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Title: Pluralism, Law and Citizenship in Mozambique: Mapping the Complexity
Authors: Meneses, Maria Paula 
Issue Date: Nov-2007
Publisher: Centro de Estudos Sociais
Citation: Oficina do CES. 291 (2007).
Abstract: Despite the significant amount of literature on legal pluralism in Africa, few are the studies that have been carried out in Mozambique. This paper explores the specifics of legal plurality in the country, where three ‘major’ sources of law can be identified – the European legal culture (Dutch-Roman), the indigenous African and the Islamic. By legislation the European was made the general, the reference culture of Mozambique. However, the indigenous African and the Islamic culture remain very much alive. The Portuguese modern colonial project in Mozambique was based on the establishment of modern law as a pillar of state administration. This project sought to recast Mozambique in terms of the Western imagination, and was part of a re-ordering of the world in European terms. However, despite the dramatic changes that have occurred in Mozambique since independence, some thirty years ago, it is patent that colonial relationships persisted beyond the formal end of colonial rule. Thus the ‘post’, in ‘post-colonial’ is not synonymous with the ‘past’, with a redundant break with the colonial past. This relationship is quite visible and conflitual in the legal field. It is also the goal of this paper to discuss the weight of the legacy of the connections that once bound Mozambique as a colony and Portugal as the colonial metropolis. The debates on law in Mozambique, as in many other places of the continent, appear to involve a clash between customary law and the modernizing ambitions of the post-independence state. An adequate conceptualization of the ‘customary’ is, therefore, necessary to understand the politics of law reform in modern Africa.
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CES - Oficina do CES
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