Franco-African Postcolonial Diplomatic Relations: A Very Odd Arrangement

Amy Niang, Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA)

 

The post-1945 global order ushered in a new era of decolonization, providing scholars with an opportunity to observe and analyze the trajectories of countries gradually emerging from colonial domination and to study their new existence alongside that of other sovereign countries. The transition of former colonial territories to independent entities, however, did not consistently result in full sovereignty. In fact, some of these former colonies, particularly in former French West Africa, found themselves ensnared in an enduring period of transition and unrealized sovereign statehood. More specifically, Franco-African relations are stuck in a framework that subverts the conventional understanding of diplomacy and diplomatic practice in a postcolonial context.

The Franco-African postcolonial pact is a form of collective security arrangement (un régime de garantie) that is supposed to provide economic and financial stability, while enabling a seamless integration of former colonies into multilateral structures of governance. The intricate entanglements of colonial and postcolonial relations in the economic, political, military, and cultural spheres are extensive and cannot be fully examined within the constraints of this limited space. Instead, this paper analyzes the lingering effects of the community project of 1946-1958 within the dynamics of interdependence and subjugation in contemporary Franco-African relations. The latter operate in a framework of relations that is underpinned by a dual contradiction. On one hand, there is an attempt to maintain “normal” diplomatic interactions among formally sovereign entities still entrenched in a hierarchical power structure. Conversely, the structure of the relationship plays a significant role in the historicizing and indexing of African sovereignty in global politics. As an emanation of the Berlin convention, colonial governmentality distributed sovereign effects across contexts characterized by illegitimacy and legal arbitrariness, essentially a form of governance without legitimacy. It concurrently contributed to the process of standardizing a universal concept of sovereignty, a norm also employed as an instrument of political and ideological differentiation. In the post-World War II deliberations over the future of French West Africa, sovereignty emerged as a malleable and multifaceted norm, capable of embodying qualities such as right, rationality, capacity, morality, and metaphor. These possibilities disappeared as multilateral governance structures assumed the responsibility of further integrating former colonies into a global liberal governance framework, along with its associated limits.

France and Francophone Africa

France’s relations with Francophone Africa are framed by a logic of imperial ambition first articulated by Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the Controller-General of Finances under Louis XIV in the seventeenth century. While Colbertism may not represent a comprehensive economic ideology, it served as both a political and economic doctrine emphasizing wealth generation and interventionism as crucial elements of French influence. Colbert’s version of offensive mercantilism posited that for France to maintain a “favorable balance of trade,” it needed to secure resource reserves in its colonies. For Colbert, France could not aspire to global power status if it could not commit substantial investments in scientific and technical capital. To achieve this goal, the first step was to establish an academy of science that would lay the groundwork for disciplines that produced the “savants” and techniques of empire. Colbertism was carried forth under the Third Republic by the Solidarists who initiated the “civilizing mission” through extensive educational programs. The legacy of this effort can be seen today in institutions like CAMES (Conseil africain et malgache pour l’enseignement supérieur), whose organizational structures, knowledge production orientation, and intellectual legitimation processes echo earlier endeavors aimed at integrating Africa as a target of imperial aspirations.

Despite the end of formal colonial rule, the structure of Franco-African relations in the post-World War II era does not neatly conform to any of the established normative orders within the Westphalian system, whether the traditional notion of sovereign statehood or the classical alliance formation. While it is an expression of residual imperial practice, the French position in Africa nonetheless presents a challenge to a straightforward interpretation as strictly imperial or neo-imperial. In essence, French Africa diplomacy was always an instrument to bolster French grandeur, while African countries were set to play a similar role, each substitutable for the other regardless of differences. To speak of diplomacy in fact seems like a misnomer for a “reserved domain” of policy and intervention steered from the Elysée, the seat of the French presidency, a tradition that dates back to the time of Charles De Gaulle. For all these reasons, decolonization was not the world-shattering event it was meant to be. It failed to be the “program of complete disorder” that would shake the very foundation of the Western colonial system, as Frantz Fanon had predicted.[1]

The aftermath of the dissolution of the French Empire exhibited a far greater degree of continuity compared with the British and Portuguese Empires. The inception of the Fifth Republic in 1958 was initially envisioned as a process of transforming colonial institutions into federated entities that would unite the former metropole and its former colonies. The reality, however, turned out to be quite different. The Constitution of the Fifth Republic turned colonies into outgrowths and appendages of the metropole, essentially instituting a state-empire. Consequently, it failed to resolve the fundamental contradiction between a professed commitment to an abstract universalism and the reality of cultural pluralism within the French Empire. Furthermore, it did not provide sufficient space for institutional opening after 1958.

