French development aid and the reforms of 1998–2002

Moncrieff, Richard (2004) French development aid and the reforms of 1998–2002. University of Southampton, School of Humanities, Doctoral Thesis , 274pp.


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This study is an analysis of the changes to the institutions and doctrines of French
development aid between 1998 and 2002, and specifically the reforms announced by
Prime Minister Jospin in February 1998. This includes analysis of institutional
reorganisation and of new policy doctrines. The study considers the implications of
these changes for the relations between France and former French colonies of sub-
Saharan Africa, including detailed analysis of the aid relationship between France and
Cote d’Ivoire. Using qualitative data, especially personally conducted interviews in
Paris and Côte d’Ivoire and analysis of official documents, this is the first major study
of these reforms that puts them into historical and theoretical perspective. It thereby
contributes to the wider debate over continuity and change both in French aid policy
and in France’s relations with sub-Saharan Africa. It also furthers understanding of the
mechanisms and dynamics of reform within French state administration.
This study compares French development aid policy and institutional
architecture from the 1960s up to the mid 1990s with the new institutions and policies
put in place in the 1998–2002 period. Chapter 1 looks at the creation of French aid
policy in the late 1950s and early 1960s and considers its imperial origins. Chapter 2
examines French aid from 1960 to 1995 and places it in the context of the global
politics of development aid and the policies of other donors, in order to highlight the
specificities of the French case. The French reaction to the emergence of the structural
adjustment and later good governance agendas is considered. Chapter 3 examines the
content of the reforms put in place by Jospin and associated changes in the 1998–2002
period, including the reactions of officials and critics. Chapter 4 is a case study of the
changes made to the aid relationship between France and Cote d’Ivoire and the effects
of instability in Côte d’Ivoire on French policy. The impact on French policy of the
growing role of multilateral donors in Côte d’Ivoire is also considered. Chapter 5
examines the evolutions in French doctrine which have run in parallel to the Jospin
reforms, looking at French attitudes to major development issues, particularly the
relationship between the state and the market.
French development aid is part of the long-term continuities of French foreign
policy, and especially France’s desire to demonstrate the universal validity of its
cultural and political achievements. In this study French aid is analysed as an extension
of these foreign policy aims within the specific post-colonial relations with sub-Saharan
Africa. French aid has helped to maintain a protected environment within which the
French have sought not only to support close political allies, but also to reproduce a
“model” of society and politics. This study asks whether the French can continue to use
aid in this way in the light of the Jospin reforms and the events of the 1998–2002
This study asks whether the changes of this period can be seen as a convergence
between French aid and the policies, practices and norms of other aid donors. To this
end, the notion of an aid donor “regime” is used. This helps to show that reform of
French policy occurs in a context of interaction with other aid donors, and to show how
that interaction affects French policy

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
D History General and Old World > DC France
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Humanities
ePrint ID: 46178
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
2004Made publicly available
Date Deposited: 24 May 2007
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:21

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