French Diplomacy Tools and Participants Since 1980 Preface of Jean-Yves Le Drian Publication date : August 16, 2018
Maurice Vaïsse is one of the greatest specialists in the history of international relations, of foreign policy, and of French military defense. He teaches at Sciences Po, Paris.
40 contributors, ambassadors, specialists in diplomacy, plenipotentiary minister.
Interviews with Alain Juppé, Hubert Védrine, Jean Picq, and Gilles Andréani.
This is a history of the Fifth Republic, from the perspective of its foreign policy. The period chosen, from the 1970s to the present, was one of constant and important reforms. During those years, the government’s policies of modernization were accompanied by a reform of the way the Ministry of Foreign Affairs functioned. The evolution of international affairs (relationships with former de-colonized countries, the emergence of new States, the end of the Cold War, the increase in new challenges: economic, climate, and others), the attempt by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to protect its prerogatives and fight against the dismantling of its activities, finally, the size of the budget allocated for external activities and for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the revision of public policies, as well as the challenge represented by globalization, were determining factors of the “permanent crisis” that affects the Ministry.
The dominance of the president in foreign policy under the Fifth Republic and the influence struggle with other ministries, notably that of Finance and of Culture, are two threats that weigh on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.