Languages and spaces

La Francophonie and other ‘phonies’

Authored by: Jürgen Erfurt

The Routledge Handbook of Transregional Studies

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138718364
eBook ISBN: 9780429438233
Adobe ISBN:


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In August 2014, the influential French intellectual Jacques Attali submitted a report to François Hollande, president of France, titled La francophonie et la francophilie, moteurs de croissance durable (Francophonie and Francophilia, a driving force for sustainable growth). The opening synopsis began with two claims – the meaning of which, and even more so the relationship between, was not immediately apparent: ‘The economic potential of the French-speaking world is enormous and insufficiently exploited by France. The ongoing effacement of national borders requires identifying other criteria of belonging: language and culture now constitute the new geography.’ 1 The report aimed to demonstrate to French government representatives how ‘Francophonie and Francophilia’ could serve to advance the economy and social development. The report made 53 recommendations on the role of state, the French language, and Francophonie in securing economic growth. The final recommendation (no. 53) proposed abolishing the politically oriented International Organization of La Francophonie (Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, OIF) and replacing it with a francophone economic union modelled on the European Union. 2

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