Among the Mediterranean states, France has arguably the most complex bilateral relationship with China: their intense economic exchange and all-encompassing cooperation are not only the longest and eventful, but they are also marred with enduring and mounting concerns. Intersecting two distinct concepts from the international relations’ literature, i.e., role theory and trust, this article makes both empirical and theoretical contributions. It examines sixty years of France-China interaction mechanisms, looking at France’s role conception, expectations, performance and adaptation. On the theoretical front, it proposes to characterize the concurrent cooperation and competition between France and China as coopetition, thus adding a new role enactment, that of coopetitor, to the existing conceptions of national roles.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Political Science and International Relations
- role theory