Strong Party, Weak State? Frelimo and State Survival Through the Mozambican Civil War: an analytical narrative on state-making.

Abstract

Mozambique has been described as a model of 'state resilience' as the ruling Frelimo party has managed to maintain power through years of economic collapse and civil conflict. However, such a description can be misleading and it is argued that in most senses, apart from the symbolic, the state largely collapsed through much of the country during the civil war (1977-1992). By tracing the social formation of the elite who eventually went on to dominate the Frelimo party leadership, it is demonstrated how they were able to maintain internal unity and survive the trials of the post-independence period. However, the social basis of the unity that has maintained the Frelimo party is also very exclusionary, and in many ways unique to themselves. Thus, instead of a model of state resilience I argue that it is the Frelimo party that has survived, but that the reestablishment of the hegemony of the party-state could deepen the divisions and inequalities that helped fuel civil war.

Citation

Working Paper No. 23 (series 2), 2007, London, UK; Crisis States Research Centre, 30 pp.

Strong Party, Weak State? Frelimo and State Survival Through the Mozambican Civil War: an analytical narrative on state-making.

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