A History of Postcolonial Lusophone Africa

A History of Postcolonial Lusophone Africa

Patrick Chabal, David Birmingham, Joshua Forrest and Malyn Newitt
Distribution: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvado
Publication date: 06/13/2002
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-21565-9
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... useful, timely, and important... a good and informative book on the Lusophone countries, Portuguese colonialism, and postcolonial influences." —Phyllis Martin, Indiana University

This book, produced by the obvious—and distinguished—corps of country specialists... fills a real gap in both state-level and 'regional' (broadly defined) studies of contemporary Africa." —Norrie MacQueen, University of Dundee

Although the five Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa that gained independence in 1974/75—Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, and São Tomé e Príncipe—differ from each other in many ways, they share a history of Portuguese rule going back to the 15th century, which has left a mark to this day. Patrick Chabal and his co-authors assess the nature of the Portuguese legacy, using a twofold approach. In Part I, three analytical, thematic chapters by Chabal examine what the five countries have in common and how they differ from the rest of Africa. In Part II, individual chapters by leading specialists, each devoted to a specific country, survey the histories of those countries since independence. The book places the postcolonial experience of the Lusophone countries within the context of their precolonial and colonial past and compares and contrasts their experience with that of non-Lusophone African states. The result is a comprehensive, readable, and up-to-date text and reference work on the evolution of postcolonial Portuguese-speaking Africa.

Author Bio

Patrick Chabal is Professor of Lusophone African Studies, University of London, and Head of the Department of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies at King’s College, London. He is co-author (with Jean-Pascal Daloz) of Africa Works: Disorder as Political Instrument (Indiana University Press).


“Bringing a sophisticated analytical perspective to his introduction, Chabal measures each postcolonial government against the now—fashionable neopatrimonial paradigm (boss—run regimes built on patronage), makes allowances for the varying political skills of nationalist leaders, considers the effects of anticolonial wars in three of the five countries, and looks at the failure of socialist experiments in each. This work fills an important gap.”
 — Foreign Affairs

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Table of Contents

Preliminary Table of Contents:

Map of Lusophone Africa
Notes on the Co-Authors
List of Abbreviations
Preface by Patrick Chabal

Part I. Lusophone Africa in Historical and Comparative Perspective Patrick Chabal

1. The end of empire
2. The construction of the nation-state
3. The limits of nationhood

Part II. Country Studies

4. Angola David Birmingham
5. Mozambique Malyn Newitt
6. Guinea-Bissau Joshua Forrest
7. Cape Verde Elisa Silva Andrade
8. São Tomé e Príncipe Gerhard Seibert

Bibliography Caroline Shaw