Preserving power after empire: the credibility trap and France's intervention in Chad, 1968-72

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Abstract

France’s 1968–72 intervention in Chad constitutes a forgotten turning point in the Fifth Republic’s foreign relations. Interconnected institutions and treaties gave France a disproportionate influence over its African ex-colonies. French security guarantees underscored this system, however, whereby francophone African leaders continued to accept French economic and political leadership. French leaders discovered in Chad, however, that they had fewer choices and needed to dedicate more resources to fulfilling these commitments than President Charles de Gaulle had intended. Prosperous ex-colonies’ leaders judged French commitments’ value according to how France responded to crises in its least-valued ex-colonies. Thus, although French analysts viewed intervening in Chad as irrational from a cost–benefit perspective, they found themselves pressured into it.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWar in History
VolumeOnline First
Early online date20 Sept 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Sept 2018

Keywords

  • Counter-insurgency
  • France
  • Fifth Republic
  • Africa
  • Chad
  • Civil-military relations

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