For the last five centuries, France's international influence has been constant. This has been particularly evident in the areas of general culture, history and science. In psychiatry, the role of Pinel during the French Revolution, and the discovery of the first psychotropic agent, chlorpromazine, by Delay and Deniker are two outstanding historical facts. This chapter examines the contributions of French social scientists in the understanding of the sequelae of colonial exploitation, racism and political oppression. The establishment of a multi-ethnic society in France and Francophile regions of the world has led to the gradual creation of a cultural psychiatry rich in terminological influences, clinical understanding, training programs and research. Closer connections between French psychiatric thought and Anglophile psychiatry is likely to produce beneficial effects.