What is it about?

France has used a series of economic, political, educational, diplomatic and military tools to maintain control of its former African empire, with mixed results. There are numerous paradoxes which reflect how France is both too strong and too weak in its former empire south of the Sahara.

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Why is it important?

Critiques of French African policy are right to point to negative impacts of neocolonialism, but misunderstand that the economic importance of Africa to France is less to the French economy as a whole and more to a small interest group of active businesses and investors who cultivate corruption in this sphere of influence. The real importance of francophone Africa is political.


The critique of France is fundamentally valid, but involves many misconceptions which are easy to dispell with a little historical information, and the proper theoretical lens.

Douglas Yates
American Graduate School in Paris

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This page is a summary of: Paradoxes of Predation in Francophone Africa, International Journal of Political Economy, April 2018, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/08911916.2018.1497505.
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