Wartime Violence and Post-War Collective Action: The Case of Agricultural Concessions in Mozambique
25 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2012 Last revised: 9 Jan 2015
Date Written: 2012
Over the past decade, the Government of Mozambique, widely hailed as a paragon of successful post-conflict development policy, has focused its economic aspirations on the promise of biofuel exports. To that end, it has made hundreds of agricultural concessions to foreign and domestic corporations in the biofuels industry. In response, local groups have sought to protect their food security by opposing the concessions politically and obtaining land grants that might buffer against their possible adverse effects to food security. We seek to whether the magnitude and recentness of violent events during Mozambique’s 16-year civil war has determined the success of communities’ efforts to oppose agricultural concessions and secure community land grants. We hypothesize that violence may weaken the ability of community institutions to prevent their lands from being expropriated as agricultural concessions. We test this, and two alternative, hypotheses using GIS-generated data at the district level on biofuels concessions, recognized community landholdings, and civil war events. Controlling for factors such as market access and district NGO operations, we find that while the the recentness of violence may actually galvanize community cohesion and reinvigorate local institutional capacity, the intensity of violence plays a more nuanced role, associated, as it is, with higher levels of both corporate concessions (locally undesirable) and community land grants (local desirable). We conclude with a discussion of implications for post-conflict development policy.
Keywords: civil war, development policy, agriculture, biofuels, concessions, community land grants, Mozambique
JEL Classification: D74, N47, N57, O13, O25, Q15, Q16, Q18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation