Chair of Geopolitics

The Chair of Geopolitics at Rennes School of Business was created in November 2019. It aims to use culture as an instrument for action, using hybrid training methods and employing expertise for economic action.

The Chair’s mission:

Culture as an instrument for action
The endless potential of technical specialisation, which emerged as a result of the industrial revolution, is now reaching its limits. It will be extremely difficult for young executives to tackle the problems of tomorrow without a combination of both technical expertise and an openness to the outside world. The study of high technology without cultural exposure creates a mechanical mind, a slave to processes with limited comprehension of the overall aim, whereas a cultural approach without technical expertise creates a dreamer, incapable of putting their creative initiative into practice. This is why the Chair of Geopolitics has the following aim: to enlighten the decision-makers of the future about the political and cultural aspects of business, in order to optimise their performance.

The creation of a Chair dedicated to the humanities within a business school is no simple matter of conjecture, but a sign of the school’s vitality, indicating a strong sense of cohesion, its taste for adventure, its creative drive and its investment in human capability.

Dr Thomas FLICHY de La NEUVILLE, Rennes School of BusinessThe Chairholder, Thomas Flichy de La Neuville, is a former student of Persian at the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilisations with an advanced degree in history and a doctorate in law. He has previously held professorial positions at the Institute of Political Studies in Bordeaux, the French naval academy and Saint Cyr’s military academy before being appointed to the Chair of Geopolitics at Rennes School of Business.
He is experienced in directing research projects and supervising undertaking high-level doctoral studies. Student theses can be co-supervised with Oxford University.

Contact & Informationthomas.flichy-de-la-neuville@rennes-sb.com

Research topics

1 – The future of geopolitics and economic action

In the modern-day, companies must equip themselves with reliable tools to anticipate the economic situation of the countries in which they want to invest. To do so, they must use a combination of mathematical indicators and faint cultural and political signals which are identifiable to geopolitical researchers. The Chair is working to perfect a hybrid methodology in which economic players can minimise risks whilst giving their executives an overall vision of geo-economic interactions.

2 – Dematerialisation and changing borders

The dematerialisation of communication sectors such as financial flow is having a profound impact on the geo-economic space. The geopolitics of finance is incomprehensible if it cannot be mapped to identify the key hubs such as central banks or the interconnected systems of satellites which designate free zones. To this day, the conquest of these spaces is the subject of a silent struggle between states in their bid for cultural hegemony.

3 – Technological acceleration and the resurgence of nationalism

Worldwide connectivity due to advanced technology naturally leads to a resurgence of island identities. Such was one of the defining elements of the first Renaissance, during which the development of naval and financial technology opened the doors to globalisation and the birth of nation-states. We are now entering a second Renaissance, rich in potential due to our limitless connectivity with others around the world but accompanied by an underlying danger: the potential for isolated geocultural islands, sealed off from one another.

4 – Geopolitics and the power of creativity

Geopolitics not only looks at the balance of power within a given space but also examines and evaluates the behaviour of its core actors. The principal characteristic of humans is their creative initiative, nourished by the arts. This creative initiative, which can be a source of lasting power, explains the unpredictability of certain international leaders. It would be futile to claim a true understanding of geopolitical phenomena such as seduction, the overthrow of power, concealment or the exertion of influence without looking at the way such concepts are represented in opera, painting and theatre. True geopolitical actors understand that the arts represent one of the most developed forms of intelligence.

Our programme

In line with our Unframed identity, the Rennes SB Geopolitical chair intends to employ a pedagogy of rupture, which combines a metanalytical examination of civilisation and high technology, cultural intuition and algorithmic rationality. Interested students from the Grande École Programme (Master in Management) can enrol in the “Geopolitics and International Relations” track.

Associate researchers with the chair

Olivier Chantriaux

Olivier Chantriaux completed the prestigious Lycée Henri IV Khâgne humanities course before specialising in the history of international relations, security and defence. His studies included seminar courses on History of International Relations at the IEP Paris (Institute of Political Studies) and North American History at the University of Paris-I – Panthéon-Sorbonne.
A graduate of both the Sorbonne and the IEP Bordeaux, Olivier Chantriaux is the author of many papers, articles and other publications exploring developments in international relations, such as:

  • De Gaulle et la diplomatie par l’image, in which he analyses the process whereby General de Gaulle used colour television as the first step in his policy of détente with the Soviet Union;
  • Le Basculement océanique, in which he argues in favour of an extroverted maritime policy for France and considers the importance of the oceans in the major powers’ respective geopolitical strategies;
  • La Guerre et la Paix vues de Rome, in which he describes and puts into perspective the Vatican’s diplomatic initiatives to promote peace during and after the First World War.

