France and the Dissolution of Yugoslavia

Jones, Christopher (2015) France and the Dissolution of Yugoslavia. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This thesis examines French relations with Yugoslavia in the twentieth century and its response to the federal republic’s dissolution in the 1990s. In doing so it contributes to studies of post-Cold War international politics and international diplomacy during the Yugoslav Wars. It utilises a wide-range of source materials, including: archival documents, interviews, memoirs, newspaper articles and speeches.
Many contemporary commentators on French policy towards Yugoslavia believed that the Mitterrand administration’s approach was anachronistic, based upon a fear of a resurgent and newly reunified Germany and an historical friendship with Serbia; this narrative has hitherto remained largely unchallenged. Whilst history did weigh heavily on Mitterrand’s perceptions of the conflicts in Yugoslavia, this thesis argues that France’s Yugoslav policy was more the logical outcome of longer-term trends in French and Mitterrandienne foreign policy. Furthermore, it reflected a determined effort by France to ensure that its long-established preferences for post-Cold War security were at the forefront of European and international politics; its strong position in all significant international multilateral institutions provided an important platform to do so. Therefore, it was imperative for France that Yugoslav dissolution, and recognition of its successor states, be firmly anchored within a strongly European and international framework. Moreover, it was absolutely essential that the Yugoslav crisis did not threaten the Maastricht Treaty in 1991 nor the national referendum on its passing into law in September 1992. Therefore, French diplomacy stressed the primacy of a unified common European approach to the dissolution of Yugoslavia. Many of the methods employed in diplomacy towards, and peacekeeping within, Yugoslavia thus bore the hallmark of French initiative. In addressing these issues, this dissertation demonstrates that France played a far greater role in shaping the international response to the dissolution of Yugoslavia than previously acknowledged.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Users 2259 not found.
Date Deposited: 04 May 2016 11:56
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2018 00:38


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