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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Reshaping boundaries: regional inequality and State reforms in Angola
Author:Ruigrok, IngeISNI
Periodical:African Security Review (ISSN 2154-0128)
Geographic term:Angola
Subjects:regional disparity
interest groups
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10246029.2010.519877
Abstract:Even though the Movimento Popular de Libertaç~ao de Angola (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, MPLA) managed to take firm control of the State as the war in the country ended in 2002, this article contends that its hegemony is not absolute. Focusing on Huíla Province in southern Angola, this article shows that at the fringes of the State administration, emerging regional elites have established associations that seek to provide a remedy against the centralized system, which essentially deprives regions of political influence and sufficient economic resources. As in many other countries on the African continent, political identities that were legally enforced and institutionally reproduced in colonial times have hardly been transcended in the postcolonial period. Even if the associations' influence today does not yet reach further than bringing some insecurity to an otherwise secure polity dominated by the MPLA, the associations could play a role in reinforcing strong regional solidarity and give political expression to feelings of exclusion. Such sentiments could in turn lead to an increase of exclusivity ideas about citizenship, or even xenophobic violence. Much will depend on the strategies of the MPLA, and to what extent it will accommodate these emergent forces in the postwar era, not the least through the current subnational State reforms. Notes, ref., sum. (p. VII). [Journal abstract]