This article is the English version of Thierry de Montbrial,
« La politique étrangère de la France : un cap pour les trente prochaines années », published in Politique étrangère, Vol. 87, Issue 4, 2021.
The first potential confusion to avoid is a benign but nonetheless problematic one between what we call “geopolitics” and “political geography.” In France, we often use Yves Lacoste’s definition of geopolitics as the “representations” relating to different territories, but I prefer to define it more explicitly as the “ideologies” relating to different territories. Here I use the word ideology to mean a “system of ideas.” What we think about geographic areas, and their populations, is not an abstract representation but is deeply rooted in each of our individual hearts and minds, in ideological assemblages that also provide a cover for various interests.