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Diamonds for Bullets, Oil for Arms: ''Shadow State'' and Private Security Companies in Angola.

The end of the Cold War casted new light on security privatization. Private Security Companies (PSCs) have emerged, both in developed and developing countries, and their appearance led to a debate in the academic realm over the impact of these very same companies on governance and human rights in weak states. Considering this debate, Angola is a paramount case, as it presents interesting perspectives particularly with regard to the growth, impact and regulation of the private security industry.
Angola is richly endowed with natural resources, but its development has been hindered by its historical course. The result is that the country’s main sources of income (i.e. oil and diamonds) are at the same time the path for self-enrichment of the ruling class and one of the chief causes of social inequality. Angola thus shows features of rentier and shadow states, with a severe impact on state-building, governance and human rights.
In this thesis, the concept of shadow states as defined by Reno has been adopted. This refers to a parallel neo-patrimonial system of governance based on personal rule, existing behind the formal façade of laws and state institutions. The political and economic élites systematically use patronage and build clientelistic and informal structures, supported by external actors. This changes the mutual relations between the rulers and the ruled, widening the gap between L’Afrique utile and L’Afrique inutile.
PSCs in Angola can be understood within this framework, as they are a further means in the hands of the ruling class to strengthen their private power and a key player in the game of informal networks that operate alongside formal state institutions. Security companies are increasingly linked to political, economic and military élites, in a merger of interests that often blurs the lines between the public and the private.
In Angola, as in similar countries, the appearance of these new actors has further eroded state sovereignty and has made new forms of governance emerge, denominated Networked Security Governance or Multilayered Governance. Nonetheless, the hypothesis of a new era of colonialism does not accurately represent the current situation, since Western governments and corporations are fundamental for giving the necessary legitimacy to corrupt regimes, but African leaders actually take decisions. The private security sector as well is now dominated by local companies with members of the military and political élites as major shareholders. PSCs, primarily financed by multinational corporations (MNCs), thus allow government, police and military members to play a key role in Angolan politics and economy, while state institutions and the very same police and military have been marginalised and the prospects for an effective state-building process decreased.
Repeated human rights violations and the involvement of key figures of the private security industry in corruption and illegal business push for regulation, as PSCs remain fundamentally unregulated at the international level and insufficiently regulated at the national one. In Angola a national legal framework has existed since 1992, but its implementation is disappointing.
Recent global economic crisis and fall in oil price may be an opportunity to press for change in Angola. Progress has been limited so far, human development remains insufficient, and the private security industry appears to be just another brick in the wall of corruption, patronage and poverty which dominates the country. The collaboration of each and every actor is needed to change this status quo, as the establishment and proliferation of PSCs have been a deliberate ruling élites’ choice which has further destabilized Angola, without solving the underlying problems.

In Angola, come in Paesi simili, la comparsa di tali attori ha ulteriormente eroso la sovranità statale e ha fatto emergere nuove forme di governance, denominate “Networked Security Governance” o “Multilayered Governance”. Nonostante ciò, l’ipotesi di una nuova era di colonialismo non rappresenta accuratamente la situazione attuale, poiché i governi e le corporations occidentali sono fondamentali per conferire la necessaria legittimità a regimi corrotti, ma le decisioni spettano ai leader africani. Anche il settore della sicurezza privata ora è dominato da compagnie locali che hanno come principali azionisti membri delle élite militari e politiche. Le CSP, finanziate principalmente da multinazionali, permettono quindi a membri del governo, della polizia e dell’esercito di giocare un ruolo importante nella politica e nell’economia angolane, mentre le istituzioni statali e la stessa polizia e lo stesso esercito sono stati marginalizzati e le speranze di costruire istituzioni pubbliche trasparenti ed autorevoli sono diminuite.
Ripetute violazioni dei diritti umani e il coinvolgimento di figure chiave dell’industria della sicurezza privata in casi di corruzione e affari illegali spingono per la regolamentazione del settore, in quanto le CSP rimangono fondamentalmente non regolate a livello internazionale e insufficientemente regolate a quello nazionale. In Angola una cornice legale esiste dal 1992, ma la sua implementazione è insoddisfacente.
La recente crisi economica globale e la caduta del prezzo del petrolio possono essere un’opportunità per spingere verso il cambiamento in Angola. I progressi sono stati limitati finora, lo sviluppo umano nel Paese rimane insufficiente e l’industria della sicurezza privata sembra essere solo un altro tassello nel muro di corruzione, clientelismo e povertà che domina il Paese. C’è bisogno della collaborazione di tutti gli attori per cambiare questo status quo, poiché la nascita e diffusione delle CSP sono state una scelta deliberata delle classi dirigenti che ha ulteriormente destabilizzato l’Angola, senza però risolvere i problemi di fondo.

Mostra/Nascondi contenuto.
Introduction - 1 - INTRODUCTION “Es verdad que si hay un peligro capaz de hacer estallar este sistema, es la pobreza y las diferencias enormes entre pobres y ricos que ha generado.” Michael Camdessus “Historia se repetit,” said Giambattista Vico. Or, better, “Sometimes they come back” (even though they have never disappeared). The privatization of security is back to the fore, and it is challenging one of the distinguishing features of what scholars usually call the modern state. After the Peace of Westphalia (1648), hired armies were gradually substituted by citizen armies, for the state emerged as the repository of external sovereignty. It was especially after the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars (1979-1815) that state armies asserted themselves, and the use of force thus began to be considered one of the main legitimate features of the national state. As Max Weber 1 stated, “a state is a human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory. [...] Specifically, at the present time, the right to use physical force is ascribed to other institutions or to individuals only to the extent to which the state permits it. The state is considered the sole source of the 'right' to use violence” (Weber 1919). 1 Karl Emil Maximilian “Max” Weber (1864-1920) was a German sociologist and political economist. He is one of the principal architects of modern social science and among the founders of the liberal German Democratic Party after the First World War.

Laurea liv.II (specialistica)

Facoltà: School of International Studies

Autore: Elisa Pillon Contatta »

Composta da 158 pagine.


Questa tesi ha raggiunto 148 click dal 10/06/2011.


Consultata integralmente 2 volte.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.