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À la recherche de l’historicité de l’Unita

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À propos du livre de Didier Péclard

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A certain historiography of Unita, the main Angolan rebellion fighting against the MPLA regime between 1975 and 2002, presents this movement as the natural product of an ethnic (ovimbundu) and religious (American congregationnalism) maturation in the central Highlands of Angola. Didier Péclard, in his book Les incertitudes de la nation en Angola. Aux racines sociales de l’Unita, deconstructs this argument methodically. He does not deny or underplay ethnic and religious factors, but he studies them in the longue durée, thus avoiding any teleological approach. It is not because Unita took root among the umbundu population and gained important support from a section of the American congregationalist church after 1975 that we can say that this destined to happen. Thereafter Didier Péclard offers us a fine historical sociology of politics which offers an excellently textured contribution to the history of Angola and, more specifically yet, of Unita: one of the Angolan liberation movements which remains the least studied.

Affiliations: 1: CNRS/Sciences Po Bordeaux, Pessac, France


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