Working Paper, NUPI

From Common Defence to Comprehensive Security Towards the Europeanisation of French Foreign and Security Policy?

Published: 6 Jul 2016

This article looks at the relationship between European integration and national foreign and security policy - specifically, how and to what extent the development of a specifically European (EU) foreign and security policy leads to adaptation and change in national foreign and security policy. The theoretical point of departure is an interest in national changes in response to EU norms. It will be argued that national approaches tend to adapt to norms defined by a community to which they are closely linked; that this adaptation takes place over time, through a socialisation process; and that it may also, in the end, lead to changes in national identity. This argument challenges the common assumption of IR theory that national identities and/or interests are fixed and independent of structural factors like international norms and values. The empirical focus is on changes in French foreign and security policy since the early 1990s. How and to what extent has the dominant French national discourse on foreign and security policy changed since the early 1990s? And if so, how are these changes related to the European integration process in general, and to the development of a European foreign and security dimension in particular?