Page 19 - CSA Speaker Bulletin January 2017 | CSA Celebrity Speakers
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Joschka Fischer


Now that Donald Trump has                   When World War I began, it was a       Joschka Fischer served as
            been elected President of the   European conflict between the Central  Vice Chancellor and Foreign
            United States, the end of what  Powers and the Entente of Britain,     Minister of the Federal Republic
 was heretofore termed the “West”           France, and Russia. It became a true   of Germany from 1998 to 2005.
 has become all but certain. That           world war only in 1917, when the US    Throughout this time he was
 term described a transatlantic world       entered the fray. This is the moment   arguably the most popular
 that emerged from the twentieth            when what we now call the West began   politician in his nation and
 century’s two world wars, redefined        to take form.                          one of the most influential
 the international order during the four-                                          commentators across the world.
 decade Cold War, and dominated the         The West can be said to have received  From 2006 to 2007, Joschka
 globe – until now.                         its birth certificate during World     Fischer held a professorship at
                                            War II. In August 1941, after Nazi     the Woodrow Wilson School of
 The West shouldn’t be confused with        Germany had invaded the Soviet         International and Public Affairs
 the “Occident.” While the West’s           Union, British Prime Minister Winston  at Princeton University (USA).
 culture, norms, and predominant            Churchill and US President Franklin
 religion are broadly Occidental in         D. Roosevelt met on a warship off the
 origin, it evolved into something          coast of Newfoundland and signed
 different over time. The Occident’s        the Atlantic Charter. That agreement
 basic character was shaped over            would later develop into NATO, which,
 centuries by the Mediterranean             for four decades, enabled an alliance
 region (though parts of Europe north       of independent democracies with
 of the Alps made many important            shared values and market economies
 contributions to its development). The     to withstand the Soviet threat – and
 West, by contrast, is transatlantic, and   which has safeguarded Europe to this
 it is a child of the twentieth century.    day. n

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