At the 1944 Brazzaville conference, French elites appealed to the good faith (bonne volonté) of Africans to aid in the reconstruction of France. Africans were asked to delay demands for immediate independence and assent to French demands for access to African resources and markets (to support the Marshall Plan) in exchange for a French commitment to African development at a later stage. The pledge for reform quickly soured due to brutal wars in Vietnam, Madagascar, and Algeria, principally. By 1949, with a permanent seat at the UN Security Council and an admission into the newly formed NATO, it became clear that France aspired to remain a world power within the strictures of imperial geopolitics.

Jules Ferry, the architect of French imperialism, could have designed postwar France’s Brazzaville Conference in 1944. The latter effectively established Africa as a special province of concern, suited not for normal diplomacy by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs but for management by the Ministry of Cooperation, notably located in the very same building that once housed the Ministry of Colonies. France’s neocolonial attitude was bolstered by the United States and supported by NATO, an organization whose Cold War raison d’etre carried over the functions of empire for reasons owing in part to a newly expanded notion of the Western alliance.

The Franco-African Community: Reforming Empire from Within

In 1944, at the Brazzaville conference, the project of a union constitution envisaged a political experiment that defied the binary of colonizer and colonized and sought to transcend the chasm that created two distinct political, racial, economic, and ethical communities. In 1946, the constitution of the French Union inaugurated a short-lived moment of experimentation that has no parallel in colonial history. It created a historic window—for reform and redemption—that could have potentially led the way in devising a model of global democracy and post-imperial humanism.

The French-African Union, which evolved into the Franco-Africa Community in 1958, was a project of multinational sovereignty that was negotiated under colonial material conditions.[2] It aimed to redefine the relationship between France and its former colonies and protectorates based on a framework of assimilation and federation. Assimilation was viewed as an ideal solution that would, in theory, erase the unequal dynamics between metropole and colony while simultaneously expanding the colonial domain. The formation of a union comprised of assimilated entities resonated with a long-standing aspiration held by French leaders to create a Greater France.[3] The federative model aimed to mitigate the drawbacks of assimilation by granting some degree of autonomy in diversity, a manner to preserve unity without imposing an artificial fusion. The two models were notably championed by Senegal’s Leopold Sedar Senghor and Ivory Coast’s Houphouet-Boigny respectively.

De Gaulle for his part viewed the Franco-Africa Community as “a patchwork of overlapping and parceled sovereignties … and a general absence of a clear distinction between ‘international’ and ‘domestic’ realms.”[4]He envisioned the coming postcolonies would have an ambiguous status, endowed with an limited autonomy, leaving considerable room for France to arbitrate domestic politics and policy. In this scheme, postcolonial African states would no longer be considered imperial dependencies, but they would not achieve full independence either. Conceptually, these states would resemble the protectorates that Morocco and Tunisia once were, reflecting a unique and nuanced relationship with France.

De Gaulle’s position was also driven by his response to external tensions. He believed that the French Empire needed to maintain its strength, particularly in light of two major sources of concern: Algeria and Indochina. Ultimately, the Community remained under the influence and in the bosom of France as a geopolitical tool for advancing France’s global standing. This was enabled by a “centered, organic construction” that intentionally restrained the realization of a true federation. In De Gaulle’s perspective, a federation involving France and its former colonies was neither a literal nor a legally defined concept.[5]

Over time, the Community arrangement gave rise to a flawed system of institutions and governmental frameworks that diverged from the standards of nationhood defined by exclusive sovereign borders. In essence, this relationship exceeded both domestic and international norms but did not neatly fall into the classifications of transnational or global. This peculiarity posed significant challenges for reform endeavors. While some African and French stakeholders advocated for a complete rupture due to their fundamental rejection of neocolonialism, others expressed empathy for the maintenance of societies, networks, and institutions that had evolved beyond their initial neocolonial objectives.

Contrary to De Gaulle’s views, a cohort of post-World War II French and African intellectuals and politicians were genuinely animated by ideals of solidarity, brotherhood, and universalism and became invested in the crafting of institutions that could replace the colonial empire. The turbulent aftermath of the war appeared to open up limitless political avenues for reshaping the imperial system. At the very least, it united colonized Africans and some French individuals in a shared aspiration for freedom.

