"This book's great strength is to put the contemporary, post-war condition of Angola into a historical context and to show how the present cannot be understood without this highly particular past. It is also very useful as a basis for the comparative analysis of African polities and economies." -- Chris Cramer, professor in development studies and chair of the Centre of African Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Multiparty elections in 2008 will, it is hoped, cement a transition towards peaceful stability in Angola, which has suffered from over forty years of violent civil war. Since the end of the conflict in 2002, there has been renewed optimism that Angola, a former Portuguese colony with abundant natural resources, would finally evolve a political system that would ensure the country's sustained economic and social development. Some scholars and economists argue that the Angolan people could be on the cusp of a giant leap forward, based on the state's booming oil sector, which would lay the groundwork for long-term economic prosperity. But is this a realistic scenario?
Patrick Chabal and Nuno Vidal's Angola is a thorough introduction to the history and present-day reality of one of Africa's most complex countries. Contributors, who are all leading scholars in the field, offer incisive and original analyses of Angola's colonial history, its economic, political, and social evolution since independence, its current structural issues, and its prospects for the future. Essays begin with a probing look at Angola's difficult past and then discuss its move away from hegemonic domination towards a multiparty political system and a civil society.
Patrick Chabal & Nuno Vidal (eds.) (2007), Angola: The Weight of History (London: Hurst and New York: Columbia University Press)
Table of Contents
Patrick Chabal, King's College: "Transitions in Angola"
Malyn Newitt, King's College: "Angola in Historical Context"
Christine Messiant, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales: "The Mutation of Hegemonic Domination"
Nuno Vidal, University of Coimbra: "The Angolan Regime and the Move to Multiparty Politics"
Tony Hodges, UNICEF: "The Economic Foundations of the Patrimonial State"
Nuno Vidal, University of Coimbra: "Social Neglect and the Emergence of Civil Society"