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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:New Sites of Citizenship: Recognition of Traditional Authority and Group-Based Citizenship in Mozambique
Authors:Kyed, Helene MariaISNI
Buur, LarsISNI
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic term:Mozambique
traditional rulers
rural population
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Politics and Government
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03057070600830532
Abstract:Since the General Peace Accord of 1992, Mozambique has embarked on a protracted process of democratic decentralization. The Municipal Law 2 of 1997 made provision for elected local governments in 33 urban municipalities, but not in rural areas. Instead, in the latter a little over 4,000 'community authorities' have been recognized since 2002 following the passing of Decree 15 of 2000. The authors examine the implementation and consequences for rural citizenship of this Decree of official recognition to traditional authorities, 'secretários de bairro' and other local leaders. Focusing particularly on traditional authorities, the authors argue that the Decree's community approach to representation both establishes new sites for the production of citizens and institutes a kind of group-based citizenship. It does this by incorporating the rural population into the nation-State, not on the basis of individual membership in the polis, but on the basis of membership in a territory-based community. Contrary to recent scholarly celebration of group-based citizenship as representing the accommodation of claims by marginalized groups from 'below', the Mozambican case provides an example of group-based citizenship as a 'top-down' strategy of the State to regulate and control rural territories and populations. The authors explore the political implications of this strategy and critically assess how the promise of increased participation of rural communities is being accompanied by a specific Frelimo State version of the ideal moral citizen community. Criteria of inclusion and exclusion draw on war rhetoric from the 1980s, which presents the governing Frelimo party as pro-development and the opposition party, Renamo, and its supporters as aiming to destroy the positive gains achieved since the end of the civil war. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]