French policy towards UN peacekeeping reflects the ambivalence of what Paris wants to achieve in the field of conflict management and its preferred institutional frameworks for action. On the one hand, France is greatly involved in the design and decision-making process of contemporary UN-led peacekeeping operations. On the other hand, after having been present in the field during the early 1990s, France underwent a major policy shift that led it to distance itself from UN operations. This chapter offers a narrative of French policy and perceptions vis-à-vis the virtues and limits of UN peacekeeping operations in the twenty-first century. It examines the French level of contributions, decision-making process, motivations, and lessons learnt from past and current operations. It also analyses the dichotomy between the political role that France plays at the Security Council and its absence from UN-led operations.
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