Centre for European and International Studies Research

Francophone Africa: Decolonisation and after in a comparative and transnational context

The Francophone Africa research cluster focuses on two main areas. In the first, it is working on a reassessment of the legacy of French colonialism in terms of its impact both in the former French colonies and in metropolitan France. In the second, it studies the changing relations between France and the Francophone world in the context of increasing globalisation of the world economy and culture. The work of the group is interdisciplinary in nature and draws on the study of the history, culture and language of both metropolitan France and other Francophone countries and regions of the world. The group has particularly strong links with Francophone Africa where the School of Languages and Area Studies has consultancy projects as well as research interests.

Our current research theme is 'Moving beyond the colonial/post-colonial binary: new frameworks for studying Francophone Africa'. This incorporates two main strands. Firstly, going beyond critiquing existing lenses used to interpret Franco-African relations after independence - and notably that of ‘Françafrique’ - and developing new conceptual frameworks. Secondly, our research cluster is playing a key role in the development of the West African Peace and Security Network. The WAPSN is a unique and internationally very well connected organisation (across three continents), bringing together a large critical mass of researchers and professionals/practitioners working on peace and security issues in West Africa from the global north and south. The WAPSN has links at the highest levels to the ECOWAS commission, to the AU in Addis Ababa, to the UN in New York, and to the EU, both in Brussels and Delegations.

PhD Supervision Areas

Prof Tony Chafer: 

  • Francophone sub-Saharan Africa: decolonisation and its legacy
  • Franco-African relations from the colonial to the contemporary era
  • French military and security policy in Africa
  • EU security policy in Africa

Dr Natalya Vince:

  • Modern Algerian history
  • Franco-Algerian relations
  • Decolonisation and state- and nation-building in Africa
  • Women's and gender history in Africa
  • Colonial memory in France and Francophone Africa
  • Issues of immigration and identity in France

Professor Margaret Majumdar:

  • Francophonie

Dr Edward Stoddard:

  • EU External Relations
  • EU Energy Policy
  • International Political Economy
  • International Security
  • Post-Soviet (Caspian and Central Asian) Studies
  • Political Theory

Dr Olivia Rutazibwa:

  • International Relations
  • State- and peace building, (humanitarian) interventions
  • Democracy and democratization
  • EU Studies (global actor, foreign policy)
  • Area Studies (sub-Saharan Africa)


The Francophone cluster maintains a blog of its activities, interests and events at http://francophone.port.ac.uk/.

As part of this strategic project, in 2012, we organised a ‘Year of Algeria’, which included a three day international conference on Algerian and Arab Revolutions in an International and Comparative Perspective, a postgraduate study day and a workshop on comparing Algerian and Indian nationalism.

Linked to this project, Patrick Altes was a Leverhulme-funded Artist in Residence in 2012-13. Read more.