French Military Interventions in the Central African Republic: A discussion of Françafrique, economic interests and geopolitics
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This graduation portfolio contains my internship product consisting of a series of Political Cafes organised for Foundation Max van der Stoel and the academic analysis that was inspired by one of these Political Cafes. The academic analysis engages with the rationale behind the French military interventions in the Central African Republic - an under-researched country. It is guided by the question to what extent the privileged relationship between French and African political elites, the French economic interests, or the geo-political context urged the French to decide to intervene or not in the Central African Republic in 1979 and 2003. Each of these three factors is highlighted by three approaches to explaining the French military involvement in the CAR, and Francophone Africa in general: Francafrique, dependency theory and world-systems analysis, and political realism. On the basis of secondary literature and trade data it is argued that political realism in these two case-studies offers the most convincing explanation. This thesis thereby gives insight into the French rationale behind their military involvement in the CAR and into the applicability of these theoretical perspectives.