Rebels and Robbers: Violence in Post-Colonial Angola

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9789171065803: Rebels and Robbers: Violence in Post-Colonial Angola
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Rebels and Robbers is about the political economy of violence in post-colonial Angola. This book provides the first comprehensive attempt at analyzing how the military and non-military dynamics of more than four decades of conflict created the structural violence that stubbornly defines Angolan society even in the absence of war. The book clearly demonstrates that the end of the civil war has not ushered in positive peace.

The focus on structural violence enables the author to explore the continuities since colonial times, especially in the ways race, class, ethnicity, and power have been used by governing elites as mechanisms to oppress the powerless. Thus, although corruption as structural violence manifesting itself so ubiquitously in Angola today may have been taken to new levels after independence, its origin is unmistakably colonial. Similarly, the zero-sum character of political interactions that defined colonial Angola is yet to be fully exorcized. But there are also important discontinuities. The unabashed propensity to capture public resources for personal aggrandizement is purely post-colonial. So is the tendency toward personal, unaccountable rule.

Given its rich endowments, the end of the civil war provides Angola with an opportunity to finally realize its developmental potential. This will depend on whether the wealth resulting from the exploration of natural resources is directed toward creating the conditions for the citizens’ realization of their aspirations for the good life thus ensuring sustainable peace.

This book will be valuable to academics, practitioners, and the general public interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the political economy of violence in Africa and, more specifically, the interplay between violence, wealth and power in Angola.

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About the Author:

Assis Malaquias author is Associate Professor of Government and Associate Dean of International and Intercultural Studies at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. He is also Extraordinary Associate Professor of Political Studies at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa.

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