France pursued a unique grand strategy, "Grandeur," from the late 1950s to 1989. However, since the end of the Cold War, converging sets of pressures have compelled France to reorient its grand strategy, one that I characterize as "Liberal entrenchment." The purpose of this paper is to examine and compare the characteristics of Grandeur and Liberal entrenchment - along three axes: theoretical bases, causal logic, and policy components; to describe how liberal entrenchment is changing how France engages the world; to assess whether it serves France's interests; and to evaluate the consequences of those choices.
Thierry Balzacq is a Visiting Fellow at the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy (APCD), at the Australian National University. In 2016, he was awarded a Francqui Research Chair (Belgium's most prestigious academic title) at the University of Namur, and elected Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).