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Why is the French International Relations (IR) discipline so different from the transnational-American discipline? This book answers this question by looking not at what is said, but examining how it is said. By analysing argument structures in research articles across time and from both sides of the Atlantic, it shows how the discipline in France is in a limbo between the American character of the discipline and the French state as regulator of legitimate forms of expression. Concretely, French research arguments are less explicit about what their propositions are and what academic discussions they draw on and add to in comparison with their transnational-American counterparts. Based on a comparative case study of French and American IR research from 1950 to the present day, the book is a major contribution to the meta-IR literature on global, regional and national traditions of IR.