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Space to Think, a new book celebrating ten years of the Dublin Review of Books More Information 

    Not So Dark

    Colin Murphy
    Here is Dowden’s description of Angola at the height of the civil war, in the 1980s: “a marxist regime armed by the Soviet Union and protected by Cuban troops is kept going by revenues from oil extracted by American oil companies whose operations are being attacked by American-backed socialist rebels”. This was history as tragedy and farce at the same time.
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    Where Oil Is King

    Colin Murphy
    These words should send warning signals: most of the authors are exponents of a brand of African political sociology that is overly fond of neologisms and obscure typologies. Patrick Chabal talks about “neo-patrimonialism”; Christine Messiant writes about “the mutation of hegemonic domination”; Nuno Vidal describes the regime’s “patrimonial and clientelistic operation”. Whether there is a useful distinction to be drawn between “patrimonial” and “neo-patrimonial” I don’t know; the shorthand is that the Angolan regime is very, very corrupt.
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