Atlantic Currents: An Annual Report on Wider Atlantic Perspectives and Patterns: The South in the Time of Turmoil

Len Ishmael initiated the analysis in this edition by examining the consequences of the United States’ increasingly unilateral foreign policy, explaining the reconfiguration of the global power balance into a bipolar system, and revisiting the emerging waves of populism as a response to globalization. In the second chapter, Anabel Gonzales focuses on the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) reforms and the overwhelming challenge of combining the preservation of the system’s nature, making sure all major economies remain part of it, while also confronting rising trade conflicts and geopolitical competition. In Chapter 3, Mohamed Loulichki looks into the shift in diplomatic approaches, with the declining use of hard power and the overall progress of cultural diplomacy since the end of the Cold War. He describes how cultural diplomacy has become the most judicious way to project power and exert influence beyond national borders. In Chapter 4, Dominique Bocquet sheds lights onto the entanglement of Brexit, Euroscepticism, and populism in general as symbols of the new state of affairs, while decrypting the structure and policy implications of the newly appointed EU Commission. Chapter 5 by Rida Lyammouri looks at the spread and intensification of violent extremist organizations and troubling inter-community tensions in the Sahel region, focusing on coastal West Africa. Chapter 6 by Marcus Vinicus de Freitas examines inequalities within nations, explaining how the Western countries’ inability to provide better welfare to their citizens is resulting in a reconsideration of established governance and representative democracy as a whole. Chapter 8 written by Fatima Ezzahra Mengoub and Olisaeloka Okocha discusses the implications and side effects of introducing technology into the African agricultural sector in order to improve agricultural growth in the continent. The article provides numerous examples of innovative initiatives, demonstrating how the technology gap could be used to create new job opportunities. Chapter 9 provides an overall economic outlook of the Atlantic space. Tayeb Ghazi and Youssef El Jai find low economic convergence within each sub-region of the Atlantic space, calling for further action and cooperation to enforce and upgrade the relationships between countries from North and the South. The chapter identifies structural economic and political rigidities as major obstacles to the complete emergence of some promising countries (e.g. Argentina, Brazil), while Africa still faces the challenges of improving human capital, providing suitable infrastructure and enforcing good governance.