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France and the World



France and the World

First or second semester

6 credit


100% coursework


FREN2002 or equivalent



Hours per week:

2 hrs/week

Contact hours:

24 hours

Total learning hours:

120 hours

The notions of grandeur and rayonnement –greatness and influence overseas– have long been central to France’s self-image and have shaped the way France exerts its influence in the world.

This course discusses how France positions itself on the global scene from the traditional exercise of economic and military power to the use of more subtle tools of soft power, such as cultural diplomacy, scientific cooperation, higher education, humanitarian actions, tourism, etc.

Using a selection of texts and topics, this course will also examine the historical roots of the French ideas of grandeur and rayonnement, how France’s effort to exert influence is perceived and debated at home and abroad, as well as the issues and challenges to maintain France’s image and standing on the international stage.

Participants will be encouraged to draw examples from the local context to discuss the material under investigation. The medium of instruction and the majority of the material used will be in French.


To explore France’s position and influence in the world. To read and discuss issues pertaining to the position and influence of France on the international stage.
To develop students’ appreciation of France through texts.
To expand French language proficiency in the various skills.

Learning outcomes

1) Develop an understanding of France’s position and influence in the world in terms of hard power and soft power. 2) Demonstrate the ability to analyse critically and discuss perceptively issues related to the position and influence of France on the international stage. 3) Use the French language at a level of upper-intermediate proficiency consistent with level B1+/B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL).

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