Frédéric Encel

The Paths of Power Publication date : March 2, 2022

Frédéric Encel is a Ph.D. HDR [Habilitation à diriger des recherches -- accreditation to supervise research] in geopolitics, lecturer at Sciences Po Paris, and professor at the Paris School of Business. A consultant and former reporter for France Inter, he is also the author of many works, including Géopolitique de la nation France [Geopolitics of the Nation France], co-authored with Yves Lacoste (PUF, 2016), and Géopolitique du Printemps arabe [The Geopolitics of the Arab Spring] (Grand Prix de la Société de géograhie, 2nd ed. “Quadrige,” PUF, 2017).
In Les Voies de la puissance, Frédéric Encel offers a bold reflection on the current global order. From his privileged points of observation (Middle East, terrorism), he asserts that it is not anachronistic today to investigate the idea of the power that a State can wield on the international level. It is even essential to do so if we Westerners want to continue to play a strategic role and not succumb to a new world order.

Starting from a geopolitical context, he explores its psychological and political effects, turning power into a positive concept. What’s more, he shows how renouncing power, as regards a State, comes from a misunderstanding of the goals of politics. And so, the politics of power are legitimate to guide a State’s action on the international level.

And yet, F. Encel reminds us, power is not decreed ex nihilo. It does not depend only on the strength of armies or the will of leaders. It does not end at representations, but requires States to possess a realism that the author sums up through the geographic dimension of international politics, which must never be forgotten.

With this work, Frédéric Encel makes his voice heard at the highest of levels.