Domestic politics, news media and humanitarian intervention: why France and Germany diverged over Libya

J. Bucher, L. Engel, S. Harfensteller, H. Dijkstra

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The european union member states split over the military intervention in libya with france, germany and the uk voting differently in the united nations security council. This article compares news media in france and germany to better understand the foreign policy decisions of these key actors. Using a newspaper analysis of 334 articles, it shows that the german domestic debate started very late and was much less stable than the french debate. This supports arguments that germany's decision-making was erratic. The analysis, however, also shows that the german debate was comprehensive and included an extensive discussion of the legitimacy of intervention. This fits in well with the traditional reluctance of german foreign policy elites to support military action.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-539
JournalEuropean Security
Issue number4
Early online date3 Apr 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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