This article aims at a characterization of the cooperation behavior among five large scientific countries (France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom and United States of America) from 1986 to 1996. It looks at the cooperation profiles of these countries using classical measures such as the Probabilistic Affinity. The results show the major influence which historical, cultural and linguistic proximities may have on patterns of cooperation, with few changes over the period of time studied.A lack of specific affinities among the three largest European countries is revealed, and this contrasts with the strong linkage demonstrated between United States and Japan. The ensuing discussion raises some questions as to the process of Europeanization in science. The intensity of bilateral cooperation linkages is then studied with regard to field specialization by country, and this analysis yields no general patterns at the scale studied. Specific bilateral behaviors are also analyzed.