Thesis Title

La Grande Nation Or One Among Many: The French Notion Of European Integration And Defense

Date of Graduation

Spring 2002


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

Ulrike Schumacher


In the wake of the Second World War, France has developed a distinct conception of the concert of European states and the role it plays in this aggregation, which in turn affect its position on integration and security initiatives. One of the leaders in European cooperation, the French view plays a significant role in the construction of this concert of European states. An analysis of the French idea of Europe requires an exploration of the numerous factors that have contributed to its formation, from relationships with neighbors to strong, charismatic statesmen. Through comparison with the views of Great Britain and Germany, it will be ascertained that while the French view has developed alongside that of its European neighbors it has veered off on a distinctive route. Consequently the drive for European integration and security cooperation assumes a different slant in terms of French aspirations. Integration and joint security efforts might be the means of truly fusing Europe, thus making France only one among many. Or they might be utilized in such a way as to contain the European nations thereby reinvigorating latent French prestige and renewing the grandeur of France. This thesis examines the development of the French idea of Europe and analyzes the motivation and intent behind the French participation in European integration and security initiatives.

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


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