Publication Date

October 2016


This paper analyses individual pathways of Angolan commissioned officers educated in Portugal, focusing specifically on their return to their country of origin and on the features of their reinsertion in the professional life. It aims at contributing to the discussion of anthropological theories of mobility and migration, discussing issues of qualification and circulation of ‘brains’ between developed and developing countries. The analysis is based on quantitative and qualitative data obtained by conducting desk and field research. Before focusing on the strategies of these migrants returning to Angola and on the forms of (re)inclusion they mobilise particularly under the designation of ‘Portuguesinhos’, the article describes the multiple combined influences brought by the formal training and by the diverse individual learning processes triggered by the stay abroad. It starts with an introduction to migration and higher education in Africa, highlighting the characteristics of ‘brain’ circulation and then describes the changes that the Angolan police went through in the last decades, providing the background for the analysis of the types of training and policing models involved and in processes of transformation. Return to Angola after training abroad involves dealing with a changing society emerging from war, where presently there is a combination of models and types of training and performance in the specific police activity. This calls for the elaboration of strategies to deal simultaneously with the individual, the organisational and the societal conditions and consequently provides an important viewpoint of the processes of transformation of the Angolan society and institutions.

Author Bio(s)

Cristina Udelsmann Rodrigues is a Senior Researcher in African Studies at the Nordic Africa Institute in Sweden. She has been conducting research in the Portuguese speaking African countries for more than twenty years, participating in several research projects and publishing on varied issues. Main areas of research are urban sociology and anthropology in Africa, social change, migration.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.