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Vitaly Nagornov

Soft Power à la Française

2014. Vol. 9. No. 2. P. 167–189 [issue contents]

The article discusses France’s use of soft power and its policy of influence. The analysis examines the increasing importance of tools that enable efficient cultural and humanitarian cooperation in modern international relations. The French experience demonstrates the ability to achieve results through the formation of an image as international peacemaker. France claims the universal values of democracy and takes into account the traditions of each country. French foreign policy uses soft power to strengthen the influence and role of France as a leading power, while recognizing the need to update and improve diplomatic methods to promote French values globally.

The author analyzes French activities in five aspects of soft power: the promotion of culture and language; cooperation in education, science and technology; the development of business relations; public diplomacy; and international assistance. The article discusses the main mechanisms and tools of France’s international cultural and humanitarian cooperation. Despite the decentralization of French soft power policy, the country uses optimal policy instruments in interconnected organizational forms in different policy areas. The interaction of the organizations responsible for international cultural, scientific and technical cooperation is demonstrated using the examples of seven countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States and in Vietnam, Mongolia and Brazil.

The author concludes that a combination of soft power mechanisms and policy areas ensures the influence and promotion of France’s national values. The most effective manifestations of soft power are French language and culture, and the most obvious expression is the phenomenon of la Francophonie. 

Citation: Nagornov V. (2014) Soft Power à la Française. International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 9, no 2, pp. 167-189 (in Russian).
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