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France: Rank et Rayonnement

France: Rank et Rayonnement

(p.143) Chapter 5 France: Rank et Rayonnement
Foreign Aid
University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses the history and evolution of French foreign aid, which has been among the most diplomatically motivated aid from any major aid-giving government. Its allocation by country, often its use, and its organization all reflect the role aid has played in France's postcolonial foreign policy, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. But the deepening economic and political crises of that region and the apparent failure of French policies there (including its aid policies) provoked a rising critique of that aid from within France, above all from the younger generation of France's political class. In 1998, the French government implemented a major reorganization of its fragmented and opaque aid system to reorient its use from an instrument of France's postcolonial policies of maintaining a sphere of influence and cultural presence in its former territories in Africa and elsewhere to a more development-oriented aid program, with greater transparency and coherence and better alignment with DAC norms and practices. While ambitious in intent, the reforms appeared in many ways to be only partial steps in the intended direction of change and may prove inadequate to achieve the government's stated goals.

Keywords:   French foreign aid, diplomacy, foreign policy, aid policies

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