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Title: Truth-telling in a pseudo-public sphere: a study of public life and democracy in Angola
Author: Paulo, Conceicao Joao Faria
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis explores the role of the "public" in Angolan politics. The first part of the thesis outlines how the notion of the "public" is perceived. This starts with a review of Jiirgen Habennas's seminal contribution - The Structural Transformation a/the Public Sphere and the debate it provoked. Subsequently, this thesis argues that for many reasons Habermas's framework is not suitable for studying the "public" in Angola, and as a result will proceed to outline an alternative approach in which the "public" is instantiated through acts and practices of truth-telling or parrhesia as understood by Michel Foucault. Having outlined the approach to this subject, the second part of this thesis moves on to reviewing the history of the "public" in Angola. Furthermore, the final part of the thesis looks at contemporary Angolan politics. Following a review of the constitutional, legal and socio-economic framework within which public life in Angola exists, the present study examines the workings of the "public" during _ ~d after Pope Benedict's visit to Angola in March 2009. Moreover, this thesis also looks at one of the few media outlets that managed to preserve its independence vis-a.-vis the political regimt} - the Catholic Radio Ecclesia. Thus, this thesis argues that the entrenched. political regime of the Movement for the Popular Liberation of Angola (MPLA) has succeeded in creating what is referred to in this thesis as a "pseudo-public sphere". In many ways this reality mimics the activities of a "genuine" public sphere as defined by Habermas. Nevertheless, this same reality is owned and controlled by the regime. Albeit this restricted atmosphere is a "counter-public sphere" emerging through acts of parrhesia, this thesis endeavours to analyse - -me complex interaction between the "pseudo-public" and the "counter-public".
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available