Beyond the Balance of Power: France and the Politics of National Security in the Era of the First World War

Beyond the Balance of Power: France and the Politics of National Security in the Era of the First World War

by Peter Jackson


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This is a major study of French foreign and security policy before, during and after the First World War. Peter Jackson examines the interplay between two contending conceptions of security: the first based on traditional practices of power politics and the second on internationalist doctrines that emerged in the late nineteenth century. He pays particular attention to the social and political context in which security policy was made and to the cultural dynamics of the policy-making process. The result is a comprehensive reassessment of France's security policy in the era of the Great War. The book reconsiders the evolution of French war aims and reinterprets the peace policy of the Clemenceau government in 1919. It provides a perspective on the foreign policy of successive French governments in the early 1920s, and also shows that internationalist ideas were far more influential over this entire period than is commonly understood.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781316635308
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 12/15/2016
Pages: 582
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.06(h) x 1.22(d)

About the Author

Peter Jackson is Professor of Global Security in the History Department at the University of Glasgow. He is also Visiting Professor at the Institut d'études politiques (Paris) and has taught at the universities of Cambridge, Yale, Carleton and Aberystwyth. He co-edits Intelligence and National Security (the world's leading academic journal for intelligence and security studies) and is the author or editor of five books including France and the Nazi Menace (2000), Understanding Intelligence in the Twenty-First Century (with Len Scott, 2004) and The Uses and Limits of Intelligence in International Society (with Jennifer Siegel, 2005).

Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. The Sources of French Security Policy: 1. The social dynamics of security policy making; 2. Two approaches to security; Part II. War and the Politics of National Security, 1914–18: 3. The primacy of the balance of power, 1914–16; 4. The coming of a new world order, 1917; 5. National deliverance and post-war planning; Part III. Peace and Security, 1918–19: 6. The political contexts of peacemaking; 7. Towards a post-war security order; 8. The Rhineland settlement and the security of France; Part IV. Imposing Security: 9. Post-war dilemmas: enforcement or engagement?; 10. Briand and the emergence of a multilateral alternative; 11. The politics of confrontation; Part V. The Cartel des Gauches and the 'Internationalisation of Security': 12. A new approach: arbitration, security, disarmament; 13. Locarno; Conclusion.

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