The commitment of African évolués (literally the “evolved” ones or “civilized”)[6] to the post-imperial union was more than merely a postwar contingency. It was to a qualitative shift from the dehumanizing politics of subjugation to a politics of “situated humanism” in the words of Gary Wilder. Their challenge was to think of a possible humanism within and after empire, “to turn therefore colonialism from an impersonal, dehumanizing, mode of othering into an intimate, humane, common emancipative project.”[7] It is not enough to point to the strong intellectual affinities in which the likes of Gabriel d’Arboussier, Boubou Hama, and Leopold Senghor were socialized. Their political imaginaries drew from a plurality of references. If Senghor and Boigny could be faulted for being compromised, one could also point out the bad faith of the French.

The interwar period witnessed the establishment of transcultural, transracial, anti-imperialist alliances from all corners of empire. For instance, within the French context, the Colonial Commission of the French Communist Party (PCF) featured leaders hailing from diverse regions, including Max Bloncourt from the Antilles, Lamine Senghor from Senegal, Vo Thanh Long from Vietnam, Hadjali Abdelkader and Mahmoud Ben Lekhal from Algeria, alongside left-leaning French politicians like Henri Lozeray.[8] Similarly, the transnational League against Imperialism (LAI) also embraced transracial solidarity, even in the face of state surveillance and repression. This era witnessed the forging of alliances that transcended cultural and racial boundaries, through shared opposition to imperialism.

The political experiment that brought together former colonizer and formerly colonized into a single institutional apparatus placed francophone Africa as a distinct region in a divided global landscape. Three legislative structures were to facilitate co-deliberation on mutual areas of concern between metropole and colonies, as well as develop suitable mechanisms of postcolonial governance. The Franco-Africa Community was a geographically mobile entity devoid of sociological homogeneity. Its ambition was to effectively abolish the distinction between the national and the international.[9] The French envisioned a reformed empire that embodied a form of sovereignty, where the Community would function as a global imperial state. While this vision entailed granting fragments of sovereignty to colonial territories, it was firmly established that France would be its central axis.

Megan Brown underscores a significant ambiguity in the rhetoric of fraternity towards African subjects, a rhetoric tarnished by racism (“fraternity-in-racism”). Already in the aftermath of WWI, France invited workers and soldiers from its colonies, who had fought alongside them, to return to their homelands. As Oumar Ba illustrates in his essay in this collection, once their services were no longer required, African tirailleurs and workers were unwelcome. Their presence in the metropole was not considered a right but rather a privilege extended under exceptional circumstances.[10]

Colonial racism and the formation of racial hierarchies were starkly evident in the sphere of education. Prior to 1940, colonial policies deliberately restricted African students’ access to secondary education. The colonial government enforced a dual educational system, maintaining separate schools for the children of colonial administrators and establishing distinct institutions (école indigène) for the offspring of colonial subjects. This segregation was designed to deter the development of critical thinking among colonial subjects. Ultimately, the core objective of colonial subjugation was to deny Africans equal recognition as fellow human beings.

While references to race and racial orders were overt and explicit in the context of colonial rule, after independence these references morphed into a language centered around “transition” and “development” for newly formed states. The “dynamics of difference” analyzed by Antony Anghie underpin the racialization of the international order in the form of the application of different standards to “uncivilized” societies, effectively transforming legal distinctions of status into racial distinctions.[11]

The Postcolonial Compact: A Dual Foreign Policy Regime

 Franco-African relations are a political and diplomatic oddity in the configuration of the post-1945 global order. They continue to be marked by indirect political and economic governance and the mediation of African sovereignty in global structures of governance. Starting from post-reconstruction efforts under the Marshall Plan and extending through the unsuccessful Franco-African Union (later known as the Franco-Africa Community) and towards national independence, France forged a dynamic with Francophone Africa wherein the latter served as a captive market for French manufactured goods, agricultural produce, and services. Simultaneously, African countries supplied indispensable natural resources for French industries, notably nuclear energy.

The “restoration of French greatness” movement that arose at the conclusion of World War II used French influence in Africa as an argument to push for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council. Various French proposals for decolonization were designed to uphold France’s global influence, which was primarily centered on its former colonial provinces of Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Ocean. In return, France pledged its support to its allies among the African ruling classes and advocated for their interests within the United Nations and other international fora. The tradeoff was set: “la grandeur française” depended on the status of its former colonies in Africa, in other words its “pré carré” (sphere of influence) required African compliance with France’s designs, from the CFA currency regime to economic arrangements (such as the Lomé Accords), to security and defense compacts.

