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Senior Diplomats in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: When an Entrance Exam Still Determines the Career

Abstract : This article highlights the specificity of the recruitment of senior diplomats (Advisers) in France since 1970. The idiosyncratic character of the French situation resides in the lack of a single examination. The diversity of ways by which a senior diplomat can enter the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (FMFEA) leads to the coexistence within the ministry of two main groups — the ENA diplomats (that is, from the National School of Administration, the Ecole Nationale d'Administration) and the so-called `Orient' diplomats — each defending specific interests and roles within the French Quai d'Orsay. The kind of entrance exam that you take still determines careers in the French MFA. The pillarization of the career has nevertheless decreased since the 1990s, because the necessity to cope with common external challenges (such as budgetary cuts) has reinforced a shared identity among French senior diplomats.
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Submitted on : Thursday, November 4, 2021 - 9:13:43 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 18, 2022 - 11:42:04 AM

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Christian Lequesne. Senior Diplomats in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: When an Entrance Exam Still Determines the Career. Hague Journal of Diplomacy, Brill Academic Publishers, 2012, 7 (3), pp.269 - 285. ⟨hal-03415396⟩

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