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 […]
Tag Archives | security
According to RFI, the security situation in Central African Republic continues to deteriorate. The number of victims and internally displaced people increases constantly. However, according to an International Crisis Group report, local initiatives give a glimmer of hope. Humanitarian aid has improved, some ex-combatants have become motorbike taxi drivers. Stabilising the country of 622,000 square kilometers outside Bangui still remains a difficult task. The numbers of soldiers, gendarmes and policemen outside the capital remain insufficient and the deployed soldiers rely heavily on MINUSCA for logistics.