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Based on a wealth of empirical material, including interviews with key actors, Dr Pannier’s account of how Franco-British defence cooperation was launched will be difficult to improve upon. To this Dr Pannier adds an impressive analysis of how cooperation works, or does not work, in practice, addressing three dimensions: operations, notably the air campaign over Libya in 2011; capability development, notably the creation of the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force; and armaments, notably the One Complex Weapons initiative.
At a moment when European states are set to step up defence cooperation in various bi-, tri- and multilateral frameworks, be it under the aegis of the EU or NATO, Dr Pannier’s dissertation is highly relevant. At the same time, even with Brexit looming, the Franco-British relationship will remain a key component of the landscape of defence in Europe. The importance of the dissertation opens up avenues for further research. Which lessons can be drawn from the specific case of Franco-British cooperation for other initiatives that are now being put in motion? How will increased cooperation in an EU context, and especially the activation of Permanent Structured Cooperation, affect Franco-British cooperation?
Dr Alice Pannier is Assistant Professor of International Relations and European Studies at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC.
The Global Strategy PhD Prize is awarded by the Egmont – Royal Institute for International Relations, the European Security and Defence College (ESDC), and the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) to a doctoral dissertation in one of the working languages of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (English and French), which addresses a policy-relevant topic related to the foreign, security and defence policy of the EU that falls within the remit of the EU Global Strategy.
The jury for the 2017 edition, chaired by Professor Sven Biscop (Egmont Institute & Ghent University), was composed of Dirk Dubois (ESDC), Daniel Fiott (EUISS), Mihnea Motoc (European Political Strategy Centre), Dr Jan Joel Andersson (European Defence Agency), and Professor Luis Simón (Vrije Universiteit Brussel & Real Instituto Elcano).