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French foreign policy

French foreign policy

Gaullism and the Fifth Republic: the unbearable lightness and heaviness of French politics

LI Dan

Chinese Journal of European Studies,Vol 35,No. 04

【Abstract】 If the French politics since 1958 has been regarded as an individual, the Gaullism, which emphasizes independence and great country status externally and President’s core status internally, is undoubtedly the idea and soul that masters its behavior, while the political system of the Fifth Republic is the soul-carrying body. The reason why Charles de Gaulle could “rebuild the Republic” in 1958 lied in the special historical conditions and circumstances as well as his own high prestige and firm belief, which gave the semi-presidential system of the 5th Republic a strong Gaullist color. The president has a super power over administration, legislation and judiciary. However, 60 years later, the historical conditions of the emergence and development of the Fifth Republic have undergone a fundamental change, and the structural problems in the system design have been constantly appearing, widening the distance and gap with the political reality in France.

Open independent diplomacy: 2017 French presidential election and Macron’s foreign policy

ZHANG Ji

Chinese Journal of European Studies,Vol 35,No. 05

【Abstract】 The rise of populism and extremist political parties in the 2017 French Presidential Election was not a temporary phenomenon, but a structural reaction to years of economic stagnation, declining international status and the deterioration of security situation in France. This has profoundly influenced the foreign policy debates during the election campaigns and the foreign policy choice of the new government. The debates between Macron’s “open independence” and Marine Le Pen’s “isolated independence” did not surpass the basic paradox within the tradition of French foreign policy between preserving independent sovereignty and maintaining European integration. In Macron’s “open Independence” style of foreign policy, we could find both commitments to European integration and multilateralism on the one hand, and intergovernmentalism and cooperation between great powers on the other, reflecting both reiteration of national security and anti-terrorism and some degree of strategic retrenchment.

From Charles de Gaulle to Emmanuel Macron: the changing track and internal logic of France’s African policy

PENG Shuyi

West Asia and Africa,No. 02

【Abstract】 France once had large colonies in Africa and had a full range of political, economic, defence, cultural and other influences in those areas. After the independence of French colonies since the 1960s, France continues to have its presence and influence there through numerous ways such as economic aids and cooperation, currency connections and control and military station to maintain a special relationship, the so called “Francafrique.” As the symbol and guarantee of France’s continued greatness on the international stage, Africa always plays a significant role in France’s diplomacy. From the 1960s to the present, from Charles de Gaulle to Macron, France’s policy towards Africa is marked by continuity and rupture, and full of disputes between “conservatives” and “reformists.” “Conservatives” insist on maintaining “Francafrique” while reformists promote to normalize Franco-African relation. On the whole, French African policy showed more continuity and some adjustments and changes. Currently, after Macron, the new generation of young leader, stepped into office, he made some breakthroughs in his policy towards Africa on the basis of traditional practice, with focus on security, economic and youth issues.

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