Freedom Time: Negritude, Decolonization, and the Future of the World
Federalism and the Future of France
This chapter analyzes Senghor’s parliamentary campaign to transform the Fourth Republic’s French Union into a truly democratic federation, a union of peoples that would include former colonies as freely associated member states in a novel transcontinental political formation. Such a formation, he hoped, would allow Africans to obtain self-determination without the need for state sovereignty. The chapter discusses this never-realized constitutional initiative in relation to Senghor’s contemporaneous writings about politics, culture, and civilization. It also relates his federalism to his vision of “Eurafrique.” It argues that for Senghor, a federal democracy was as necessary for postwar France as it would be for postcolonial Africa and would also serve as the template and building block for an alternative global order organized around transcontinental solidarity and civilizational reconciliation.