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Can you tell me the meaning of this sentence? "Its diplomatic and moral authority shapes southern Africa, for worse as well as better"

  • It seems like perfectly clear English to me: it does both good and bad things in southern Africa. (The bit you quoted doesn't tell us what "it" is, just that it has diplomatic and moral authority.) What's your trouble? – JPmiaou Dec 15 '17 at 21:46
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It sounds like an alternative to "For better or worse" and for that reason I would interpret it the same way (though we are short on context here). I would say that this form emphasizes the likelihood of a negative influence, while "For better or worse" seems to lack any emphasis.

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