CSRC Working Paper 54

The Congolese Elite and the Fragmented City: the struggle for the emergence of a dominant class in Kinshasa
Working Paper No : 54 (series 2)
Author(s) : William Freund
Date : August 2009
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This paper examines the current situation in the city of Kinshasa, including the position of the Congolese elite in the city and its relationship to the Congolese state. The author first looks at the history of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and how its class structure has formed before going on to consider the network of Congolese cities and their relation to the political economy of the country. Beginning with a brief overview of colonial history, the author considers to what extent Kinshasa is a city being made or taken over by an indigenous elite.

Bill Freund is a professor in the Department of Economic History at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban. His books, including The African Worker and The Making of Contemporary Africa, and numerous shorter contributions, cover a wide range of topics in African and South African history.