La politique etrangere contemporaine de la France a travers deux exemples: l'Afrique et les Etats-Unis
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This master’s thesis deals with France’s contemporary foreign policy. Taking as a point of departure the instauration of the Fifth Republic and the diplomatic tradition established by its founding father Charles de Gaulle, the aim of this study is to identify the international approach taken by the current president François Hollande. Is his approach a continuation of the one taken by his predecessors, or is it rather a break with tradition? Covering all aspects of French foreign policy would be a task too vast for this thesis, consequently the choice has been made to focus on two of its components: French policy towards Africa, and relations between France and the USA. Both of these aspects were fundamental in French foreign policy under De Gaulle. Firstly, France’s contemporary African policy will be examined. In his election platform, François Hollande promised a break with the concept of “Françafrique”. Has there indeed been a change in African policy during the first two years of his mandate? Secondly, it is the French- American relation that will constitute the object of study. Here, one of the main goals will be to decide whether the current president maintains an attitude of independence from the United States, which was so crucial for De Gaulle. Thirdly, the focus will be shifted towards the president himself. Extracts from several of his speeches and texts will be examined, in order to see if they can add something to the analyses done in the two previous parts. The study concludes that De Gaulle’s visions and ambitions are still present in Hollande’s rhetoric. However, the reality of the twenty-first century makes it impossible for France to carry them out.