Raymond Aron and International Relations

I edited the book Raymond Aron and International Relations published with Routledge. Here is the blurb from the publisher’s website.

At a time when the field of International Relations (IR) is diverting from grand theoretical debates, rediscovering the value of classical realism and exploring its own intellectual history, this book contributes to these debates by presenting a cohesive view of Raymond Aron’s theory of IR. It explores how a careful reading of Aron can contribute to important current debates, in particular what a theory of IR can be (and thus, what is within or outside the scope of this theory), how to bridge the gap that emerged in the 1970s between a “normative” and a “scientific” theory of IR, and finally how multidisciplinarity is possible (and desirable) in the study of IR.

Aron and IR

 

When are strategic narratives effective?

My latest paper has been published by Contemporary Security Policy. You can access it online here and in pdf. I reproduce the abstract below.

Most research on strategic narratives has explored their creation, and their interaction with other elements of national power in the conduct of foreign policy. Yet, the issue of how the targeted political communities receive those strategic narratives, and thus how those narratives are likely to have a political impact, is understudied. This article argues that in order to understand the ways strategic narrative are received within a political community, political myths must be taken into account. It introduces a typology of political myths based on their degree of universality and their degree of coherence with other myths, and shows how those factors influence the reception of strategic narratives. These mechanisms are illustrated through a study of the reception of the Russian strategic narrative in France. This approach offers opportunities to assess the differentiated impact strategic narratives have on political communities.

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International Organization at War: NATO Practices in the Afghan Campaign

I just published an article on NATO in Afghanistan in the journal Cooperation and Conflict. The article is available online and in PDF. I reproduce the abstract below:

This article investigates the NATO campaign in Afghanistan through a practice-based approach. The structural distribution of power within NATO, which is obviously in favor of the US, does not automatically lead to Washington’s desired outcomes, and US delegates must competently perform a certain number of practices for their power advantage to take its full effect. The article also illustrates how looking at practices helps to explain policy decisions, such as NATO’s decision to engage in Afghanistan, the establishment of an International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) strategy and the wording of policy papers. By studying a case of military diplomacy, the article contributes to the emerging scholarship aimed at bridging the gap between diplomatic studies and practice-based approaches to International Relations.

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The Impact of Institutions on Foreign Policy Think-Tanks in France and Denmark

I published with my colleague Jon Rahbek-Clemmensen a piece in The International Spectator comparing the French and Danish think-tanks. The article is available here and can be downloaded here. I reproduce the abstract below.

Even though France is an active player on the world stage, its foreign and security think tank milieu is smaller than that of similar powers, most notably the United Kingdom. Comparing French think tanks with those in Denmark illustrates how French institutional structures constrain think tank activities. France’s political tradition of centralisation, its non-academic civil service education, and separation of academia and administration create an environment in which think tanks are underfunded and walk a fine line between an over-controlling administration and a suspicious academia. Some French think tanks perform well in spite of these structures, which indicates that they could flourish and compete at the highest international level if given better structural conditions.

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The Causes, Character and Conduct of Internal Armed Conflict, and the Effects on Civilian Populations

I published a book chapter co-authored with Theo Farrell on the evolution of the character of internal armed conflicts, and the consequences for people fleeing mass violences (refugees and internally displaced people).
The chapter is the analytical foundation for discussions on the legal instruments of civilian protection, and potential rooms for improvement and updates.

The project was supported by the UNHCR.

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