Assuming Great Power Responsibility: French Strategic Culture and International Military Operations

  • Maria Hellman
Part of the New Security Challenges book series (NSECH)


The second chapter of the book studies French strategic culture and decisions to participate (in three cases) and not to participate (in one case) in the operations studied. The chapter concludes that French strategic culture asserts France to be a powerful independent European actor with capability to act when it wishes to do so, preferably in concert with other allies. Despite collaboration with the government and close relationships to the French armed forces, the president has strong executive powers and can take immediate decisions on participation in an international operation if need be (more or less through a phone call.) In this way the French regulatory framework makes France the quickest country to act when it comes to decisions on international operations.


Security Council Military Operation Military Intervention French Government Security Council Resolution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The author is greatly indebted to Captain (Navy) Lars Wedin of the Institut Français d’Analyse Stratégique for sharing his expertise and for assisting in the project.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Hellman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department for SecurityStrategy and Leadershi StockholmStockholmSweden

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