1st Edition

French Defence Policy Since the End of the Cold War

By Alice Pannier, Olivier Schmitt Copyright 2021
    180 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    180 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    This book describes the evolution of French defence policy since the end of the Cold War.

    For the past thirty years there have been significant changes to French defence policy as a result of several contextual evolutions. Changes include shifts in the global balance of power, new understandings of the notion of international security, economic downturns, and developments in European integration. Yet despite these changes, the purpose of France’s grand strategy and its main principles have remained remarkably stable over time. This book identifies the incentives, representations and objectives of French defence policy The authors examine the general mechanisms that influence policy change and military transformation in democracies, the importance of status-seeking in international relations, the processes of strategy-making by a middle power, and the dilemmas and challenges of security cooperation. By doing so the book raises a number of questions related to the ways states adjust (or not) their security policies in a transformed international system. This book makes French-language sources available to non-French-speaking readers and contributes to a better understanding of a country that is at the forefront of Europe’s external action.

    This book will be of great interest to students of defence studies, French politics, military studies, security studies, and IR in general.


    1. Defence institutions and civil-military relations

    2. Transforming the French armed forces

    3. Nuclear Deterrence: Capabilities and Doctrine

    4. Defence Industry and Procurement

    5. At war: French military operations since 1991

    6. France and its partners



    Alice Pannier is Assistant Professor of International Relations and European Studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University, USA. She is also an associate research fellow with the Security Studies Centre of the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI).

    Olivier Schmitt is Professor of Political Science at the Center for War Studies, University of Southern Denmark, and currently head of research and studies at the French Institute of Higher National Defence Studies (IHEDN).