Dynamics of peace consolidation. Local perceptions of violence and peace in post-war Mozambique
Start of the project: 2003
Obede Suarte Baloi
The thesis is an attempt at producing an agency-based sociological tool for the analysis of peace consolidation. The latter is understood as the stabilization of negative peace. The main argument is that one critical way of understanding the challenges of a post-conflict order is the distinction between a "war frame" and a "peace frame". These concepts, inspired by Goffman’s sociology, are used to bring an agency perspective by inquiring into a possible expansion of the monopoly of violence, which is seen as a key-factor for the (re)establishment of realms of "controlled violence". In other words, the successful construction of negative peace rests on the expansion of the monopoly of violence which, in turn, is a function of the relationship between the state and society.
Methodologically, the paper suggests that violence events – taken as an extreme form of social action – constitute an important heuristic point to uncover and understand some of the challenges involved in the edification of a peaceful order, particularly in post-war contexts. To this effect, empirical material drawn from interviews with ordinary people, including some local violence actors, as well as media clips will be used to analyse the post-war context in Mozambique.