Resources and instruments of France's policy of power: between the desired and the actual

Chernega V.N.


Despite the fact that the weight of France in the world economy and policy has been steadily declining in recent decades, a significant part of its population and elites consider it necessary that it pursue a policy of power in the international arena. Nostalgia for the status of a great power lost during the Second World War is manifested, in particular, in the belief of many French people in the «exclusivity» of their country, in its «special mission» on a global scale, due to its contribution to world civilization. The article discusses the possibilities and tools that France has to pursue a global course, in particular, the components of its «hard» and «soft» power. With regard to «hard power», it is emphasized that, in addition to the nuclear arsenal, France has conventional forces and a network of bases in overseas territories and on the territory of other states, which allow it to project military power far beyond its borders. The main factors of its «soft power» are the export of arms, aid to developing countries, «la Francophonie», the world's third largest network of embassies, consular offices, as well as a large number of various foreign missions, research centers and educational institutions. However, France's resources are still insufficient to support all these instruments and factors at the level of its claims of power. The article shows the flaws of its «hard» and «soft» power, which are increasingly imposing restrictions on the global policy of Paris. The conclusion of the article is that France is neither a great power nor an ordinary middle power. It would be more correct to call it a «medium power with global ambitions».


sovereign policy; «special mission»; «hard» and «soft» power; lack of resources; ambition.

DOI: 10.31249/rsm/2022.04.05

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