France and the National Interest Is France’s foreign policy still guided by our own interests? Publication date : January 25, 2017
Thierry de Montbrial founded the Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI) in 1979, and the World Policy Conference (WPC) in 2008. He is in charge of the annual RAMSES report.
Thomat Gomart has led the IFRI since 2015
Prestigious interviews and contributions with and from Hubert Védrine, Elisabeth Guigou, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, Hervé Gaymard, Sylvie Goulard, Jean-Pierre Chevènement and others.
In January 2013, François Hollande gave a memorable speech about the nation’s intervention in Mali: “(…) France has a unique responsibility, because it is France. Not because we have interests in Mali: we have none; but because we have the ability to intervene.”
The dilemma between France’s well-understood interests and the nation’s values is clearly not new, as the success of the right of intervention concept shows. Yet the concept of a national interest has been at the heart of our diplomatic tradition since Richelieu. So how is it possible that it is no longer a clearly acknowledged motivation for leaders, on the left or on the right?
Answering that question is the purpose of this book, which analyses France’s foreign policy through the prism of the national interest as a motor and framework for action. Contributing to the debate over French identity, it also evaluates both France’s role in the world and the complex relationship the French maintain with the concept of globalization.