Throughout the Fifth Republic, France has maintained two templates for its foreign policy: one for its pré carréand another for the rest of the world. The Ministry of the Colonies became the Ministry of Cooperation and colonial governance structures were absorbed into a new institutional dispositif manned by a portion of the thousands of former colonial functionaries who found themselves suddenly out of jobs at the end of colonial rule. As an example of colonial continuity, Francois Mitterrand was once Minister of Colonies before later becoming French president. The other, formal regime is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, colloquially called the Quai d’Orsay, which is the seat of French diplomatic action in the rest of the world.[12] It is no coincidence that under the government of Emmanuel Macron, the Minister of Interior is also the Minister of Overseas Territories. In fact, there is much to be learned from the relationship between France and its overseas departments and territories in thinking about its peculiar diplomatic architecture.

France’s conception of the postcolonial pact can be seen in the geopolitical doctrine according to which geographical proximity with Africa as a region mandates its involvement in African affairs.[13] Hence, for instance, the more than 138 agreements of “cooperation” between France and its former colonies pertaining to France’s military presence, military pacts, and the establishment of military bases; its access to African strategic resources and markets; and its leadership in the Francophone world as a unified cultural sphere. In return, France has played a central role in the political and economic stability of its African allies through financial as well as symbolic resources, including but not limited to support for networks of sympathetic African elites and the marginalization and suppression of dissident figures. France provides intelligence and institutions to these ends, including a special counsel for African affairs to the French president who serves as relay to African heads of states: a “Monsieur Afrique,” a post initially held by Jacques Foccart.

The blurred boundary between the national and the international has produced since independence a conjoined geopolitical space of relationships that defy the norms of ordinary diplomacy between nominally equal sovereign entities. Recognizing the subordinate nature of African postcolonial states does not, however, imply a denial of agency or responsibility on the part of Africans themselves.

From the perspective of the postcolonial compact, therefore, Francophone states are lacking a distinct sovereign existence; their state structure is designed to align with a broader agenda of post-WWII independence, devoid of substantive sovereignty. At the least, one would need to speak of an ambiguous African sovereignty to account for the highly fluid, personalized, unofficial character of early attempts to give a formal structure to the postcolonial transition. Such ambiguity marked specifically the status of French, then independent, Algeria.

As Megan Brown’s work demonstrates, for the first few years of the European Economic Community, there were no clear diplomatic borders between Algeria and France. The former’s participation in the Community was arguably heavily mediated by France, but its importance was undeniable in the greater scheme of Eurafrica.[14] France requested a form of association then called “Pays et territoires d’Outre-Mer” (PTOM) to the European common market. Article 6 of the NATO Charter in fact recognizes this much.[15] As an extension of the French body politic, Algeria was de facto formally part of the European Economic Community (EEC). However, Algerians neither enjoyed equal wages (let alone equal levels of social security benefits) as other member citizens nor were they allowed to move freely within the EEC countries. The civic, social, and economic discrimination of Algerians was a racial(ist) bias that negated their formal status as French citizens:

[…] even though Algeria, as a consequence of “being France” was politically an integral part of the EEC, Algerian‐French citizens were discriminated against socially and economically on the basis of race. As such, the European project can be seen to have been a racialised project [my emphasis] from the very outset and mobility was once again delimited by race.[16]

A further constraint on African sovereignty underpins the policy of representation at the United Nations and other multilateral institutions. France has persistently acted as an intermediary, overseeing the political involvement of Francophone nations in what resembles a trustee-ward dynamic. The much-lamented inaudibility of the African voice in international affairs can in part be attributed to this distinctive arrangement. It is a Franco-African peculiarity that may indeed substantiate the claim of certain scholars that African states merely have a formal, juridical sovereignty and not a substantive one.

The penholding system, which has existed under various guises since the entry of former colonial territories in the multilateral system of governance, stands as a notable example. On March 1, 2023, Mali formally requested that France be removed as penholder on all matters pertaining to its affairs in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Mali accused France of engaging in “acts of aggression, violation of […] airspace, subversion and destabilization.”[17] The penholder system was structured in 2003; it designated a single UNSC member state to lead negotiations on a specific issue. The penholder assumes responsibility for drafting resolutions and other documents, and it coordinates the efforts of other UNSC members. Its purpose is to expedite the UNSC’s response to critical matters efficiently. The penholder can shape resolutions and outcomes and take the lead in council actions related to a particular issue. France has held the role of penholder on all Mali-related matters since 2012, despite also being the key external military intervener in Mali between 2012–2022. Mali’s argument is that France leverages its political heft and veto position to further its own interests at the expense of Mali’s.

