Research team

Biographical information

A Senior Research Fellow at Fondation pour la Recherche stratégique (FRS) since 2007, Isabelle Facon is the deputy director in charge of research at FRS.

A specialist on Russian security and defense policies, she has been working extensively on Russian military affairs (doctrinal evolutions, military reform processes, defense industry issues, evolution of civil-military relations, defense diplomacy…). She has also devoted a lot of research to the study of Russia’s foreign policy, with a focus on its Asia dimension and on Russian-European relations.

Isabelle Facon holds a doctoral thesis from the University of Paris II – Panthéon Assas and a Diploma of Advanced Studies (Diplôme d’études approfondies) in Slavic Studies from the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne. She was a Senior Associate Member of Saint Antony’s College (Oxford University) in 1992-93.

Isabelle Facon has been a Senior Lecturer at Ecole polytechnique (Geopolitics of Eurasia Seminar) since 2008. She has also been contributing, since 2003, to three Masters at Institut Catholique de Paris (Social and Economic Sciences Faculty, courses on International Security, International Security Organizations and Russian Geopolitics).

She is a member of the Scientific council of the review Questions internationales, and of the on-line review Journal of Power Institutions in Post-Soviet Societies.


Isabelle Facon is the author of more than 100 publications, both in France and abroad. In English, since 2010:

  • « Military Exercises: The Russian Way », in Stephen J.Blank (ed.), The Russian Military in Contemporary Perspective, Strategic Studies Institute (SSI), US Army War College, 2019, pp. 219-248
  • « Russia’s Multifaceted and Opportunistic Influence in the Western Balkans », in Countering Hybrid Threats: EU and the Western Balkans Case, Directorate-General for External Policies, Policy Department, Sub-Committee on Security and Defence, European Parliament, September 2018, pp. 36-45
  • « Reforming Ukrainian Defense: No Shortage of Challenges », Notes de l’IFRI, Russie.Nei.Visions, Russia/NIS Center, Institut français de relations internationales, n° 101, May 2017, 31 p.
  • Russia’s National Security Strategy and Military Doctrine and Their Implications for the EU, Directorate-General for External Policies, Policy Department, Sub-Committee on Security and Defence, European Parliament, 1er février 2017, 27 p.
  • « Russian Strategic Culture in the 21st Century: Redefining the West-East Balance », in Ashley J. Tellis, Alison Szalwinski, Michael Wills (ed.), « Understanding Strategic Cultures in the Asia-Pacific », Strategic Asia 2016-2017, The National Bureau of Asian Research, 2016, pp. 62-89
  • « Russia’s Perspectives on the US Pivot: Opportunities and Constraints in the Asia Pacific », in Hugo Meijer (ed.), Origins and Evolutions of the US Rebalance toward Asia. Diplomatic, Military, and Economic Dimensions, Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, pp. 254-273
  • « Moscow’s Global Foreign and Security Strategy: Does the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Meet Russian Interests? », Asian Survey, Vol. 53, n° 3, May/June 2013, pp. 461-483
  • « The Russian Way of War », in Yves Boyer & Julian Lindley-French (dir.), Oxford Handbook of War, Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. 273-286
  • « Ukraine: the Case of a “Nuclear Inheritor” », in James Wirtz & Peter Lavoy (dir.), Over the Horizon Proliferation Threats, Stanford University Press, April 2012, pp. 160-178
  • Towards a Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian Security Community. From Vision to Reality, joint report with the Centre for OSCE Research (Hamburg University), the Polish Institute of International Affairs (Warsaw), the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (Moscow), OSCE Track II Initiative, octobre 2012 (with Wolfgang Zellner, Yves Boyer, Frank Evers, Camille Grand, Ulrich Kühn, Lukasz Kulesa, Andrei Zagorski)
  • « Russia and the European Great Powers: France», in Kjell Engelbrekt & Bertil Nygren (dir.), Russia and Europe, Building Bridges, Digging Trenches, Routledge, 2010, pp. 167-183