Anatomy of an Oil State

Tony Hodges


No rights

James Currey



Provides a comprehensive account of the severity of the problems that face war-torn, underdeveloped, oil producing states.
This second enlarged and updated edition includes the death of Savimbi, which brought the MPLA/UNITA war to a close. Meanwhile the oil companies rush for the very deep offshore claims which are insulated from the dangers of civil strife. The study focuses on the profound changes in Angola's political economy.

TONY HODGES worked in Angola for UN agencies from 1994-1998

North America: Indiana U Press


November 2003
254 pages
21.6x13.8 cm
African Issues
ISBN: 9780852558744
Format: Paperback
James Currey
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While most interpretations of the situation in Angola agree that the country suffers from deep divisions that will not easily be overcome, few analysts have been able satisfactorily to explain why one of the potentially richest countries in Africa should be in such a wretched state. Tony Hodges' book is the first analytically to link together the various economic and political strands that must be examined in order to provide a plausible account of Angola's post-colonial tragedy...Hodges, whose deep knowledge of the country is obvious, has managed here to provide us, finally, with a single volume that does make sense of what has happened in this former Portuguese colony since its independence in 1975. - Patrick Chabal in INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
...a brief account of how a state once run by Marxist poets, men of high ideals, has turned into another Nigeria. Hodges describes the ways in which the ruling MPLA disburses favours - contracts, kickbacks, access to foreign exchange, scholarships, medical care abroad - to the members of the grandes familias, families who are, on the whole, from Louanda. - Sousa Jamba in THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
... this book alleges that Angola's culture of political patronage and cronyism, and a web of secret accounts (the so called Bermuda Triangle), ensures that the $4bn of annual income derived from oil sales is never properly and publicly accounted for... The US already imports roughly as much oil from Africa (principally Nigeria) as it does from the Middle East, and that figure is set to grow when the huge ultra-deep off-shore reserves on Angola's Atlantic seaboard come into stream. AFRICAN BUSINESS
Where Tony Hodges' book is strong is in moving us forward from the sterility of the civil war and of the debate between the entrenched position of antagonists...the thrust of Hodges' book is about the grossly unequal economic arrangements in this potentially rich country whereby the elite creams off the massive wealth generated by oil and diamonds and the poor have nothing...Hodges deals well with the ambiguities and complexities of the ethnic question in Angola...Hodges is equally deft on the oppressive nature of the regime, particularly when it feels under threat, and its increasingly presidential (and occasionally bizarrely populist) trajectory under Eduardo dos Santos. - Steve Kibble in DEMOCRACY & DEVELOPMENT

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