Geopolitics of France. 2.06.1999

France has very complicated history. From ancient times, France has experienced events which had affected its position in world geopolitics very much. It was both time of growth and decline for France.

In our paper (speech), we will try to give brief description of the place and role of French republic in Europe and in the world, too. Also we will try to describe relations of France with other big states of the world, which have essential influence on the world politics.

The geopolitic situation of France on the world map

France is situated in Western Europe and is accepted as the largest country in this region. Its main borders are: on the north with Germany, on the south with Spain, on the east with Italy and Switzerland. France is washed by Biscay and La Manche Channels on the west and Mediterranean on the south.

France is the member of many international organizations. The most important of them for us is, of course, NATO. The membership of France in NATO is nominal, which could be described as "passive" or "neutral."

In general, France was always against the spread of US influence in Europe. Domination of USA is disturbing not only France, but probably, all european states with very reach culture and ancient history. France represents one of the opposite points in Europe, on the other stands Great Britain which is fully supporting US in all of its beginnings.

In order to explain such a phenomenon, we must look at the map.

Geopolitics of the world is generally seen by scholars as contradiction between two powers: power of sea (ocean) and power of land (continent). This is the opposite powers, which cannot ever become unified and the domination of one excludes automatically another. In recent history this contradiction can be seen as the clash of two power blocks of US and USSR.

France, just like Azerbaijan, is situated on the coast or border between these two civilizations. Such location defines the complicated history. From one side, France has the specific features of "sea nation", such as trade, high technologies, individualism or humanism, etc. But from another side, it is not such materialistic as the USA - classic example of "sea nation". Here ethic or moral values are fully identified with monetary or material values.

But, of course, we cannot speak about intentions of whole nation, it will mean too general approach. In France itself, there are a variety of opinions on this problem. How the nation must develop, in what directions: east or west ?

At present time, situation in Europe is such that France, like other European nations, is forced to obey regional policy of US and its "proper" military alliance NATO. For example, recent events in Kosovo shows that French and German governments are against bombings and are talking about starting of negotiations with Belgrade. While US and its ally in Europe Great Britain, promote for land military operation against Yugoslavia.

During period of president De Gaulle in 1950-60s, which was typical representative of continental direction in policy, France seriously distantiated from US and even, left NATO. He was promoting active policy of cooperation with east, to the depth of continent - towards Germany and Russia.

There are two main directions of geopolitics in France. One is for closer relations with US and Great Britain, that's why is called atlantism. Another - with Germany and Russia, called continentalism. We have talked a lot about attitude of French geopolitics toward first direction. Now about the second.

The Second World War had, of course, very negative influence on relations between France and Germany. But now, we see that the relations had warmed a lot after war. Even more, the idea of Europe as a united state without borders, which didn't seemed to be realized after the war, is now realized in practice by states, which was enemies during the war.

Theoretically, after the occupation of France, Hitler was more likely to accept France as his ally and began the war against Great Britain together with French people, which were not in admire of British domination in Europe. But Hitler has made a tragical mistake. He started the war with Russia.

Russia was seen as the only state in Europe, which has no influence from the side of USA. And the next step of Hitler was to be strategic alliance with Russia and France against "sea power". The first steps on this way were taken, but directed by his stupid idea of Germans' cultural superiority, Hitler rejected Slavic origin Russians and took Mussolini as his ally, though Russians is more alike with "Aryans" rather than Italians.


France, just like Azerbaijan, has geographic location which causes complicated history for nation which lives on that territory. The territory of such countries had always been and are a field of battle between big powers of the world. And let's try to prevent our nations from being such a field in future.

Copyright© by Parviz Tahirov

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