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Françafrique and post-colonial mythmaking in West Africa

Unité : REPI Recherche et Études en Politique Internationale | ULB704

Description :

Did France topple the African leaders of independence? The foundational claim of the Françafrique conceptualisation of
post-colonial history is that the French government has orchestrated coups d’état against African leaders who threatened their perceived
interests. This idea of French intervention in former colonies has been used to explain the continued survival of the CFA Franc
and the recent wave of coups in West Africa. Indeed, since its first use in 1998 as a left-wing critique of French Africa-policy
promoted by the “association Survie”, this term has exploded in popularity and has been widely adopted in academic writing.
However, despite merits in the activist realm, this key claim has not been weighed against the archival evidence now available.
Furthermore, the idea of la Françafrique lacks analytical precision and at its worst has encouraged intellectual short-cuts and a
conspiracist tendency to see any major event on the African continent as the result of French meddling. Through an interdisciplinary
approach this research will engage this concept head on. This research has two primary objectives: (i) to rigorously and
systematically evaluate the key factual claims which underpin the Françafrique concept through newly available archival material; (ii) to
explore the genesis and circulation of the idea of la Françafrique and develop a new concept which better reflects the underlying
empirical record.

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Liste des bailleurs :

  • F.R.S.-FNRS et Fonds associés (hors FRIA)