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Back to the future? Franco-African relations in the shadow of France's past

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

France is a country unlike any other. It has special responsibilities inherited from its history and the universal values that it has helped to forge. France must insist that Europe is powerful, political and upholds our social model. In these few words, delivered on television in his valedictory speech to the French nation on 11 March 2007, former President Jacques Chirac summed up what has come to be deemed exceptional in France’s relations with the European Union (EU). First is the claim made by a succession of French political leaders that France is unlike any other country in the EU or indeed, as in Chirac’s statement, any other country on earth. Second is a set of interlocking strategic objectives for France in Europe that appear exceptionally inflexible and, in some respects anachronistic. These strategies revolve around the ambition for a European entity that is a powerful world actor, that is constructed by a political France is a country unlike any other. It has special responsibilities inherited from its history and the universal values that it has helped to forge. (….) France must insist that Europe is powerful, political and upholds our social model. 1 In these few words, delivered on television in his valedictory speech to the French nation on 11 March 2007, former President Jacques Chirac summed up what has come to be deemed exceptional in France’s relations with the European Union (EU). First is the claim made by a succession of French political leaders that France is unlike any other country in the EU or indeed, as in Chirac’s statement, any other country on earth. Second is a set of interlocking strategic objectives for France in Europe that appear exceptionally inflexible and, in some respects anachronistic. These strategies revolve around the ambition for a European entity that is a powerful world actor, that is constructed by a political process, and which has a distinct identity in the global capitalist system.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe end of the French exception?: decline and revival of the 'French model'. French politics, society and culture
EditorsTony Chafer, Emmanuel Godin
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages203-220
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9780230220782
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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