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Title: Post-conflict agrarian change in Angónia : land, labour and the organization of production in the Mozambique-Malawi borderland
Author: Pérez-Niño, Helena
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 8627
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2015
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Dominant theories in development studies see war as development in reverse and post-conflict reconstruction as the process of building institutions and production systems from scratch. However, wars are embedded in longer historical processes of social change. Social change shapes wars but wars also shape and redirect patterns of social change. This is the case for the study of post-conflict rural development, which has largely ignored the long-term formation of social relations of production and the effects of war-economies. This thesis proposes a historically-grounded analysis of post-conflict agrarian change in the context of capitalist development with particular emphasis on the organization of production and dynamics of social differentiation. It does so by reconstructing the formation of the agrarian regime, identifying different social groups and their relations of production, reproduction and exchange to examine how these were transformed by the introduction of tobacco farming in the post-war period. The Angónia Highlands in central Mozambique were devastated by the civil war. Besides the loss of life, productive assets were destroyed, fields were abandoned and around 90 per cent of the population fled as refugees to Malawi. In the decades after the end of the war the highlands became the epicentre of an agricultural boom linked to the post-conflict adoption of tobacco under contract farming. This thesis reconciles these contrasting periods by revealing the continuity of agrarian relations through war and disaggregating the experiences of different social groups. The thesis draws on primary research in Angónia, including a survey of tobacco farmers and archival work. The current regime is linked to a very long history of labour market participation and an on-going process of commodification of the relations of production. It is also proposed that war-time labour dynamics contributed to the transformation of the organization of production. Both have resulted in changing property relations and a more complex class structure.The thesis concludes that social structure and war dynamics shape the contemporary agrarian regime at different levels: the prevailing forms of land management have created different production regimes within the district, while the households' labour hiring balance in tobacco is responsible for the considerable extent of socio-economic differentiation that characterizes contemporary Angónia.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral