Ulrich Krotz's Flying Tiger takes a relatively obscure episode-the joint Franco-German production of a state-of-the-art and very expensive military helicopter, the Tiger Helicopter (used in the James Bond film Goldeneye, incidentally)-to make a groundbreaking theoretical contribution to international relations scholarship.
The rivalry between Germany and France in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is of course well known. It was directly or indirectly responsible for four cataclysmic wars, and until relatively recently, the idea that these two states could become close partners seemed implausible. Yet following World War II and the birth of the European Union, they became the closest of allies. In fact, they collaborated for three decades on the most sophisticated weapon that the EU has produced: the Tiger.
How did this occur, and what does this happy albeit unforeseen outcome tell us about how interstate relations really work?
Through the lens of the Tiger, Krotz draws from two theoretical approaches-social constructivism and historical institutionalism-to reframe our understanding of how international relationships evolve. International relations scholars have always focused on relations between states, yet have failed to think in any sustained way about how interstate relationships both remold domestic realities and derive from them. How does a relationship between states impact upon a state internally? And how
do the internal institutional dynamics of a state limit such relationships? While International Relations scholars have touched on these issues, until now no one has provided a sustained, finely grained, and historically informed analysis that explains how international relations socially constructs
domestic realities and how in turn domestic politics and institutions structure interstate relationships.
Krotz's account of how the Tiger project was funded and how the device was built perfectly illustrates his theoretical claims about the dialectical relationship of 'high' interstate politics and 'low' domestic politics. Two famous rivals completely reshaped their relationship through a complicated, decades-long process in which the nuts and bolts of domestic politics-approvals for state funding as well as laws regarding corporations and technology transfer, for instance-were instrumental in
creating a new reality.
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 528 g
Dimensions: 240 x 171 x 24 mm
Flying Tiger is a truly extraordinary book, which will soon be considered a classic and essential to the canons of international relations theory and European politics. It is a model for combining brilliant, insightful theorizing with painstaking, detailed empirical narration. While many see high politics as contributing to the uncertain future or even outright failure of the European project, Krotz uncovers, theorizes, and explains a successful effort at bilateral
development and production of advanced weaponry. This is, as Krotz puts it, 'a different sort of European integration,' but integration nonetheless. * Rawi Abdelal, Professor of Business Administration Harvard Business School *
On the face of things, Flying Tiger is about helicopter production, but as one reads further in this impressively original book, it is obvious that Ulrich Krotz's concerns are with much more than cooperation between France and Germany. In detailing the many ups and downs this highly symbolic flying machine has encountered over the course of decades, the author is really telling a much larger story, one that goes to the heart of the ongoing challenge of 'building'
Europe. In crisp and clear prose, and drawing skillfully upon international relations theory, Krotz provides invaluable insight into the current state and future prospects of European security and defense cooperation. * David G. Haglund, Professor of International Relations, Queen's University, Canada *
This ambitious volume draws on the very best traditions of empirical research and meticulous analysis. Its arguments about and evidence on the interconnections of the domestic, bilateral and multilateral layers of policy deserve to be widely read. * Helen Wallace, Centennial Professor, European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science *
...a useful tour of modern weapons development. * CHOICE *
Flying Tiger offers an intriguing empirical account ... while at the same time aiming to fill a void in international (IR) relations theory by conceptualizing how inter-state relations ... are in turn influenced by domestic realities, and how this affects national interests and the security policies of states. [A] thought-provoking book for IR scholars in general and a must read for those interested in arms procurement and Franco-German relations in
particular. * Gerry Alons, Political Studies *