Transforming Mozambique

The Politics of Privatization, 1975–2000

Transforming Mozambique

Many of the economic transformations in Africa have been as dramatic as those in Eastern Europe, though little is written about them. This study of Mozambique's shift from a command to a market economy draws on a wealth of empirical material, including archival sources, interviews, political posters and corporate advertisements, to reveal that the state is a central actor in the reform process, despite the claims of neo-liberals and their critics. Alongside the state, social forces--from World Bank officials to rural smallholders--have also accelerated, thwarted or shaped change in Mozambique. M. Anne Pitcher offers an intriguing analysis of the dynamic interaction between previous and emerging agents, ideas and institutions, to explain the erosion of socialism and the politics of privatization in a developing country. She demonstrates that Mozambique's present political economy is a heterogenous blend of ideological and institutional continuities and ruptures.


"...a provocative and important study...the field is richer because of the illuminating study of the politics of privatization in Mozambique that Pitcher has written." International Journal of African History Studies

"[A] scholarly and well-written study.... Recommended." Choice

"M.Anne Pitcher's Transforming Mozambique: The Politics of Privatization, 1975-2000 is a much needed and welcome addition to the literature of the state in Africa. It is a well-researched and well-argued history of several defining moments in the formation of the state in Mozambique, specifically, the period of late colonialism, the early years of independence, the era of socialism and high modernism, and the transition to capitalism since the late 1980s. The book provides a long overdue reflection on the policies and actions of the Frelimo government from an historical point of view. Transforming Mozambique is a book that deserves a wide audience: it provides a great deal of information about the introduction of capitalism in industry and one important sector of Mozambican agriculture." H-Net Reviews