A diplomatic genre? France caught between compassion and universal repentance

Abstract

Apology and compassion in diplomatic speeches are firstly a Western phenomenon. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, this repentance appears like a substitute for action. It is a telltale sign of the Western identity crisis, which is embodied by France. But it also results from the apparition of new actors within the national and international « civil society », limiting the diplomatic action of States. Yet, some typically French reasons would seem to feed these speeches of repentance. They are as much the product of a diplomacy founded on memory as the result of the parliamentary will for revenge.

AFRI 2008 Summary