Accepted paper:

A Rebel Political Party? Understanding RENAMOs Logic of Election Motivated Violence


Johanna Nilsson (Uppsala University )

Paper short abstract:

This article explores RENAMOs dual identity as political party and armed force. It provides an actor-centered analysis of RENAMOs motivations for, and logic of violence, after the 2014 general election. It aims at understanding how violence is motivated, how violence and politics becomes diffused.

Paper long abstract:

Violence and politics are often seen as two contrasting concepts, they should not co-exist in a democratic political system. The reality is however that violence is often used for political leverage. Many post-conflict countries in Africa have political actors that are former armed forces, increasing the tension between violence and politics. Current literature focuses to a large extent on the success or failure of such political parties, but we know little of the motivations and the logic behind the use of violence as expressed by the actors when they choose to resort to violence. This article focuses on understanding RENAMOs (Resist├¬ncia Nacional Mo├žambicana) logic of violence after the 2014 general election. RENAMO, the main opposition party in Mozambique, are today existing on the border between political party and rebel movement, they could today be seen as a rebel political party. They were transformed into a political party in 1992 after 16 years as a rebel movement and has since held a strong position as opposition party. The last couple of years have however seen a reversal in RENAMOs identity and actions, going back to the use of rebel warfare. The 2014 general election was the starting point for increased use of violence to gain political leverage against the government. This article provides an empirical in-depth analysis of the motivations behind the use of violence as expressed by RENAMOs elite politicians after the 2014 general election.

panel Pol19
Politics after war: armed actors in post-conflict societies [CRG African Politics and International Relations]