From twins to lynchings - "traditional" beliefs, visions of "social contract" and political violence in Mozambique

From twins to lynchings - "traditional" beliefs, visions of "social contract" and political violence in Mozambique

The project aims at disclose the political statements (and the subjacent political concepts and interpretations of the socio-economic reality) which are involved in the current urban and peri-urban phenomena of violence in Mozambique, focusing on the Maputo mutinies of 5/2/2008 and on the "wave" of putative burglars' lynchings.

Departing from previous field knowledge and from disperse bibliographic references, the project will test and deepen the hypothesis that such events are (besides other possible relevant meanings) statements and claims of control over the communities own uncertain lives, arising from a gap between low-income population's and political elites' concepts of "social contract", perceived as an abandonment by the State.

The project will decode the local languages of power which manipulate "traditional" beliefs and principles (such as the threatening but ambiguous character of twins, albinos and sorcery), and their application to past and present events with political relevance, in order to delimitate the current "folk" concepts of the rights and duties involved in the exercise of power.

It will than confront such notions of social contract with those shared by political elites and with the government practices, and will analyse the relevance of such gaps to the low-income population's interpretations and violent reactions against direct expressions of insecurity.

Estatuto: 
Proponent entity
Financed: 
No
Keywords: 

Social Contract, Political Violence, Twins and Albinos, Lynchings

The project aims at disclose the political statements (and the subjacent political concepts and interpretations of the socio-economic reality) which are involved in the current urban and peri-urban phenomena of violence in Mozambique, focusing on the Maputo mutinies of 5/2/2008 and on the "wave" of putative burglars' lynchings.

Departing from previous field knowledge and from disperse bibliographic references, the project will test and deepen the hypothesis that such events are (besides other possible relevant meanings) statements and claims of control over the communities own uncertain lives, arising from a gap between low-income population's and political elites' concepts of "social contract", perceived as an abandonment by the State.

The project will decode the local languages of power which manipulate "traditional" beliefs and principles (such as the threatening but ambiguous character of twins, albinos and sorcery), and their application to past and present events with political relevance, in order to delimitate the current "folk" concepts of the rights and duties involved in the exercise of power.

It will than confront such notions of social contract with those shared by political elites and with the government practices, and will analyse the relevance of such gaps to the low-income population's interpretations and violent reactions against direct expressions of insecurity.

Objectivos: 
The objectives of the project are: <p>- To study the folk manipulations of ‘traditional' beliefs as conceptual materials to express visions about the nature of political power and the duties/rights involved in it;</p><p>- to delimitate the low-income population's notions of "social contract", and the gaps between them and the notions and practices of the political elites, in their exercise of power;</p><p>- to study the influence and heuristic value which such gaps and the perceptions of uncertainty have in the phenomena of urban violence, specially in the mutinies of 5/2/2008 and in the lynchings of putative burglars;</p><p>- to develop consistently a new theoretical approach to the phenomena or urban violence in Mozambique, which will include the elements mentioned in the previous items;</p><p>- to spread the findings in order to make them available to future policy-making. </p>
Parceria: 
Unintegrated
Coordenador 
Start Date: 
01/02/2008
End Date: 
01/12/2010
Duração: 
34 meses
Closed