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Foreign Policy and Interdependence in Gaullist France

Foreign Policy and Interdependence in Gaullist France

Edward L. Morse
Copyright Date: 1973
Pages: 352
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    Foreign Policy and Interdependence in Gaullist France
    Book Description:

    French foreign policy in the 1960's seemed unique because it was dominated by the anachronistic ideals of Charles de Gaulle. Edward L. Morse argues that in fact the foreign policies of all highly modernized states are so similar that they can be described and explained by a general theory of interdependence. He uses France as a case study of his theory, and shows that what makes French foreign policy in this period so fascinating is the way in which the behavior of the President brought into sharp focus the problems interdependence poses for nation-states.

    The book is divided into two parts. The first develops the theory of the conduct of foreign policy in any highly modernized society. The second part tests the theory by examining such characteristics of French foreign policy as: the erosion of the distinction between foreign and domestic affairs; the constraints put on foreign policy by the growth of international economic interdependence, which has also affected the autonomy of decision-making in a purely national context; the increased importance of foreign economic policy; the questioning of governmental priorities in foreign affairs; and the emergence of crisis management and manipulation as part of the routine procedures of foreign policy operations. Edward L. Morse's work is valuable both for the theory it offers and because it gives a balanced view of foreign policy in an important period in recent French history.

    Originally published in 1973.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-7042-4
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  4. I. Modernization and International Politics a Theoretical Analysis

      (pp. 3-6)

      There are two basic perspectives that may be invoked for theories about contemporary international relations. One focuses upon the “rules of the game” and attempts to stipulate laws governing the politics between sovereign entities with the hope that these laws are sufficiently generalized to be applicable to a large sampling of international systems, past and present. The other argues that current problems of international politics are so different from those of the past that they must be applicable only to contemporary conditions and derivative from transformational changes in the way semiautonomous political systems adjust their mutually conflicting goals.

      The perspective...

      (pp. 7-46)

      The notion that modernization has a revolutionary effect on foreign policy is not new. Comte and Spencer, for example, among other optimistic observers of industrialization in the nineteenth century, argued that war was irrational as an instrument of policy in the relations among highly developed economies. Others, including Hobson and Lenin, surveyed industrialization and linked it to the “new imperialism” of the late nineteenth century. They contended that what they understood as modernization would lead inevitably to conflict rather than cooperation among the same types of societies. While experience belies the specific predictions of both groups, it has reinforced their...

      (pp. 47-102)

      If tensions and problems of control in French foreign policy during the 1960s resulted in large measure from the level of interdependence between France and other societies, it is essential that the nature of these interdependencies be defined and examined in some detail. This is especially true of those interdependencies that seem to have been the greatest, namely, those between France and the other highly industrialized states in the non-Communist world. Relationships among these states were ambiguous and in flux throughout the 1960s. Changes in the political, social, and economic aspects of the relations of the societies composing the system...

  5. II. France and the Problem of Independence in an Interdependent World

      (pp. 105-115)

      The theoretical analysis in Part I pointed up a set of problems that ought to be prominent in the foreign policy of any highly modernized society. The politics of resource allocation to define and support foreign and domestic goals, the salience of foreign economic policy, the exigencies of crisis diplomacy, and the impingement of international interdependence on domestic economic policy necessarily figure significantly in public debates in all such societies if the general argument is valid. At the same time, the manner in which a political leadership handles these problems depends inevitably on the requisites of its own peculiar circumstances,...

      (pp. 116-146)

      De Gaulle’s foreign policies have a coherence belied by two sets of fundamental contradictions. First, they pertain to the antithesis between the general objective of political and economic independence or autonomy in international affairs and the need for relinquishing independence, if not sovereignty, in order to attain other domestic and external objectives of equal priority. Second, they derive from the unintended consequences of the pursuit of autonomy. Both the tensions deriving from the conflict between policies of independence and the reality of interdependence, and from the unintended consequences of French policies are specifically modern phenomena. In a period when interdependence...

      (pp. 147-203)

      De Gaulle predicated his concept of national autonomy upon the belief that it required an independent foreign policy and that the requisite of such a policy in the international system of the 1960s was a credible nuclear defense force. He derived this belief from his notions about the nature of international politics and from his own understanding of French history.

      If you consider our history, whether in the case of the Merovingians, the Carolingians, the Capetians, the First or Second Empires, the First, Second, Third, Fourth, or Fifth Republics—you will see that considerations or necessities of defense were always...

      (pp. 204-251)

      The basic characteristics of French policy toward the other industrialized countries of the West from 1962 to 1969 can be illustrated by an examination of French proposals for a reform of the international monetary system. France’s international monetary policy touched upon the various arenas in which France confronted the other highly modernized states. It was a basic instrument of the more general policy of independence and also crystallized the dilemma besetting such a policy because of the high degree of interdependence that characterizes the Western international economic system. In short, French foreign monetary policy can be viewed as a microcosm...

      (pp. 252-278)

      During its first decade the EEC underwent a continued series of crises. In the development of communitywide policies—notably, the agricultural policy—the chief decision-making bodies of the EEC, the Commission and the Council, were forced to negotiate decisions in a crisis atmosphere almost annually. From time to time, but especially after the first French veto of the British application for membership in the EEC in 1963 and during the French boycott from June 1965 to January 1966, the EEC was thought by many to be undergoing turning points the resolution of which was critical to its survival. By the...

      (pp. 279-314)

      The consequences of growing international interdependence have been no less dramatic on domestic politics than they have been on international relations. While governments in modernized societies have assumed an increasing array of responsibilities in providing social services, ordering economic growth, redistributing wealth, and fostering welfare, their abilities to meet these new goals have become increasingly a function of activities in international society. As was postulated in Chapters 1 and 2, increases in international systemic interdependence have broken down the distinctions between foreign and domestic policies by increasing the sensitivity of domestic affairs to external events and by decreasing the number...

      (pp. 315-322)

      The patterns of French foreign policy in the 1960s exhibit an acute counterpoint between idiosyncratic objectives and the constraints imposed upon their attainment by the growth of new forms of international interdependence. This interplay is, however, by no means a characteristic peculiar to France’s external relations. Rather, as a result of the trenchant definition of nationalist objectives in Gaullist thought, the French case crystallizes what has become a general problem in the conduct of foreign policy for the highly modernized societies—namely, how to attain objectives that have become imperative and to preserve historically derived cultural values in the face...

  6. INDEX
    (pp. 323-332)
  7. Back Matter
    (pp. 333-337)