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Reinterpreting From Multiple Theoretical Perspectives The Causes Of French NATO Policy In The Period Of De Gaulle (1958-1966)

Posted on:2014-01-17Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:Y X SunFull Text:PDF
GTID:2246330395995823Subject:International relations
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
After the return into power of de Gaulle in1958, France began to adopt a special and independent policy in the Western Alliance. This type of policy did not only sharpen the conflict between France and other allies led by the United States, but also became a frequent topic of discussion because of the withdrawal of France from NATO integrated military command structure in1966. This thesis aims at exploring the causes in depth and from different domains which shaped this special policy of France.Although the historical archives and related documents of this period have already disclosed since the1990s, the research in China about relevant questions is remaining quite limited, in particular the archives and documents from France were seldom used or quoted by our scholars. Moreover, in terms of theoretical perspectives, previous studies mainly insisted on realism, i.e. underscoring the factor of power in international politics, especially considering de Gaulle’s foreign policy pursing the independence of France as the starting point to study the NATO policy of France. Meanwhile, as this type of analytical framework in most cases focused on one level-of-analysis, it seems incomplete. Therefore, this thesis breaks through the limit of previous research, and constructs a new analytical framework which synthesizes different theoretical perspectives and emphasizes on different levels-of-analysis.To be specific, we synthesize structural realism, constructivism and cognitive psychology, and explore respectively the factors of transformations of international affairs located on the level of international system, the factors of group identity on the level of domestic politics and the factors of perception on the individual level of the leader. By the inferences form different theoretical lenses, the thesis makes respective hypotheses about the fact that the three factors above played a role in the formation of French NATO policy; after that, the thesis tests the hypotheses about the existence of the three factors in resorting to the reliable historical archives and documents. Based on this analysis, we therefore try to discuss the interaction between the three factors in the processes of French NATO policy’s formation, i.e. different functions provided by different factors. According to our test about the existence of the three factors, the thesis points out that:firstly, the changing nature of the Cold War delimited the scope of the change of French NATO policy, which constitutes an objective basis; secondly, the lack of group identity about the NATO or the United States indicated the direction of the change of French NATO policy, namely adopting a different policy from the leader of the alliance----the United States; lastly, the factors about the individual perception of de Gaulle affected the way whereby France adopted its policy, meant an attitude of intransigence and tit for tat which consequently led France to withdraw from the NATO integrated military command structure. This multi-aspect perspective of study can lead us to understand more completely the causes of the French-American crisis of NATO. It would also be an analytical framework for foreign policy analysis with many nontrivial advantages on which the future analysis about alliance policy or foreign policy can draw.According to different levels-of-analysis and theoreltical perspectives,the thesis is divided into four chapters. Chapter One is a brief review about the historical event of the withdrawal of France from NATO integrated military command structure, with some details ignored by previous research highlighted. The following three chapters discuss different factors shaping French policy by starting from different theories and level-of-analysis; and each of them is divided into two parts, which are dedicated respectively to the general description of theoretical framework and the detailed analysis to the case of French NATO policy in the period of de Gaulle. Chapter Two discusses the analyses of structural realism which is prevalent among western scholars in recent years and points out the material, structural factors which affect the change of French foreign policy. By relying on the perspective of constructivism, Chapter Three explores how the group identity of the public and the social, political elites in France about the United States influenced the foreign policy of French government, and then shows the ideational, domestic factors shaping French foreign policy. In the last chapter, the influence of the factor of individual perception to the foreign policy of statesman through the lens of cognitive psychology is analyzed. We discuss in Conclusion the interaction among the three factors pointed out in the thesis, and analyze their function in the process of French foreign policy’s formation. In sum, in relying on the reliable achieves and a more comprehensive theoretical perspective, the thesis would not only reveal in a more comprehensive way the causes of the NATO policy of France in the period of de Gaulle, but also construct a new framework for foreign policy analysis.
Keywords/Search Tags:NATO, French-American Relations, de Gaulle, Group Identity, PerceptionAnalysis
PDF Full Text Request
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