• Joanna Barbara Seraphim
This thesis aims to examine the underlying reasons behind the challenges faced by Mozambique in attaining peace and development, despite being a recipient of aid from both Western and Chinese donors, as well as country’s abundant natural resources. It focuses on the liberal peace and developmental peace approaches in Mozambique, highlighting their contributions, limitations, and consequences for peacebuilding.
Following the end of the Portugal colonial rule, Mozambique has experienced a prolonged civil war between the Marxist government Frelimo and the anti-communist guerilla movement Renamo, lasting from 1977 to 1992. The tensions resurfaced from 2013 to 2019. Additionally, an Islamist insurgency in the northern Cabo Delgado province that erupted in 2017 further adds to ongoing crises.
The thesis employes the theoretical frameworks of liberal peace and developmental peace. Moreover, it draws upon James Scott’s book “Seeing Like a State” and participatory development framework, both of which offer insights into why the liberal and developmental peacebuilding efforts implemented in Mozambique have not proven effective.
The analysis of liberal peace approach is focused on ONUMOZ initiative, the following democratization efforts, the trajectory of foreign aid, and their consequences. On the other hand, due to the limited theoretical discourse on developmental peace, the thesis explores China’s activities in Mozambique presented as potential contributors to the country’s development and, by extension, to developmental peace. Specifically, the Chinese activities discussed include infrastructure investment, agricultural cooperation, and involvement in the timber industry.
The analysis finds that both the approaches are characterized by a top-down approach that tends to overlook the local complexities. Liberal peace initiatives unintentionally resulted in superficial democratization, with one party holding a strong grip on power and being prone to corruption. The developmental peace prioritized the Mozambican government’s and Chinese interests over the interests of the overall population and their developmental needs. Both approaches exhibited elements of high modernist ideology and lacked genuine consideration for local needs, resulting in their limited success in bringing about a long-lasting peace and development. Additionally, in certain instances, their respective efforts appeared to be contradictory.
Both the approaches highlighted the importance of increased societal engagement and participation at the grassroot and governmental level. In the context of China’s investments, enhanced participation could provide people with more freedom and a voice to address various concerns, including fair treatment between Mozambican workers, displacement, improved knowledge transfer. Similarly, advocating for greater inclusivity in decision-making processes under the liberal peace approach could help prioritizing the needs of the general population over the concentration of power and resources among the country’s elites.
Publication date7 Jun 2023
Number of pages50
ID: 533367008