Wartime Violence and Post-Conflict Political Mobilization in Mozambique

Topher Mcdougal 1  and Raul Caruso 2
  • 1 Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, University of San Diego, USA, Center on Conflict, Development, and Peacebuilding, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland, Tel.: +1 617 642 5842; fax +1 617849 8109
  • 2 Institute for Economic Policy, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan


Mozambique’s post-conflict development has recently focused on the promise of biofuels production, and the Government of Mozambique has accordingly made hundreds of agricultural concessions to foreign and domestic corporations since 2006. In response, local groups have sought community land grants to protect livelihoods. We seek to understand whether the magnitude and recentness of violent events during Mozambique’s 16-year civil war determined the success of communities’ efforts to secure lands. We hypothesize that violence weakens the ability of communities to protect their traditional land uses from concessions by lobbying for community land grants. This hypothesis - dubbed the “weak institutions hypothesis” - is contrasted with the idea that violence galvanizes political participation. We test the hypothesis using GIS-generated data at the district level on recognized community landholdings and civil war events. Controlling for factors such as market access, road distance to grain warehouses, and spatial auto-correlation, we find that more intense violence is possibly (but not significantly) associated with more land grants, and that districts experiencing more recent violence are actually more likely to lobby successfully for land grants - lending support to the idea that violence boosts community use of riskpooling institutions.

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The main objectives of Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy are to further research in Peace Science and Peace Economics, to expose the scholarly community to innovative peace-related research, to disseminate the study of peace economics to a wider audience.