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‘An Imaginary Nation’. Nationalism, Ideology & the Mozambican National Elite

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses the specification of the &t;de-marginalisation&t; of National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) shortly before and after independence. There is little doubt that ethnicity played an important role in the Angolan civil war, and that it proved to be a very potent mobilising tool for UNITA. The chapter starts with a brief critical overview of the historiography of Angolan nationalism, showing how dominant interpretations of the role of ethnicity and religion in explaining the divisions within Angolan nationalism have provided a reductionist picture. It then goes on to analyse the social and political meaning of ethnicity in the late colonial phase before offering some thoughts on the moral economy of exclusion upon which UNITA built its growth in the late 1970s.

Keywords:Angolan civil war; UNITA



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