Article from ROAPE Volume 33 Number 109
Angola: Pol of Disorder become Pol of Democ/Dev?
Postwar Angola seems at first look to be in a triple transition from war to peace, devastation to reconstruction and from a state/elite patronage system to democratisation and transparency. In fact it is argued here that the ‘politics of disorder’ stemming from war suit the purposes of the Angolan elite whilst it simultaneously proclaims transition for outside cosmetic purposes. The Angolan elite comprising in David Sogge's words ‘a constellation of politician- rentiers, petroleum sector technocrats and military officials’ can run the state in their own interest, largely ignoring any demands from the citizenry given that the accumulation basis and the orientation of the elite is to the outside. Chinese loans, high oil prices, further oilfield expansion and the warm alliance with the USA ensure that Angolan civil society - despite its efforts - is unable to adequately counter the elite's ability to control events. Promised elections - without a date having been announced - are unlikely to change this structural framework.