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Title: Traditional Authorities in Mozambique: Between Legitimisation and Legitimacy
Authors: Meneses, Maria Paula G. 
Issue Date: Jun-2005
Publisher: Centro de Estudos Sociais
Citation: Oficina do CES. 231 (2005)
Abstract: This paper discusses the study of informal structures of conflict resolution present in Mozambique (both in rural and urban contexts), associated with the debate on the (re)emergence of traditional authorities and customary law in the postcolonial landscape of justice administration. Recent studies on the role of alternative conflict resolution mechanisms in Mozambique have provided two main lines of argument for explaining the persistence of this ‘traditional’ element: one, on the '(re)traditionalization' of Africa, claims that contemporary political crises must be analyzed through the recycling of older local beliefs and institutions; the other one argues that the ‘modernity’ of African politics explain recent policies, seen here as emerging from the constraints of modernity and ‘globalization’, triggering new contexts and new dynamics. The research results discussed here suggest that far from being reminiscent of ancient realities, or recent inventions answering entirely new needs and new functions, these power structures have a long history in Africa, a factor that raises the question of the adequacy of the use of analytical categories such as ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ while analyzing contemporary legal structures in the continent.
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CES - Oficina do CES
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