Critics highlight several shortcomings of the penholder system, including its inflexibility, the disproportionate influence it confers to larger states over smaller ones, and the significant monopoly held by countries like France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. For instance, it is worth noting that nearly all UNSC resolutions related to Africa are introduced by France. Beyond the internal dynamics of the UNSC, the multilateral system often resembles George Orwell’s metaphorical Animal Farm, where some nations are more equal than others, affording them greater authority and power over their fellow members. This disparity in influence raises concerns about fairness and equity within the international arena.

The justification for the disguised form of trusteeship will not be found in international covenants or in the multilateral treaties designed to facilitate the integration of the formerly colonized into a system of economic and political governance. This outlook is mediated instead by intangible determinations that have to do with culture, race, and geography—all of which tend to underscore principles of differentiation. Equally, diplomatic, political, and economic interactions between former First World and former Third World nations are funneled through the architecture of multilateral institutions.

Economic Cooperation

The diplomatic oddity of France’s relations with Africa is starkest in the area of economic cooperation. Following the establishment of the Bretton Woods institutions, the implementation of the CFA Franc currency arrangement was conceived as a strategic move to mobilize economic and monetary resources within the French Empire, ultimately fortifying France’s monetary position and power. Consequently, the pooled reserves of France, which included those from its colonial holdings, granted France substantial monetary leverage. This perhaps help explain in part why, for a significant portion of the institution’s history, International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing directors have predominantly been of French nationality, accounting for nearly 45 years of leadership at the helm of the organization. The functions ascribed to the CFA Franc arrangement extend beyond commonly examined aspects, such as its regulatory role within the economies of former French colonies.

The CFA Franc regime is the most enduring relic of colonial subjugation, effectively exerting control over the economies of member countries while offering unattractive investment prospects, except for French companies. This is primarily due to the fixed parity system—one of the principles of the CFA Franc currency arrangement—which ensures that French companies can repatriate their profits without being affected by currency fluctuations. The related high levels of rent collection, commissions, and transaction taxes within the system have a detrimental impact on the African economy, given that a significant portion of intra-African trade within the CFA region occurs through French financial structures. This illustrates how the legacy of colonial extraction persists within the realm of financial capitalism. The CFA regime thus limits the flexibility and agency of African governments to develop policies that would encourage investment. The result is a form of collusive capitalism, exemplified by companies like ELF, Bolore (which owns Canal+ and Multichoice), and Eiffage. The CFA Franc regime thus promotes an economy heavily dependent on concessions, strongly extraverted, and ultimately prone to divestment.

Created in 1939 and officially launched in1945, the CFA Franc regime is a unique system in the postcolonial world. Originally, the franc of the French African Colony, the CFA, became the franc of the Franco-African Community in 1958. In the 1960s, it became the currency of the African Financial Community (and simultaneously the franc of Financial Cooperation for the Central Africa region) all the while keeping the same acronym under different iterations. The origins of the CFA franc are not only colonial but are also linked to slavery and its abolition. The funds that served to compensate former slave owners allowed them to create the Bank of Senegal that became the Bank of Western Africa (BAO) in 1901, which issued the currency of the colonies. In this currency regime, African states are under the tutelage of the French Ministry of Finance while the French Treasury determines the CFA Franc-Euro parity. The parity regime requires that the Central Banks of the 14 African member states keep 50 percent of their foreign currency reserves in the French treasury. This ratio is the outcome of many reforms that reduced the requirement from 100 percent of foreign currency. The currency notes themselves are printed in Chamalière, the village of former French president Giscard D’Estaing.

In the past, France did not shy away from resorting to drastic measures to preserve the CFA Franc regime. There is famously the case of Sylvanus Olympio, the former Togolese president. Olympio was by no means a socialist or communist thinker. But even his liberal posture did not shield him from persecution and ultimately assassination in 1962, barely a month after the adoption of Law 62-20 of 12/12/1962 which established the Central Bank of Togo and introduced a new currency. Similarly, France’s Operation Persil aimed to destabilize both Guinea and Mali by injecting counterfeit currency into the market, leading to currency depreciation and economic instability, with the ultimate goal of toppling the governments of Sekou Toure and Modibo Keita. In response to such pressures, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Mauretania, and Madagascar opted to leave the currency regime a few years later.

