Article from ROAPE Volume 28 Number 90
Oil & War in Angola
This article investigates the impact of oil on the war in Angola. It demonstrates that mineral wealth has not only financed Angola's war but has also intimately shaped the contours of the conflict. MPLA's access to oil revenues and UNITA's to diamonds can help to explain the duration and character of the conflict, and, to some extent, even the timing of military operations. The logic of the 'resource curse' has had a major impact on the make-up of Angola's political economy and has been decisive in the erosion of state legitimacy, which in turn has had important consequences for the prospects for peace. The activities of foreign oil companies have affected the shape of the conflict; the intense competition for oil concessions has led to a number of different companies seeking the favour of the Angolan state elite through dubious charitable donations, weapons deals, and other forms of assistance. On a theoretical level, the article questions liberal assumptions about the positive effects of trade on peace.