The French far-right and the world : an ‘alternative’ view of international relations

I published with my colleague Stéphane François an article on the French far-right view of the world (in French) in the sociology journal Interrogations.

I reproduce the abstract below, and the article can be read here (ungated)

The various groups composing the French far-right share a specific vision of international relations, based on anti-imperialism (justifying anti-americanism) and a « geopolitical » and totalising understanding of international life, according to which « everything is connected ». In this article, we establish the genealogy of this analytical grid, and illustrate some of its expressions, notably the anti-materialism of the far-right, its rejection of Human Rights and its ambiguities towards islam. This frame of reference is useful in order to understand the statements of the Front National (and other far-right movements) on recent international events such as the Ukrainian or Syrian crises.

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Europeanisation or “NATO-isation”? The United Kingdom, France and Germany in Afghanistan

I just published an article (in French) in the Journal Politique Européenne on military adaptation in the Afghan War. You can access it online or in pdf. I also reproduce the abstract below.

“The decade-long military intervention in Afghanistan had a strong effect on the transformation of western armed forces. This article examines one of the pathways of such military change, namely selective emulation. Taken aback by the evolution of the fightings in Afghanistan, France, Germany and the UK looked for doctrinal or technical answers to the challenges they were facing on the ground within NATO (the structure and/or the member states). However, the importation of such solutions depends on each national political-military context, in particular the proximity with the United States, the existence of a strong local defense industry or a specific strategic culture. After the “Europeanisation without the EU” of the French defence policy in the 90’s identified by Bastien Irondelle, we now observe a “NATO-isation with NATO” of the three major European military powers’ defence policies, because of the Afghan campaign.”

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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”.

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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”.

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