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Is "realpolitik" a requisite paradigm in foreign affairs?

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  1. What realpolitik is?
  2. The notion of realpolitik
  3. The defenders of 'realpolitik'
  4. Conclusion

I want to launch a call to all those in the world who believe in the values of tolerance, of liberty and of democracy, to all the martyred women in the world to say to them that the pride, the duty of our country will be at their sides, that they can count on France'. Quoting this extract of the speech delivered by Nicolas Sarkozy on the evening of his election, I want to deal with the huge foreign affairs dilemma. It's very easy, like Sarkozy, to uphold the standard of moral values but it's more complicated to respect these values while coping with the reality of foreign affairs. When the French president received, with luxurious ceremonies, the general Khadafy, was it a proof of open-mindedness and pragmatism or an insult to the republican tradition of France and its attachment to democratic values? During my presentation, I will define exactly what is 'realpolitik' giving some examples of this kind of policy and its advantages. We always use this term to disparage some politicians initiatives, like the fact of trading with China for instance, but we often ignore the origins of this concept. I will also introduce the notion of 'noöpolitik' which emerged in contrast with 'realpolitik' and which seems to advocate another vision of foreign affairs.

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