He was the 2005 recipient of the Fondation Charles-de-Gaulle Award, and was also recognised in the 2011 INA Awards (French National Audiovisual Institute). His work currently focuses on developments in USA foreign policy since 1945 and variations in its theoretical framework.

 

Grégor Mathias

Gregor Mathias is a Doctor of History and a specialist in counter-insurgency during the Algerian War. A researcher in geopolitics, he has worked on the cultural and social aspects of the French army’s conflict zones (Sahel-Saharan strip, Central African Republic, Syria and Iraq) and has conducted prospective studies into future conflicts.

A former Professor of International Relations at the ENSOA army officers’ training school, he subsequently held the position of associate researcher at Saint Cyr-Coëtquidan military academy (Saint-Cyr research centre consultant) working on security and defence issues in Africa and terrorism. He is a former associate researcher at the Sorbonne (Centre Roland Mousnier).

His main publications are:

  • La France ciblée. Terrorisme et contre-terrorisme en France métropolitaine, Vendémiaire, Paris, 2017, 201 p.
  • La guerre française contre le terrorisme islamiste. De l’opération Serval aux attentats de Paris et Bruxelles, éditions B. Giovanangeli, Paris, éd. revue et augmentée, 2016, 223 p.
  • La guerre française contre le terrorisme islamiste. Des confins du Sahara à nos banlieues, éditions B. Giovanangeli, Paris, 2015, 174 p. Prix Anteios-Axyntis 2016 du meilleur livre de géopolitique de Grenoble.
  • With Flichy de La Neuville Thomas, 2030, le monde que la CIA n’imagine pas, éditions B. Giovanangeli, Paris, 2015, 207 p.
    German translation: 2030 : Neue geopolitik und die Welt von morgen, Vergangenheitsverlag, Berlin, 2016, 204 p.
  • Les guerres africaines de François Hollande, L’aube, La Tour d’Aigues, 2014, 251 p.
  • David Galula in Algeria, Counterinsurgency, Practice versus Theory, Praeger Security International-ABC Clio, Santa Barbara, 2011, 143 p.

 

Gaël Moullec

Gaël-Georges Moullec is a Doctor of History and teaches at Rennes School of Business and the University of Paris-13. His specialist areas are the international communist movement, the history of the USSR-Russia and its intelligence services.

He is currently a member of the French Academy of Sciences (l’Académie des Sciences, Institut de France) and its Russia-Eurasia Advisor. In the past, he has lectured at IEP-Paris and held the position of Visiting Assistant in Research at the University of Yale.

His main publications are:

  • La Russie à l’Académie des sciences : 300e anniversaire de la visite en France de Pierre le Grand, membre de l’Académie royale des sciences, Hermann, Paris, 2017, 241p. (en collaboration avec Tatiana Zazerskaia)
  • Pour une Europe de l’Atlantique à l’Oural – Les relations franco-soviétiques 1956-1974, Éditions de Paris, janvier 2016, 160 p.
  • From the Atlantic to the Urals» – Soviet-French relations (1956–1973), Foundation “Democratia”, Moscow, 2015, 625p. (in Russian)
    Dimitrov. Journal 1933-1949, Belin, Paris, 2006, 1505p.
  • Le KGB dans les Pays Baltes, Belin, Paris, 2005, 236 p. (en collaboration avec David Wolff)

