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French Republicanism: A Comparative Analysis of the French Military Interventions in Libya in 2011 and in Syria in 2013 / JAMIE, LEMON

Swansea University Author: JAMIE, LEMON

DOI (Published version): 10.23889/Suthesis.53836

Abstract

Using Ruth Wodak’s Discourse-Historical Approach (DHA) of Critical Discourse Analysis, this thesis examines the ways in which French Republican ideas were synthesised with arguments relating to the Responsibility to Protect Doctrine in 2011 and 2013 to justify military intervention and international...

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Published: Swansea 2020
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa53836
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Abstract: Using Ruth Wodak’s Discourse-Historical Approach (DHA) of Critical Discourse Analysis, this thesis examines the ways in which French Republican ideas were synthesised with arguments relating to the Responsibility to Protect Doctrine in 2011 and 2013 to justify military intervention and international cooperation. Firstly, Nicolas Sarkozy had learned his lesson with Tunisia that the Arab Spring was more than just a minor wave of protests. Therefore, when the uprising began in Libya, Sarkozy relied on the Republican ideas of the universality of Liberty, Equality, and Human Rights. This was pitched perfectly to justify a military intervention along the lines of the Responsibility to Protect Doctrine, co-opting the support of the United States and the United Kingdom into the mission, as well as gaining the tacit approval of Russia. However Hollande, when approaching a similar situation in Syria, relied on a different side of the Republican ethos. In seeking to “punish” Syria rather than protect its citizens, Hollande fell succumbed to the more paternalistic trappings of French Republicanism, indulging in a more naked display of grandeur, designating France as a gendarme of the world. Ultimately, this was an inappropriate tactic to adopt. Hollande’s administration would antagonise Russia and misread the American intentions. This would lead to further embarrassment when events overtook President Hollande, and the United States and Russia organised their own agreement to deal with Syria’s chemical weapons.
Keywords: France, French Republicanism, Libya, Syria, Arab Spring, Responsibility to Protect, Military Intervention, Critical Discourse Analysis, Discourse Historical Approach, Nicolas Sarkozy, François Hollande