Governing in the Shadows: Angola’s Securitised State w/ Paula Cristina Roque

5 Jul 2022 – 17:00 – 18:00 BST
The Royal African Society
Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS University of London
10 Thornhaugh Street
Join us for the London launch and panel discussion with Governing in the Shadows author Paula Cristina Roque and special guests on how securitisation fuelled corruption and patronage in Angola since independence.
About the book

This book traces three decades of securitisation in Angola. As a governing strategy during war and peacetime, it muted the aspirations of those on opposing sides, distorted the state, emboldened elites and redefined the identity of Angolans. Through this lens, Paula Cristina Roque provides an original account of Angola’s post-conflict state-building.

Securitisation protected the interests of President dos Santos, the ruling MPLA party and the elites supporting the regime. Angola’s array of security forces and infrastructure provided an alternative to a fully functioning executive, at national, provincial and local levels. The intrusive way in which any form of dissent or activism was crushed allowed the presidency to control the direction and narrative of the post-war years. But the façade of democracy, development and stability hid a very different reality for the majority of Angolans, who remained poor, disenfranchised and marginalised.

Roque explores the inner workings of the intelligence services, army and presidential guard, explaining the trajectory of a survivalist and fearful regime presiding over scarcities and injustices. She shows that the survival of national security and governing elites was the highest priority. The ‘shadows’ held far more power than institutions, and weakened them–widening the gap between government and governed.

About the author

Paula Cristina Roque is an independent analyst. She has been an adviser on sub-Saharan Africa for the Crisis Management Initiative, a senior analyst for Southern Africa with the International Crisis Group, and a senior researcher with the Institute for Security Studies. She is a founding member of the South Sudan Center for Strategic and Policy Studies in Juba and has a PhD in International Development from the University of Oxford.

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