Claude Serfati on the French Military – 18 Oct, London – Seminar in Marxist theory

6th Oct 2017

London Seminar in Contemporary Marxist Theory

Professor Claude Serfati (Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin)

Le militaire: une histoire française (book launch)

Discussants: Prof. Alex Callinicos (King’s College London) and Dr. Eva Nanopoulos (Queen Mary)

18 October 2017


King’s College London 
Strand, Room S -3.18

This book traces the consolidation of the role of the armies in France from the era of classical imperialism to the present, and proposes an in-depth analysis of the intensification of French military interventions abroad since the end of the 2000s. The ‘2008 moment’ – a combination of the major crisis since the end of WWII, geopolitical upheaval (‘Arab spring’ and their repression) and Obama’s move away from America’s post-war interventionist role – opened a ‘window of opportunity’ for France, in particular in its African ‘backyard’ (Libya, Mali, Central African Republic). The long-established tradition of French military interventionism was reinforced by rising pressures from the ‘méso-système de l’armement’ (the military-industrial complex à la française). Along with growing economic imbalances between France and Germany, these pressures reinforce the attempts of French policy-makers to use their military leverage as a ‘competitive advantage’. The increase in military interventions abroad is linked to the installation at home of a permanent state of emergency that threatens democratic liberties and targets foremost children of migrants from North Africa.

Contact: Emmy Eklundh (emmy.eklundh@kcl.ac.uk)

The London Seminar in Contemporary Marxist Theory is a speaker series organized by scholars at King’s College London, Queen Mary University of London, and Loughborough University London. For details of future speakers, see https://www.kcl.ac.uk/marxist-theory-seminar/cmt.aspx