Rhoda Yaa Assah Manu
French and History Graduate @ Queen Mary, University of London
Rhoda Yaa Assah Manu is a recent French and History Graduate from Queen Mary University of London. Her academic interests include colonisation and decolonisation movements in Africa, as well as an interrogation of “non-sovereignty” in the decolonisation discourse, with the French Caribbean being of particular focus.
Geographical location : London, UK
Research Area and Interest : colonisation and decolonisation movements in Africa, as well as an interrogation of “non-sovereignty” in the decolonisation discourse
- Summary: Following a unanimous vote by the French National Assembly in 1946, the colonial status of the vieilles colonies, Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, and Reunion Island were transformed into Départements d'Outre-Mer (DOMs). The political project promised integration into the French Republic, political representation, civic institutions, and socio-economic parity with French metropolitan citizens. Through a comparative analysis of periods of social unrest in Guadeloupe (May 1967, 2009 and 2021/22), this thesis challenges the success of departmentalisation in the archipelago. It argues that departmentalisation exists as a non-meaningful political initiative which did not implement equality, but in fact it provided a mask for France’s neo-colonial paternalism. The major failure of departmentalisation is that the political structure cannot operate outside of a neo-colonial framework, and in turn the continued failure to deliver on its promise sparks social and political resistance. These periods of social unrest, despite differing contexts, crystalise the long-standing, strained dynamic between France and its overseas departments.