Of politics and policies. Thinking strategically about the EU

I just published a book chapter entitled “Of politics and policies. Thinking strategically about the EU” in an edited volume about IR theories and European Security.

I reproduce the abstract below: “Tools of classical strategic analysis support distinctive explanations for the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) of the European Union. Looking at the articulation between ends, ways, and means offers a perspective on the CSDP that is different from the approaches usually favoured by European Union specialists or even security studies scholars. In particular, it is argued here that the CSDP is no strategy, and little more than an institutional make-up for the lack of strategic thinking within the European Union. First, I show that the CSDP is not European security, and that the EU security policy is astonishingly absent from the security challenges facing Europe. Second, I argue that this situation stems from a lack of a political project within the European Union. In its simplest form, strategy is the art of creating power, but must be based on a political project. Short of a political project for European security, we will not see a strategic CSDP any time soon”.


Conducting Qualitative Research in a Military Environment

I published an article in the French journal Les Champs de Mars about the challenges of conducting qualitative research in a military environment. You can download the article (in French) here, and I reproduce the abstract below.

“Conducting a scientific research in a military environment reinforces the traditional challenges of social science research, but few epistemological and methodological discussions of this issue are available. This article’s objective is threefold. First, it aims at  exploring the issue of data collection in a French, foreign or multinational military environment. Second, it explores the specific place of the researcher in such an environment. Third, it evaluates the quality of the data gathered in this context. The article discusses issues such as access to archives, interviews or the observation of practices and argues that combining this variety of approaches (methodological triangulation) is a satisfying way to collect data fit for the researcher’s particular project”.

couv_champs de mars_27 - front

Guerre et Stratégie. Approches, Concepts

I co-edited with Stéphane Taillat and Joseph Henrotin what is probably the first handbook of strategic studies to be published in French, by the Presses Universitaires de France.

You can buy it from here, and I reproduce the table of contents below.


Continue reading

A War Worth Fighting? The Libyan Intervention in Retrospect

I published a review essay article in International Politics Reviews entitled “A War Worth Fighting? The Libyan Intervention in Retrospect”. You can access the article here or download the pdf, and I reproduce the abstract below.

journal_cover“The Libyan intervention, originally considered a success for NATO in the context of the ‘Arab spring’, is now criticized for creating the political turmoil Libya is currently going through. The three books under review offer different perspectives on the intervention itself, raising important questions about its conduct and its consequences. They also indirectly raise the issue of the difficulty to write about contemporary warfare”.

Unity or strength? Challenges of contemporary multinational operations

I just published an article in the collection “Focus Stratégique” edited by the French think-tank IFRI, focusing on the challenges of coalition warfare.  I reproduce the abstract below.


Capture d’écran 2015-03-31 à 13.12.46

“Contemporary multinational military operations occur in a strategic context characterized by the domination of limited conflicts for Western states. As such, those interventions are marked by a tension between the military logic of integration as a condition of effectiveness and the political logic of state autonomy. This situation leads to a number of specific dynamics, such as the imposition of restrictions on the use of force (“caveats”), the difficulty to achieve the unity of purpose and the unity of command, and the search for an increase of international legitimacy through the number of participants to the intervention. This article analyses the dynamics of contemporary multinational interventions, and explores potential ways to manage the difficulties related to the dialectic between integration and autonomy.