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Title: Revolutionary discourse and policy process : the complexities of operation production in Mozambique, 1962-1992
Author: Quembo, Carlos
ISNI:       0000 0005 0292 1660
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2021
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In 1983, the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frelimo) adopted Operation Production (OP), aiming, at least in discourse, at transforming the "unproductive people" deemed to be the cause of urban chaos into "productive people", largely through agriculture in rural Mozambique. At its end in 1988, between 40,000 to 100, 000 people had been sent to rural Mozambique. Based on the analysis of the Frelimo leadership's ideology and values, triangulated with oral stories of those subject to OP, information from the local and international press, in-depth interviews with members of the Frelimo leadership, mid-low-level state officials, Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo) members, workers from state companies, and observation from the field, this thesis tells the story of the making, implementation and end of OP through a retrospective analysis. It starts with a discussion of the colonial-period ideological construction that led to its urban management model. Then, it explores the trajectory of the Frelimo leadership, the origin of their ideas before tackling the ways in which this past shaped Frelimo's imaginary of urban order that led to OP. The thesis then explores the relationship between ideology, imaginary and policy choice, and its implementation. Finally, it addresses the ways in which OP ended. I argue that the Frelimo leadership's ideas, values and imaginary, shaped by their experience of colonial order, by their military experience during the liberation struggle, and by the socio-economic and political context of the 1970s and the 1980s, was decisive in the making and implementation of OP. It resulted from the Frelimo leadership's ideology and imaginary, framed in their discourse, associated with the context of economic crisis and war of the late 1970s and the 1980s. More than increased production, emphasized in discourse, the main goal of OP was to achieve Frelimo's urban order (the "socialist city"), which was inspired by the historical trajectory of its leadership. The way OP ended, against the Frelimo leadership's wishes, reveals the limitation of ideology and values to maintain policy. The thesis demonstrates the importance of understanding the social and historical origins of the Frelimo leadership, their experiences and history, their ideological predisposition, and the context in which they constructed and used discourse to disentangle African politics, particularly in a highly centralized and ambitious party-state with no strong bourgeoisie or independent state bureaucracy, such as "socialist" Mozambique. The Frelimo leadership had their own perception of urban development, which can be explained through a retrospective and contextualized analysis of their discourse.
Supervisor: Alexander, Jocelyn Sponsor: Eni Scholarship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History ; Development Studies ; Political Science