University of Giessen, Germany:
Since 1958, French foreign policy identity has been marked by continuity in its European and transatlantic engagements, sometimes defying structural changes in the international system at the price of losing power and influence. At the same time, France is often considered to be the last realist power in Europe, capable of profound strategic thinking and willing to manifest its power, also militarily. This lecture develops a two-fold argument: first, it maintains that the Gaullist legacy of French foreign policy has changed more than commonly assumed. And second, it argues that the supposed realism of France relies on the very power of its identity.