Past Event


Angola and the Local Politics of Civil War

7 November 2011 13:00–14:30

IDS Convening Space

Justin Pearce, ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, SOAS, discussed aspects of recent research on the Angolan civil war (1975 – 2002) as part of the Conflict, Violence and Development seminar series.

Listen to Justin Pearce’s seminar presenation on Mixcloud – just click on the play button.

The subsequent discussion highlighted a number of points:

  • How does this research on the Angolan civil war compare to work in other contexts, for example Sierra Leone, Eastern Congo or Somalia, and the rooted identities involved in the conflicts?
  • There are differences between elite level conflicts and local level conflicts.
  • In addition to the rural and urban divide, there are the ‘temporarily urban’ people in informal settlements or war induced displacement.
  • The research offers insight into how truth is determined by circumstance, preferred narrative and political control. The narratives are also affected by what’s going on now, by the current political climate in Angola. For example, in rural areas in particular political dissent is not possible. More generally, a vote for the opposition is perceived as a vote for a return to war. 
  • Peace in 2002 was negotiated without civil society participation, although they wanted the peace deal to be linked to wider political participation, which did not happen. 


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