Chirac and 'la Francafrique': no longer a family affair

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Since political independence, France has maintained a privileged sphere of influence, the so-called 'pre carre', in sub-Saharan Africa, based on a series of family-like ties with its former colonies. The cold war provided a favourable environment for the development of this special relationship, as the USA saw the French presence in this part of the world as useful for the containment of Communism. However, following the end of the cold war, France has had to adapt to a new international policy environment that is more competitive and less conducive to the maintenance of such family-like ties. This article charts the evolution of Franco-African relations in an era of globalisation, as French governments have undertaken a hesitant process of policy adaptation since the mid-1990s.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-23
Number of pages17
JournalModern and Contemporary France
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005


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