Conclusion

The analysis above does not intend to overlook the fact that there were differing perspectives among African constituents and their representatives within metropolitan and imperial legislative bodies.[18] It also does not seek to downplay African agency and the significant role of African actors. In fact, the very notion of Françafrique hinges on a collaboration between predatory, often authoritarian African elites and metropolitan elites. Françafrique describes the complex historical relationship between France and its former colonies mainly in West and Central Africa. This relationship produces a conjoined geopolitical space that challenges the norms of ordinary diplomacy between nominally equal sovereign entities. It is also seen as the ultimate symbol of a perverted postcolonial African sovereignty.

Due to the lack of concrete changes at the institutional level, African civil society is increasingly advocating for a form of disengagement, leading to what many perceive as  growing anti-French positions. However, protests against the structure of Franco-African relations are often framed as a binary opposition, where young Africans are seen as expressing “anti-French (re)sentiment,” implying a position against a presumed sustained rationality on the other side. The crucial question here is whether and how observers can discuss the nature of this standoff beyond references to emotions and irrationality. The rising protests against Franco-African relations primarily represent demands for domestic political reforms. They also encompass calls for a reassessment and reform of the rational aspects, configurations, and mechanisms of this relationship. In essence, these protests are about reevaluating and reshaping the foundational aspects of a partnership that has remained fundamentally colonial.

 

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[1] Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, trans. Constance Farrington (New York: Grove Press, 1968 [1963]). 36.

[2] Amy Niang, “Rehistoricizing the Sovereignty Principle with Reference to Africa: Stature, Decline, and Anxieties of a Foundational Norm,” in Recentering Africa in International Relations. Beyond Lack, Peripherality, and Failure, eds. Zubairu Wai and Martha Iniguez De Heredia (London: Palgrave McMillan, 2018). 123.

[3] R. De Lacharriere, “L’Evolution de la Communauté Franco-Africaine, Annuaire français de droit international 6, no. 1 (1960): 9–10.

[4] Frederick Cooper, Citizenship Between Empire and Nation: Remaking France and French Africa, 1945–1960 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014). 90.

[5] Fréderic Turpin, “La Communauté Franco-africaine: un projet de puissance notre

héritage de la Ive République et conceptions gaulliennes,” Outre-mers 95, no. 358–359, (2008): 55–6.

[6] Refers to Africans educated in French schools and assimilated to French cultural values.

[7] Niang, “Rehistoricizing the Sovereignty Principle with Reference to Africa,” 133.

[8] See Oumar Ba in this collection.

[9] Niang, “Rehistoricizing the Sovereignty Principle with Reference to Africa,” 123; Cooper, Citizenship Between Empire and Nation, 90.

[10] Oumar Ba in this collection.

[11] Antony Anghie, “Finding the Peripheries: Sovereignty and Colonialism in Nineteenth Century International Law,” Harvard International Law Journal 4, no. 1 (1999): 25. See also

[12] See Julien Meimon, “L’invention de l’aide française au développement. Discours, instruments et pratiques d’une dynamique hégémonique,” Questions de Recherche 21 (2007): 15.

[13] Abdoulaye Bathily, “Au-delà de la crise au Sahel, enjeux et perspectives pour l’Afrique,” interview by Amy Niang. CODESRIA Bulletin, Special Issue: The Crisis in Mali and in the Sahel Region 5 & 6 (2020): 38–47.

[14] Megan Brown. The Seventh Member State. Algeria, France and the European Community (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 2022). On related treatment of post-imperial French Africa relations, see work by Matthew Connelly and Todd Sheppard.

[15] NATO Charter, Article 6. For the purpose of Article 6, an armed attack on one or more of the Parties is deemed to include an armed attack “on the territory of any of the Parties in Europe or North America, on the Algerian Departments of France, on the territory of Turkey or on the Islands under the jurisdiction of any of the Parties in the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of [there are some words missing here].”

[16] Gurminder K. Bhambra, “The Current Crisis of Europe: Refugees, Colonialism, and the Limits of Cosmopolitanism,” European Law Journal 23, no. 5 (2017): 395–405. See also P. Hansen and S. Jonsson, Eurafrica: The Untold History of European Integration and Colonialism (Bloomsbury Academic, 2014). 54.

[17] S/2023/161 Letter dated 1 March 2023 from the Permanent Representative of Mali to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council. https://digitallibrary.un.org/record/4006785?ln=en.

[18] See debates at the Union Assembly, Archives nationales d’Outre-mer, ANOM, Aix-en-Provence, BiB/50243/1946–1952.