Thinking Franco-German relations (PereFRALL)

Date: 09/2023 - 08/2024
Funding: Autres
Call: Amorçage interdisciplinaire MSH Ange-Guépin
Partners: Centre de Recherche sur les identités, les Nations et l’Interculturalité (CRINI) (France)

LIUM Participant(s):
User PicJane Wottawa


When we think of Franco-German relations, it is clear that they are not described in the same terms on either side of the Rhine. While the figure of the “couple” dominates the perception of Franco-German cooperation in France, in Germany it is seen in terms of the “tandem”. By studying the notions, metaphors and patterns of perception used to think about Franco-German relations, this project aims to identify the similarities and differences in the way the French and Germans view relations between their countries. Ultimately, the aim is to find out whether there is a shared Franco-German imaginary.


We assume that the ‘couple’ metaphor would be used more often in France, while the term ‘tandem’ would be predominant in Germany (Miard-Delacroix 2012). Given the criticism of the ‘couple’ metaphor, we also believe that its use declined over the period studied.
Nevertheless, we hypothesise that it is not metaphors (l’axe/die Achse, le couple/das Paar, le tandem/dasTandem, le moteur/der Motor) that dominate discourse on Franco-German relations, but rather neutral terms (la coopération/die Kooperation, die Zusammenarbeit, les relations/die Beziehungen).


In order to answer the questions raised, this study is based on a methodological framework consisting of two complementary approaches (see Fauser 2018): perception study (Perzeptionsforschung) according to Hans Manfred Bock (Bock 1996) and discourse analysis (Leblanc 2016, Paveau 2017, Mayaffre et al. 2019).


The project connects two disciplines: cultural studies (Chalard-Fillaudeau 2015) and linguistics. On the one hand, cultural studies aims to describe and contextualise identities and historical facts. On the other hand, linguistics brings expertise in the collection and exploitation of corpora in order to account for various phenomena, including identity and ideas, through the analysis of language. Coupling the two enables the present project to create a bilingual and multimodal database that will be automatically exploitable to answer questions about Franco-German relations between 2003 and 2023.