This chapter provides readers with an overview of the transformations of French defence policy since 1991. To a large degree, French defence policy is still perceived through a ‘Gaullist’ prism by non-specialist observers, who tend to analyse French defence developments by referring to a pursuit of ‘independence’ at all costs, or a willingness to maintain neo-colonialists’ privileges. This chapter challenges this prevailing narrative by providing a concise yet complete analysis of the drivers of French defence policy. First, it discusses the French strategic culture, the institutional setting (role of the president, parliament, etc.) and civil–military relations in France. Second, it presents the role of nuclear weapons in French defence policy. Finally, it presents the evolution of the force structure since 1991. It also discusses the two key drivers of military change in France: interventions abroad and France’s membership to international security institutions.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.