This book examines the internal politics of the war that divided Angola for more than a quarter-century after its independence. It emphasises the Angolan people's relationship to the rival political forces that prevented the development of a united nation, an aspect of the conflict that has received little attention in earlier studies. Drawing upon interviews with farmers, town dwellers, soldiers and politicians in Central Angola, Justin Pearce examines the ideologies about nation and state that elites deployed in pursuit of hegemony and traces how people responded to these attempts at politicisation. The book not only demonstrates the potency of the rival conceptions of state and nation in shaping perceptions of self-interest and determining political loyalty, but also shows the ways in which allegiances could and did change for much of the Angolan population in response to the experience of military force.
Justin Pearce is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge and an associate of St John's College. He has published in journals including African Affairs and the Journal of Southern African Studies.
Introduction; 1. Anti-colonial mobilisation and the Portuguese exodus; 2. UNITA, 1975-6: from the cities to the 'Long March'; 3. The MPLA and urban state making; 4. Migration, relocation and identity; 5. UNITA in the Central Highlands, 1976-91; 6. UNITA at Jamba; 7. The war of the cities; 8. UNITA's last redoubts; 9. The Luena agreement and politics today.