This book explores France’s African intervention policy and related legitimation strategies through the United Nations, the European Union, and various ad hoc multilateral 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, France’s paternalistic interference has been increasingly questioned, not least by African audiences. This has produced a gradual and somewhat reluctant turn to multilateralism on the part of French leaders. Drawing on in-depth case studies of recent French intervention policy, this edited volume critically assesses France’s efforts to reassure critics by securing multilateral endorsements; share burdens and liabilities through collective implementation; and re-affirm its status as a major power by spearheading complex missions.
The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Strategic Studies.
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