Professor Tony Chafer

Senior Associate Fellow


Tony Chafer is Emeritus Professor of African and French Studies at the University of Portsmouth. He is a historian specialising on francophone Africa and French relations with Africa from the late colonial period to the present-day. The focus of his recent work has been insecurity in the western Sahel and the international responses to it.

His monograph The End of Empire in French West Africa: France’s Successful Decolonization? was published in 2002. It was updated and published in French in a new edition with the title La fin de l'empire colonial français en Afrique de l'Ouest: Entre utopie et désillusion by Presses Universitaires de Rennes in 2019. He has published numerous articles on French Africa policy, including 'Beyond Françafrique – the state of relations between France and Africa', in Europa Regional (52, 2024); ‘(Dis)utilities of Force in a Postcolonial Context: Explaining the Strategic Failure of the French-Led Intervention in Mali’, (2023) (with Eloise Bertrand and Ed Stoddard); ‘Understanding the public response: a strategic narrative perspective on France’s Sahelian operations’ (2022); ‘France’s interventions in Mali and the Sahel: A historical institutionalist perspective’ (2020) (with Gordon Cumming and Roel van der Velde); 'France in Mali: towards a new Africa strategy?' (2016), ‘French African policy in historical perspective’, in T. Young (ed.), Readings in the International Relations of Africa (2016); and ‘Hollande and Africa policy’, (2014). He edited (with Alexander Keese) Francophone Africa at Fifty (2013) and recently published, with Margaret Majumdar, the Routledge Handbook of Francophone Africa (2024).

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