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Between Political Party and Armed Group: Understanding Renamo as a Hybrid Party
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.ORCID iD: 0009-0007-3680-8246
2023 (English)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis explores the concept of hybridity within the context of rebel-to-party transformation, with a particular focus on Renamo during the period of 2015-2017 in Mozambique. This timeframe was marked by a resurgence of organised systematic violence, disrupting the relative peace that had prevailed in Mozambique since 1992. The central conflict revolved around the issue of local self-governance, with Renamo asserting its claim to govern in six out of Mozambique's ten provinces. During this period, Renamo operated both as a political party with a significant presence in parliament and as an armed group engaged in systematic violence.

The rebel-to-party literature has sparked discussions about groups that seem to retain elements of their violent past while transitioning into political parties, leading to the emergence of the concept of hybrid parties. However, this concept remains relatively undefined and underexplored. This thesis seeks to contribute to this discussion through an in-depth qualitative study of Renamo's elite-level politicians, aiming to enhance our understanding of hybrid parties.

The study, conducted during the conflict years, closely examines how elite politicians in Renamo navigate their dual roles. It encompasses 14 months of fieldwork from February 2015 to January 2017, drawing on elite interviews, elite-level public statements, and elite observations of parliament, enriched by ethnographic sensibility. The analysis is grounded in a theoretical framework that allows for an exploration of Renamo's behaviour and perceptions as both an armed group and a political party, particularly concerning the issue of local self-governance. Through this analysis, the study aims to elucidate the intersections, thereby advancing our comprehension of how hybridity manifests.

The main findings suggest that Renamo's hybridity predominantly manifests through processes related to contemporaneity in behaviour, elite-level legitimisation, and one key political issue. Furthermore, I argue that the hybridity is maintained through narratives of democracy and a charismatic leader. The thesis advocates for a deeper exploration of these processes to enhance both empirical understanding and the theoretical discussion surrounding hybrid parties.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Uppsala University, 2023. , p. 194
Keywords [en]
hybridity, elite politicians, behaviour, perceptions, Renamo, Mozambique, elite interviews, war to peace transition
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-516486OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-516486DiVA, id: diva2:1814614
Presentation
2024-02-15, Ostrom Lecture Hall, Östra Ågatan 19, Uppsala, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2023-12-11 Created: 2023-11-26 Last updated: 2023-12-11Bibliographically approved

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Nilsson, Johanna

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