France’s déclassement in the Eurozone

Philip Giurlando*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In France, the adoption of the euro was partly motivated by the desire for equality with Germany, but asymmetry has increased in terms of economic prowess and international status, leading to a sense of déclassement. This paper identifies links between France’s status reduction, a consequent feeling of humiliation, and the foreign policy positions associated with that collective emotion. Evidence of France’s déclassement includes macroeconomic trends, semi-structured interviews with a sample of elites, the secondary literature, and the domestic political disputes that have emerged as a result of this reduction of national status. The paper also systematically compares France to Italy, as in many ways it is similar to that country, but with one key difference: the political forces which have been loudest about Italy’s humiliation vis-à-vis Germany obtained power and governed from May 2018 to August 2019. Their orientations and positions provide a peek into the kinds of international political decisions associated with both déclassement and humiliation, and provide further evidence on the links between status reduction, group-level emotion, and inter-group behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-580
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Eurozone
  • France
  • Italy
  • déclassement
  • status hierarchy


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