CHIKHACHEV A.Yu. French Arms Export Policy: Features and Prospects


Aleksey Yu. Chikhachev

Postgraduate Student,

Saint Petersburg State University,

Universitetskaya Emb., 7, 199034 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. As part of French foreign policy, arms trade is currently considered to be a specific way to promote national influence in the world and support defense industry at home. This approach has been already exercised for several decades, but the last presidency was an entirely new and interesting point in this respect because in 2015 and 2016 French arms trade attained the highest income rates.

Methods. The key notion of this article is French ‘strategic autonomy’ which remains a pivotal point of any diplomatic activity of France since Charles de Gaulle’s presidency. Arms export perfectly corresponds to this point because it helps to maintain French autonomy in economic and political ways. To prove it, several methods were provided such as functional method, comparative analysis and SWOT-analysis.

Analysis. This article aims to identify the specifics of contemporary French arms export policy. In this regard, the text is divided in three parts. The first one defines military export as a part of ‘strategic autonomy’ concept. To explain the recent growth, the second part explores a new governmental approach to arms trade. The third part brings together the issues and prospects of French military export expected for Emmanuel Macron’s term.

Results. The main conclusion is that the new president seems to conduct the same policy as his predecessor. The government has reaffirmed its main principles in the field and renewed a political support for arms contracts. Military cooperation with foreign countries still officially depends on the idea of ‘strategic autonomy’ of France and its defense industry.

Key words: France, foreign policy, strategic autonomy, military cooperation, arms export, military industry, Emmanuel Macron.

Citation. Chikhachev A.Yu. French Arms Export Policy: Features and Prospects. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4, Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2019, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 196-206. (in Russian). DOI:

Лицензия Creative Commons

French Arms Export Policy: Features and Prospects by Chikhachev A.Yu. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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