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

Security, Defense Discourse and Identity in NATO and Europe

How France Changed Foreign Policy, 1st Edition

By Falk Ostermann


216 pages

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Hardback: 9781138585409
pub: 2018-08-10
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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 bookemploys 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?

About the Author

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.

About the Series

New International Relations

The field of international relations has changed dramatically in recent years, with new subject matter being brought to light and new approaches from in and out of the social sciences being tried out. This series offers itself as a broad church for innovative work that aims to renew the discipline.


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General