• Français
  • English

1. International Relations, Globalizations, and Regionalizations

1. International Relations, Globalizations, and Regionalizations

The field of international relations has had a long history at the Sorbonne, personified by Pierre Renouvin until 1964, and later by Jean-Baptiste Duroselle at Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University and Georges-Henri Soutou at Sorbonne University. The discipline has undergone substantial changes since this founding period, and like other historical fields has been marked by a phenomenon of globalization and a broadening of the spaces studied. Its specific features are nevertheless still in place: its basis in the interplay of scales and temporalities; its capacity to jointly consider scales that are national, infra-, inter- and supranational, regional and transnational, as well as local and cross-border; and its inclusion of these relations within a systematic framework. It combines a multifactor approach to international relations with careful interpretation of decision-making.

At SIRICE, Research Area 1 continues this tradition and embodies its changes.

Our research focuses on European societies, inter-European relations, and the permanent redefinitions over the last two centuries of relations between Europe and the rest of the world, especially North America, the Near East, and Asia. A major aspect of ongoing research is the process of regional integration, and its connection with the successive stages of globalization over the last two centuries.

Five aspects are central to this research:

1.1 Non-state Actors and Diplomatic Practices

Para-diplomacies were deployed during the nineteenth century in a context of imperial rivalries, and once again from the interwar period to the Cold War in a context of ideological confrontation. They ultimately underwent a new field of expansion during the stage of globalization that began in the 1990s, for instance with non-governmental actors henceforth representing, gathering information, negotiating, and protecting and promoting interests.

1.2 Intra and Extra-European Relations

The history of Europe, especially that of its construction and crises, serves as the backdrop for an analysis of international relations (economic, political, security, and cultural), focusing on the period between the nineteenth and the twenty-first century. Intra-European relations will be given priority, especially those established with Germany. Extra-European relations are also put into perspective, with researchers orienting their analyses toward Asia, the Maghreb, the Middle East, Canada, and the United States, by studying their particularities as well as their relations with Europe.

 1.3 Globalizations, Empires, and Regionalizations

Formal and informal colonial expansion from the late eighteenth to the mid-twentieth century acted as the primary conveyor of economic, cultural, and political globalization. In doing so, empires became laboratories for new forms of regionalization and transnational mobilizations (Pan-Asianism, Pan-Africanism, Pan-Arabism, Pan-Islamism, etc.).

1.4 Exit from War

Reflecting on how European states and societies exited the Great War raises the question of why they engaged in the conflict. The historiography has explored the beginnings of wars, but has been less concerned by their conclusion. Yet it is not just states that enter wars but societies as well, sometimes with vague goals whose fulfillment can contradict those of their respective governments. Asking whether these goals were achieved after a war helps to explore questions of territorial claims, irredentism, self-determination, and national projects.

1.5 Central and Eastern Europe from the Great War to the Present

The end of empires disrupted the map of Europe from Finland to Turkey. The postwar period erased this initial moment of territorial redefinition, which was unprecedented since the Congress of Vienna. Were the states that emerged from this upheaval at odds with their legal, administrative, military, and intellectual legacy? Can 1918 be seen as a tabula rasa, as 1945 has often been? It appears, on the contrary, that factors of continuity were predominant, although they were masked by a discourse of rupture by those in power. The “return” to Europe in 1989 sparked new political and social disruption. The study of these public spaces and narratives can determine the impact that these changes have had on public opinion.