This book explores France’s African intervention policy and the country’s attempts to re-legitimise its military presence in Africa by relying on multilateral cooperation through the United Nations, the European Union, and various ad hoc frameworks. France’s enduring ability to project military power on the African continent and influence political events there has been central to its self-perception as a major power. However, since the end of the cold war, Paris’s paternalistic interference in Francophone Africa has been increasingly questioned, not least by African audiences. This has produced a gradual, reluctant turn to multilateralism on the part of French leaders. Drawing on in-depth case studies of recent French military intervention policy, this edited volume critically assesses France’s efforts to: reassure critics by securing political endorsements from multilateral bodies; share burdens and liabilities through greater reliance on collective implementation; and re-affirm its status as a leading power by often spearheading collective missions.
The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Strategic Studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction: French military operations in Africa: Reluctant multilateralism
Stefano Recchia and Thierry Tardy
1. France’s interventions in Mali and the Sahel: A historical institutionalist perspective
Tony Chafer, Gordon Cumming and Roel van der Velde
2. A legitimate sphere of influence: Understanding France’s turn to multilateralism in Africa
3. France’s military operations in Africa: Between institutional pragmatism and agnosticism
4. Multilateralism as a tool: Exploring French military cooperation in the Sahel
5. A tale of three French interventions: Intervention entrepreneurs and institutional intervention choices
Stefano Recchia holds the John G. Tower Distinguished Chair in International Politics and National Security as an associate professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, USA.
Thierry Tardy is Director of the Research Division at the NATO Defence College in Rome, Italy, and Visiting Professor at the College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium.