Publications – Defence-Industrial Capitalism in France and UK, Differentiated European Integration, Sociology of Elites 

Samuel Faure, professeur associé à Sciences Po Saint Germain et directeur des relations internationales a publié récemment une série d’articles sur le thème de l’industrie de défense. Voici les références ainsi que les résumés de ces articles :

« Qui gouverne les grandes entreprises de la défense ? Contribution sociologique à l’étude des capitalismes en France et au Royaume-Uni », Revue internationale de politique comparée, 2019, 36p (coécrit avec Thibaut Joltreau et Andy Smith).

Prix Hassner de l’AEGES

Abstract :

This article seeks to make a sociological contribution to the study of capitalism in France and Britain. In view of this, we analyze major defense industry company managers’ relationships to the State, and the internationalization and financialization of their careers (Safran, Thales, BAe Systems and Rolls-Royce). We go beyond the dispute between the convergence and divergence of national defense capitalisms, by unveiling a counter-intuitive and unexpected reality, namely their simultaneity. Specifically, on both sides of the English Channel, the practices of these large company directors have become more structured than hitherto by the internationalization of their training and their knowledge of finance, while at the same time, their relationship to the state has changed profoundly.

« Differentiated Integrations. Lessons from Political Economies of European Defence », European Review of International Studies, 2019, 6 (2): 3-17 (coécrit avec Andy Smith)


 This special issue aims at contributing simultaneously to two key literatures within analysis of the European Union (EU) which, until now, have developed in isolation of each other: one on differentiated integration, the other on defence policies in Europe. In so doing, it also brings together different theories of political economy and, thereby, more general analyses of politics and international relations.

« The Choice for a Minilateral Europe: A Historical Sociology of Defence-Industrial Capitalism », European Review of International Studies, 2019,6 (2) : 92-114


 In order to acquire a new military transport aircraft in the 2000s, why did France decide to choose European minilateralism (A400M) rather than the alternative of Franco- American bilateralism (C-17 and C-130)? A “configurational” argument with regard to this decision is developed, using an approach that looks at the historical sociology of a political economy in arms procurement in Europe, derived from the work of Norbert Elias. This argument explains France’s choice of a minilateral Europe as resulting from the effect of social interdependence that is conceptualised by the notion of “configuration”. Establishing the positions adopted by French state and industrial actors required two years of fieldwork (2012 –2014). A total of 105 semi-structured interviews were conducted with French actors (political, military, administrative, and industrial) who took part in the negotiations from the mid-1970 to the early 2000s. Beyond presenting this data, this article contributes to the development of international political sociology by making the concept of configuration operational.

 « The Differentiated Integration of Defence Companies in Europe. A Sociology of (Trans)National Economic Elites », European Review of International Studies,2019, 6 (2) : 135-162 (coécrit avec Thibaut Joltreau et Andy Smith)

Abstract :

Why has European integration affected some of Europe’s defence firms more than others? Specifically, what explains the co-existence of national, transnational and European champions in this industry? This article develops answers to this question from two complementary angles. First, through examining the business models and turnover of the four largest companies in Europe (BAe Systems, Airbus, Thales, and Leonardo), it shows that firms who mostly produce military goods are less likely to undergo strong European integration. Second, using an original database on the social backgrounds of these firms’ board members, two further hypotheses are tested. Using data on higher education and careers, on the one hand we show that the relationship of board members to their respective state varies from close (Thales and to some extent Airbus) to distant (BAe Systems and Leonardo). On the other, our data reveals that when the careers of these actors are frequently internationalised, this correlates to either strong European integration at the level of the firm (Airbus and Thales) or, alternatively, strong Transatlanticism (BAe Systems or Leonardo). The article as a whole thus both opens up new avenues for research on the defence industry, whilst adding political economy and sociological dimensions to existing scholarship on differentiated European integration.

« Du mot d’ordre politique à la controverse académique : l’intégration différenciée est-elle l’avenir de l’Union européenne ? », Revue française de science politique, 2019, 69 (4): 689-693 (coécrit avec Vincent Lebrou)

Abstract :

Les tensions survenues au sein de la zone euro, la fragmentation de l’espace Schengen, la mise en œuvre de la coopération structurée permanente dans le secteur de la défense, ou encore le renforcement de l’usage des mécanismes d’« opt-out » et d’« opt-in » par les États, et l’exemple récent du Brexit le rappellent : l’Union européenne (UE) se trouve confrontée depuis deux décennies à une série de crises aux ressorts divers mais qui ont eu pour effet, au cours des dernières années, de fortement affecter son fonctionnement. Une Europe à « géométrie variable » aurait progressivement fait son apparition depuis le début des années 20002, laissant aux États le choix de prendre leurs distances avec certaines politiques publiques européennes…