Angola under Lourenço. Towards a Negotiated Hegemony Notes de l'Ifri, February 2018
In a matter of months, Luanda politics became unrecognizable. The reasons why, and the ways in which, João Lourenço, President of Angola since september 2017, proceeded to these substantial and unexpected changes will be analyzed in detail in the pages that follow.
Lourenço ignored the constraints imposed by his predecessor, José Eduardo Dos Santos - who was in power since 1979 - and moved on to reassert his authority. In a series of administrative changes over a period of two months, he completely rebalanced the relation between the Dos Santos family and the Angolan state. This paper demonstrates that Angola will evolve from a non-negotiated hegemony, in which the absolutist powers of Dos Santos ensured the domination of the MPLA’s party-state, to a “negotiated hegemony” in which the domination of the MPLA’s party-state will be subject to an arrangement between different competing actors at the top. The paper will also look at the relations between the Lourenço government and the other stakeholders at the top of the state, as well as at how the regional and international relations of the Angolan regime will evolve in this new political reality.