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France's Africa Policy in the 1990s: A Realist Analysis of the French Attitude towards the Democratization Process in Francophone Black Africa

posted on 2023-09-07, 05:13 authored by Jean-Baptiste Guiatin

In the 1990s a vast popular dissent swept across Africa. In francophone black Africa it culminated in the organization of presidential elections and legislative elections which saw some of the authoritarian rulers voted out of office. France's attitude towards this political movement in Sub-Saharan Africa was mainly characterized by what one scholar called "creative ambiguity", meaning that while for some countries, and especially at the early stage of the democratization process, France supported the movement, in other countries it kept supporting the political status quo for reasons which had something to do with its strategic interests. So, I argue that in France's foreign policy to francophone black Africa during the democratization process in the 1990s realpolitik trumped democracy promotion.



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