CONGRATULATIONS TO SAMUEL FAURE, WHO RECEIVED HIS PHD IN POLITICAL SCIENCE CUM LAUDE
In December 2016, Samuel Faure defended his PhD dissertation entitled “Varieties of decision. The dilemma of armament policy in Europe: The case of France from 1945 to nowadays” (in French) at the Centre de recherches internationales (CERI) of Sciences Po, Paris. He was awarded a PhD degree in political science.
His dissertation analyzes decision-making within the French defense procurement sector from the end of the Second World to the present. The study examines the puzzle of three ‘varieties’ of decision evidenced within the armaments industry during this period. Each variety of decision is instantiated in a separate public sphere: national, regional and international.
Why has France made procurement decisions at the national level and collaborated with international actors, both in Europe and globally, to acquire war materiel? In response, a configurational model is presented that posits that the varying degree of social interdependence to be found within this sector generates different decision outcomes.
This explanatory model is developed at two levels. On a practical level, the establishment of a particular procurement ‘practice’ (autarky, cooperation or importation) conditions whether or not France acquires weapons at the national, regional or international level. On a general theoretical level, the type of ‘configuration’ (‘amalgamated’, ‘disembedded’ or ‘inclusive’) explains the formation of that practice. The configurational causal mechanism is not considered the independent explanatory variable of the three varieties of decision but rather an explanatory condition, among others.
To empirically test the validity of this explanatory mechanism, 161 semi-structured interviews were conducted and two methods are used: ‘practice tracing’, a type of process tracing, and a ‘most-similar’ case comparison of three separate acquisitions – the French combat aircraft Rafale, the multinational transportation aircraft A400M and the American Reaper drone.