ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Back to Paper Details

The End of Autonomy: Change in French Foreign Policy under Chirac and Sarkozy

Falk Ostermann
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Falk Ostermann
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Open Panel

Abstract

French foreign policy is changing fundamentally from an autonomy-centered strategy towards a more integrative orientation, a process initiated under the presidency of Chirac and now taking a clear shape under Sarkozy. Through the return into the NATO''s integrated military command and the renouncement from the rhetoric distance to the United States, a more pragmatic approach to the EU-NATO relationship, modifications in the African and Middle East policies, the Mediterranean Union or the Franco-British defense cooperation, Sarkozy changes the foreign policy instruments and policy preferences of the Fifth Republic. Thus, he implements a new strategy that pushes even further Chirac''s course for multilateralism, tackling matters that were still infeasible under his predecessor or that have been impeded domestically. He even introduces adjustments to his traditional domestic domaine réservé of foreign politics itself. In doing so, Sarkozy breaks altogether with the Gaullist heritage of foreign policy. This paper shall present a qualitative, discursive research design in order to find out how this change, crystallizing since the end of cohabitation in 2002, can be explained and how it prevails under Sarkozy.