The political economy of partidarização within the postcolonial state in Angola

by Fernandes Wanda

31 Oct 2022
Journal of the British Academy
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Number of pages
24 (pp. 99-122)

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Abstract: The partidarização has been central to state formation in postcolonial Angola. Previous research has highlighted how the MPLA has used its control of the postcolonial state to subvert its institutions. This article analyses how changes in the balance and distribution of power in Angola have led to different reconfigurations of partidarização over time. Whereas partidarização emerged as a tool of co-optation, first under President Neto and later under President Dos Santos, it was subsequently also crucial to securing the MPLA’s viability under the multiparty system. Finally, when the balance of power shifted towards Dos Santos in the post-war period, partidarização became an essential tool for the President to assert his personal control over the party and the state. Ultimately, it is argued that this new dimension of partidarização has contributed to the demise of President Dos Santos as calls for reform started to emerge from civil society.

Keywords: Angola, partidarização, political settlement, society, state.

Article posted to Journal of the British Academy, volume 10, supplementary issue 6, Language, Culture and Society in Postcolonial Angola.

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