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Vol 43 No 12

Published 14th June 2002


Ancien régime

France may claim to have invented human rights but it has seen its role as the champion of liberty usurped by American, British and Scandinavian governments and private foundations. Alarmed by the loss of France's traditional influence, the then Socialist Prime Minister, Lionel Jospin, persuaded his Foreign Minister, Hubert Védrine, to consider ways of updating French diplomatic capacity in democracy and human rights. The result is a 48-page report handed to Védrine in January by leading Africanist Jean-François Bayart.

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