Graduate School
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Dr Sylvia Croese

Home country: Angola

Year of enrolment: 2011

Graduation date: April 2014

Department:  Sociology

Supervisor: Prof Simon Bekker

Co-Supervisor: Prof Edgar Pieterse

Dissertation title: Post-war state-led development at work in Angola : the Zango housing project in Luanda as a case study


Abstract: This dissertation is a case study of the Zango social housing project in Luanda, the capital of the southern African state of Angola. Through an examination of the Zango project, which was born on the cusp of peace after nearly 30 years of civil war in 2002, I provide insight into the nature, workings and possible outcomes of post-war state-led development in Angola under non-democratic conditions. I do so by analyzing how the Angolan state 'sees' and does development, as well as how this development works. Empirically, this thesis argues that post-war state-led development is controlled by the Angolan presidency and financed and managed through extra-governmental arrangements. This both enables as well as limits state-led development as it allows for the maintenance of a gap between a 'parallel' and the formal state of Angola. In this process, local governments and citizens are largely side-lined as development actors. Yet, through an analysis of local governance and housing allocation arrangements in Zango, I show that the formal Angolan state is no empty shell and that its officials and those they engage with may operate in ways that take ownership of development directed from above. Theoretically, this thesis then argues for a research approach to the African state and state-led development that is empirically grounded.

Click here to download full dissertation:

Click here to access Dr Sylvia Croese's research outputs​​