Security, Defense Discourse and Identity in NATO and Europe : How France Changed Foreign Policy book cover
1st Edition

Security, Defense Discourse and Identity in NATO and Europe
How France Changed Foreign Policy

ISBN 9780367665845
Published September 30, 2020 by Routledge
216 Pages

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Book Description

Analyzing changes in the role and place of NATO, European integration, and Franco-American relations in foreign policy discourse under Presidents Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy, this book provides an original perspective on French foreign policy and its identity construction.

The book employs a novel research design for the analysis of foreign policies, which can be used beyond the case of France, by combining the discourse theory of the Essex School with Interpretive Policy Analysis to examine political ideas and how they are organized into a foreign policy identity. On these grounds, the volume undertakes a comparative analysis of parliamentary and executive discourse of President Chirac’s failed attempt at NATO reintegration in the 1990s, Sarkozy’s successful attempt in the 2000s, and the Libyan War. Ostermann depicts French foreign policy and identity as turning away from the European Union, atlanticizing, and losing its American nemesis. As a result, France uses a much more pragmatic, de-unionized, and pro-American strategy to implement foreign policy objectives than before.

Offering a new and innovative explanation for a major change in French foreign policy and grand strategy, this book will be of great interest to scholars of NATO, European defense cooperation, and foreign policy.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Rediscovering Discourse and Identity in French Security and Defense Policy  Excursus: General Characteristics of French Foreign Policy Discourse – Agents and Parties  2. Chirac's Failed NATO Reintegration – European Identity Confirmed  3. Sarkozy’s Successful NATO Reintegration and the End of Ambivalence – Identity Change Starting  4. The Normalization of French CSDP Policies during the Libyan War – Identity Reconstructed  5. Conclusions  6. Epilogue: Continuity or Change with Hollande and Macron?

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Falk Ostermann is Assistant Professor of International Relations at the University of Giessen, Germany. He specializes in French security and defense policy and studies NATO, European defense, identity, and discourse analysis. He has published, inter alia, in European Security, International Relations, and West European Politics.


"Thanks to this book, the reader undeniably has the keys to analyse the recent declarations of the President of the Republic on this matter. Ostermann’s theoretical approach thus distinguishes itself from other analyses of French foreign policy by carefully detailing the significance of key concepts." Christelle Calmels, The Paris Institute of Political Studies