Partnerships

Publications - Geopolitical decoding

Publications of Gregor Mathias

  • Coordination et contributions à HANNE Olivier (dir.) Mali, une paix à gagner. Analyses et témoignages sur l’opération Serval, Lavauzelle, 2014, 154 p.
  • « A l’écoute des communautés du Mali », entretiens exclusifs avec des représentants des communautés du Nord-Mali réalisés par C.D et G. Mathias, p. 113-125, Annexe IV, « Entretien avec Ambéry Ag Rhissa, porte-parole du MNLA de Kidal », p. 211-212, Annexe V « Le scénario du pire : l’ensablement au Mali », p. 213-218
  • Avec MEZIN-BOURGNINAUD Véronique, FLICHY de La NEUVILLE Thomas, Centrafricaine, pourquoi la guerre ?, Lavauzelle, Panazol, 2014, 102 p.
  • Contribution à FLICHY Thomas (dir.) Opération Serval au Mali. L’intervention française décryptée, Lavauzelle, Panazol, 2013, 123 p.
  • Chap. 3 « La troisième révolte touarègue au Mali » p. 40-47. Coauteur avec le capitaine J. PÂRIS, « L’utilisation du terrain par les insurgés du sahélistan : analyse du tryptique géographique », p. 67-72. Annexe IV « Le scénario du pire : l’ensablement au Mali », p. 103-109.
  • MATHIAS Gregor, Les Vampires à la fin de la guerre d’Algérie, mythe ou réalité ?, Michalon, Paris, 2014, 187 p.
  • MATHIAS Gregor, David Galula. Combattant, espion et maître à penser de la guerre contre-révolutionnaire, Economica, Paris 2012, 190 p.
  • Traduction anglaise : David Galula in Algeria, Counterinsurgency, Practice versus Theory, Praeger Security International-ABC Clio, Santa Barbara, 2011, 143 p.
  • MATHIAS Gregor, Les sections administratives spécialisées en Algérie, entre idéal et réalité, L’Harmattan, 1998, 256 p.
  • Traduction arabe : Les Sections administratives spécialisées (SAS) en Algérie entre idéal et réalité, éditions Saihi, Alger-Kouba, 2013, 327 p.

His recent articles :

  • « Les redécouvertes américaine et française du stratège atypique David Galula », Site de la revue Conflits, octobre 2019,
  • « Retour sur la politique migratoire d’Angela Merkel de 2015, entre naïveté politique et insécurité », Sécurité Globale, n°20, 2019/4, pp. 3-18.
  • Préface à VÉTILLARD Roger, La dimension religieuse de la guerre d’Algérie (1954-1962). Prémices et conséquences, Éditions AtlantiS, 2018, p. 185.
  • http://editionatlantis.de/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/publinks/Roger-V%C3%A9tillard-La-dimension-Pr%C3%A9face-de-Gregor-Mathias.pdf
  • « La Libye prise en étau entre la guerre et les luttes d’influence régionale », Diplomatie, décembre 2017-janvier 2018, pp. 58-59.
  • « Une étrange concordance des temps : les attentats en métropole du FLN et de l’État Islamique (1957-2017) », Sécurité Globale, n°10, 2017/2, pp. 175-179.
  • « La politique de pacification des officiers SAS pendant la guerre d’Algérie », Mondes et cultures, Bulletin de l’Académie des sciences d’Outre-mer, n°77, janvier 2017, pp. 258-263.
  • « France, opération récentes, enjeux futurs », « Pouvait-on anticiper les nouvelles menaces dans la bande sahélo-saharienne au moment du déclenchement de l’opération Serval ? Retour sur une prospective parue en mars 2013 », Site géopolitique Res Militaris, hors-série, décembre 2016.
  • « Faut-il avoir peur de la politique étrangère de D. Trump ? », le Plus de L’Obs, 10 novembre 2016.
  • Avec FLICHY de La NEUVILLE Thomas et HANNE Olivier, « USA, le jour d’après », », le Plus de L’Obs, 8 novembre 2016.
  • Avec FLICHY de La NEUVILLE Thomas et HANNE Olivier, « Élection américaine : la géopolitique évoluera-t-elle sous le signe de Mercure ou de Mars ? », Figarovox, 25 octobre 2016.
  • Avec FLICHY de La Neuville, « Le monde de 2030, nous surprendra : ce que la CIA n’imagine pas », p. 52-56, Diplomatie, « les grands dossiers n°28 », août-septembre 2015.
  • « Quelles solutions à la crise libyenne ? », 28 mars 2015, Site géopolitique de la Vigie

 

Geopolitical decoding

Numérisation du monde, l’ère de la puissance transparente

Vers des blocus financiers transparents et hermétiques

L’Amazonie est-elle un grenier ou une bibliothèque ?

Hong Kong, une cité bouillonnante à la charnière des empires mutants

La double torsion du corps de l’Europe

Quand Gabriel Tarde imaginait le refroidissement de la planète

Lorsque Paul Valéry imaginait le piratage du cerveau humain

News from the Chair

La minute géopolitique