.

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