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July 12, 2017


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Tough to interpret what he means from an English-language translation, but the mot-clé for me is the phrase "mission civilisatrice," not used here, which goes back to the good old days of AEF and AOF.

But weirdly, the first three examples he cites, "failed states, complex democratic transitions, and extremely difficult demographic transitions," can all be fairly described as effects of colonialism. So is Macron saying "France screwed up the original mission civilisatrice so bad that we need to do it all over again to address the problems that we created 50-75 years ago"?

I wouldn't have used the term civilizational not because it evokes an unequal level of civilization between France and Africa, but because it evokes the previous fraught attempt by France to invest in Africa.

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