The “Belonging in the Mediterranean/Belonging to the Mediterranean” cycle is organizing a seminar on the book La France, la guerre froide et la Méditerranée. Des accords d’Évian à la Perestroïka by Nicolas Badalassi on Tuesday, June 11, 2024 at 4:00 pm in the meeting room of the Maison de l’Iméra. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register, please click here.

Book cover of "La France, la guerre froide et la Méditerranée" by Nicolas Badalassi.
Book cover of “La France, la guerre froide et la Méditerranée” by Nicolas Badalassi.

In a historiography of the Cold War largely dedicated to the relations between the United States and the USSR, France has long been seen as a minor player. However, France indeed experienced “its” Cold War and did not merely play a secondary role. In fact, on one of the main stages of East-West opposition, the Mediterranean, France became a crucial actor in the bipolar game between the 1960s and the 1980s. As the only coastal state of this sea possessing nuclear weapons, being a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, and having significant influence in Southern Europe and the Arab world, France of the Fifth Republic sought to establish itself as a bridge between East and West, North and South; it also strived to counter the penetration of the USSR in a space considered vital for the security of Western Europe.

By offering an unbounded analysis of France’s Soviet, transatlantic, Arab, and European policies and focusing on the societal evolutions of the Mediterranean basin (identity, religious, and environmental issues) and their impact on the evolution of international power dynamics, this book demonstrates how bloc competition allowed the emergence of a genuine French doctrine for the Mediterranean.

The introduction of the book is available on the PUR website and you can read the interview with the author (in french) here.

Nicolas Badalassi, Professor of Contemporary History at Sciences Po Aix and Director of the Mésopolhis laboratory, the Mediterranean center for sociology, political science, and history, is the author of the following works:

  • Les pays d’Europe orientale et la Méditerranée. Relations et regards croisés, 1967-1989 (co-directed with Houda Ben Hamouda), Les cahiers Irice n°10, 2013
  • En finir avec la guerre froide. La France, l’Europe et le processus d’Helsinki, 1965-1975, Rennes, PUR, 2014
  • The CSCE and the End of the Cold War: Diplomacy, Societies and Human Rights, 1975-1990 (co-directed with Sarah B. Snyder), New York, Berghahn Books, 2008