Mutuality from above: urban crisis, the state and the work of Comissões de Moradores in Luanda

António Tomás in Anthropology Southern Africa. Volume 37, Issue 3-4, 2014. 

This paper discusses the emergence of new regimes of mutuality in the context of a crisis in the built environment of Luanda. By 1991, Luanda’s city centre had suffered years of neglect and talk of an urban crisis abounded. The Angolan government decided that the only way out of the crisis was through the sale of state property. However, privatisation did not simply imply a transfer of ownership from the state to former long-term lessees willing to purchase their homes; the process also had a number of unintended consequences. This paper argues that the Angolan government’s property privatisation process ended up constituting mutuality from above, by forcing residents of apartment blocks into formal associations. It has not prevented buildings in downtown Luanda from further decay and has brought about new sites of property litigation.

Available via Taylor & Francis Online [sub required].

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Publication Type Journal
Publisher Anthropology Southern Africa
Year 2014
Author(s) António Tomás
DOI 10.1080/23323256.2014.993804
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