Tag Archives | France

French Military Operations in Postcolonial Africa

Whether under a French, UN or EU flag, the French army has intervened more than 50 times in Africa in the last 60 years. Built with sources provided by the French army, these visualisations show the frequency of the French military interventions in its former colonial empire and sometimes beyond. Explore Vincent Hirribaren’s personal website, where he explain the results of his research in African History, Digital Humanities and the History of the Basque Country.  

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France’s interventions in Mali and the Sahel: A historical institutionalist perspective

Abstract France’s interventions in Mali and the wider Sahel appear to mark a new departure in French military policy in terms of the approach to multilateralism adopted, the regionalisation of the response, and the levels of violence deployed. Yet how ‘new’ is this approach, when set against the historical backdrop of French military interventions in Africa? Should it be seen as a modified version – an adaptation – of the new type of multilateral engagement that emerged in the wake of the 1994 Rwandan genocide? Using a historical institutionalist lens, employing the notions of critical junctures, ‘layering’, and ‘drift’, this article briefly sets out the unilateral approach that marked French military policy in Africa prior to 1994 before going on to analyse the multilateral approach and associated path-dependent practices that emerged after the Rwandan genocide. Drawing on elite interviews in Europe, the US and Africa, the article shows that, while France’s engagement in the Sahel is characterised by an ostensibly novel multilateral approach, it does in fact combine new and old norms, ideas and practices. Read the article in the Journal of Strategic Studies Author information Tony Chafer is Professor of African and French Studies at the University of Portsmouth. He […]

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