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Title: Controlled expansion : the politics of economic reconstruction in Mozambique and Angola
Author: Hensing, Jakob
ISNI:       0000 0004 7966 3615
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis elucidates intriguing political economy dynamics in post-war settings where a cohesive elite coalition has acquired or asserted far-reaching control over state institutions, addressing a recurrent but underexplored conflict outcome. Its core proposition is that such settings exhibit a distinctive and characteristic trajectory in terms of the evolution of relations of power and influence between political and economic actors and groups. This trajectory is rooted in a specific configuration of political incentives and constraints, and manifests itself in recurrent patterns across key domains of post-war economic governance. Best described as "controlled expansion," it fundamentally entails the creation of a market economy and the fostering of economic growth, but within a framework of strong and discretionary political oversight. This simultaneously enables the distribution of benefits to politically relevant constituencies and the establishment of a politically docile business class, both of which serve to further entrench the ruling coalition's hold on power. Ruling elites' efforts amount to a distinctive approach to economic reconstruction that corresponds to a set of internally coherent political economy assumptions, albeit very different ones than those informing the "liberal peacebuilding" model advanced by Western donors and international institutions since the end of the Cold War. The thesis delineates the defining characteristics of elite-led economic reconstruction through an analysis of the trajectories of Mozambique after 1992 and Angola after 2002, covering the rehabilitation of physical infrastructure, financial sector reform, initiatives to reinvigorate productive sectors, and redistributive policies. It demonstrates substantial parallels between the two cases despite considerable variation in contextual conditions, indicating patterns of broader applicability across pertinent cases. The comparative argument rests on an in-depth account of both cases, drawing extensively upon the analysis of primary documentary evidence as well as on almost 100 elite interviews conducted during seven months of fieldwork.
Supervisor: Oliveira, Ricardo Soares de Sponsor: Norman Chester Fund ; Green Templeton College
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available