Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Preferred Name - First Author

Cameron Pickett

Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

Department of Political Science

Advisor(s)

Dr. Hak-Seon Lee

Dr. Melinda Adams

Dr. Lamont King

Abstract

This paper seeks to investigate France’s ongoing role in its former colonies. By assessing the practical application of Dependency Theory and Modernist Theory to two unique African states, Côte D’Ivoire and Gabon, I seek to provide a comprehensive analysis of the relative costs and benefits of French political and economic influence in these countries. An in-depth discussion of either case’s history and political ties with France will allow us to lay the groundwork for an investigation of French trade and foreign direct investment into both economies. To evaluate the costs and benefits I will consult key development indicators and democracy indices. This work finds that the political and economic ties that bind France to her former colonies can, as Dependency Theorists claim, undermine democracy and good-governance. However, we are also able to conclude that both cases have benefited from French multinational presence in their economies though there are limitations to the full modernist interpretation. Lastly this paper was unable to assert whether or not French multi-national presence has a significant effect on either case’s level of income inequality.

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