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Understanding (unloved) France

Unloved France

“The French are frustratingly irresponsible, individualistic” is one complaint sometimes heard in diplomatic quarters. Foreign Policy recently doubled down with an opinion piece complaining that France was accommodating imperial Russia and forcing Europe into its (alleged) socialistic views.

This outrage reveals a well-known difficulty in understanding my country’s perspective. France has realised (around two centuries ago) it is no great power anymore – unlike Brexit-prone UK – but its geography remains exposed to all winds, with islands and partnerships spread across the world. “The curse of having 36.000 communes, two seas and countless borders to deal with”, wrote historian Fernand Braudel...

The rest of the blog here.