Saturday, May 3, 2008

"Atlantisme"

Is Sarkozy's foreign policy "Atlanticist," as critics charge? Does it represent a "rupture" with the broad foreign policy independence of France stretching from de Gaulle to Mitterrand to Chirac? Frédéric Bozo usefully distinguishes between two senses of "Atlanticist," and finds that while all French presidents have begun by recognizing the importance of close ties with the United States, all have nevertheless maintained a sharp sense of distinct French interests and orientations toward the rest of the world. In this respect, Sarkozy's actions so far have shown him to be no different from his predecessors. In my view, Bozo is correct, and he makes the case with great clarity and concision.