ISSN (Print) 1996-7845

ISSN (Online) 2542-2081


Postal address:  11 Pokrovsky Boulevard, Moscow, Russia, 109028
National Research University Higher School of Economics
International Organisations Research Journal (IORJ) editors office

Actual addressOffice 308, 33, Profsoyuznaya street, bld. 4, Moscow, 117418

Tel.+7 495 772-95-90 ext. 23150 

E-mail: iorj@hse.ru

Indexed in 




Iskander Magadeev1
  • 1 Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO-University), Vernadskogo Av., 76, 119454, Moscow, Russian Federation

Multilateralism as forced necessity? Evolution of the French policy in Sub-Saharan Africa: continuity and change

2022. Vol. 17. No. 1. P. 114–128 [issue contents]
French foreign policy discourse during the presidency of E. Macron was often based on the idea of multilateralism as pillar of the international order. Nevertheless, the motives that governed the French approach were far from idealist. The purpose of this article is to analyze the relationship between the rhetoric of multilateralism and the practice of the Fifth Republic’s policy in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2017–21. Conclusions are drawn from the documents of the French ministries, texts of French laws and the speeches of the president. The analysis proceeds by exploring the evolution of Paris’ approach to the three main “pillars” of its African policy: the French military presence, the influence on the Western and Central African countries’ financial system (the former CFA franc), and, finally, French aid to development. In his policy toward Sub-Saharan Africa, Macron showed a clear intention to modernize the practices of the past and to inject more multilateralism into them. The French president wanted to strengthen European and global dimensions of the relations between the Fifth Republic and Africa; he aimed to put these relations into a broader framework, including European Union (EU), the United Nations (UN), the African Union, and other international organizations and fora. Macron also pursued the reform of the CFA franc, which gave more authority to the Western African countries themselves. He validated the evolution in the sphere of aid to development, which resulted in more convergence between the French methods and the international recommendations, though at the same time Paris persisted in its preference for bilateral mechanisms of aid. In general, the emphasis put on multilateralism was a French method to maximize the benefits from its African policy and to minimize its costs.
Citation: Magadeev I. (2022). Multilateralism as Forced Necessity? Evolution of the French Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa: Continuity and Change. International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 17, no 1, pp. 114–128 (In English).
Rambler's Top100 rss