During the Second World War, Raymond Aron began publishing political commentary in journals and newspapers aimed at a general non-expert readership. This wartime undertaking would become a life-long commitment to expanding political debate beyond the professional spheres of academia and policy making. This study recovers and analyses a concise article that Aron published in August 1945 in the French illustrated journal Point de vue. This forgotten journalistic source reflects idea of the role and responsibility of the public intellectual in a changing world and powerfully conveys three important aspects of Aron’s international thought. First, Aron implicitly advances the idea that the general public has a key function in shaping democratic foreign policy. Moreover, I argue that Aron’s short political analysis provides valuable insight on two theoretical notions that merit the attention of international relations scholars: the concept of ‘friendship’ in international relations and the idea of popular ‘spatial awareness’ as condition for a democratic state’s position in international order. This study suggests that in Aron’s vision of post-war order, articulated immediately after the end of the Second World War, the invocation of the idea of ‘Amica America’ sought to redefine the relations between France and the United States, but also the very political future of the Hexagon.
Thinking with Raymond Aron and Stanley Hoffmann
Amica America: Raymond Aron’s Views on Franco-American Relations in 1945
Published Online: December 10, 2018