Gideon Rachman

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Gideon Rachman at the Annual Meeting 2012 of the World Economic Forum at the congress centre in Davos, Switzerland, January 2012

Gideon Rachman (born 1963) is a journalist who has been the Financial Times chief foreign affairs commentator since July 2006.

He studied at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge University where he obtained a first class honours degree in History in 1984.

He started his career with the BBC World Service in 1984. From 1988 to 1990, he became a reporter for The Sunday Correspondent, stationed in Washington DC.

He spent 15 years at The Economist; first as its deputy American editor, then as its South-east Asia correspondent, stationed in Bangkok. He then served as The Economist's Asia editor before taking on the post of Britain editor from 1997 to 2000. Following which he was stationed in Brussels where he penned the Charlemagne European-affairs column.

At The Financial Times, Rachman writes on international politics, with a particular stress on American foreign policy, the European Union and globalisation.

Gideon Rachman maintains a blog on the site.


Rachman is noted for advocating a looser, non-federal European Union. In 2002, he staged a debate in Prospect Magazine with Nick Clegg, who was later to become Britain's Deputy Prime Minister. Clegg argued strongly that Britain should join the European single currency. Rachman disagreed, writing that - "I believe the political changes involved in joining the Euro carry enormous risks. I do not believe it is 'progressive' or 'self-confident' to take those risks."[1] More recently, Rachman has argued in the FT that the EU must take a flexible and open approach to the political demands of their member states or face failure. [2]

Rachman’s calls for flexibility extend beyond Europe. He has a strong interest in East Asia, and the rise of China and has repeatedly [3] [4] warned that inflexibility on the part of both China and the USA may lead to conflict.

Rachman has twice endorsed Barack Obama for the presidency, although he has also argued that the president is vastly over-rated as a public speaker.[citation needed] He has also been sceptical of the case for intervention in Syria.[citation needed]

His brother is Tom Rachman, the author of the novel The Imperfectionists.


In 2010, Rachman published his first book, "Zero-Sum World" in the UK. It was published under the title Zero-Sum Future in the US and translated into seven languages, including Chinese, German and Korean. The book was part history and part prediction. It argued that the thirty years from 1978-2008 had been shaped by a shared embrace of globalisation by the world's major powers that had created a "win-win world", leading to greater peace and prosperity. Rachman predicted that the financial and economic crisis that began in 2008 would lead to a zero-sum world, characterised by increasing tensions between the world's major powers. He stressed rising tensions between the US and China, and political disarray inside the European Union. The New York Times praised the book as "perhaps the best one-volume account now available of the huge post-Communist spread of personal freedom and economic prosperity."[5]


Rachman was named foreign commentator of the year in Britain's comment awards in 2010. He has been short-listed twice for the Orwell Prize for Political Journalism. The Observer has also listed him as one of Britain's 300 leading intellectuals. He has been a visiting fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University (1988–89) and at the Nobel Institute in Oslo (2013).


In December 2008, Rachman published a controversial column in the Financial Times online entitled, "And now for a world government"[6] which radio show host Alex Jones among others have cited as proof of an elitist plot to establish global governance.

While at Gonville and Caius, he was a friend of future MI6 renegade agent Richard Tomlinson, whom he provided with a reference for his Kennedy Scholarship application.[7]


  1. ^ Nick Clegg: Is joining the euro still too big a risk for Britain?, Prospect (January 20, 2002). Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  2. ^,Authorised=false.html?siteedition=uk&
  3. ^,Authorised=false.html?siteedition=uk&
  4. ^,Authorised=false.html?siteedition=uk&
  5. ^ Diminished Expectations, by Scott Malcolmson, New York Times, January 28th, 2011. (review of Zero-Sum Future)
  6. ^ Rachman, Gideon (8 December 2008). "And now for a world government". Financial Times. Retrieved 30 August 2011. [dead link]
  7. ^ Gideon Rachman (February 14, 2008). "My friend, the renegade spy". Financial Times.