Boaventura Monjane holds a PhD on Postcolonialisms and Global Citizenship (Sociology), from the CES/Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra. He is based at the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS, UWC) as a postdoctoral researcher and is also a fellow of the International Research Group on Authoritarianism and Counter-Strategies of the RLS. He is also an associate fellow at the Centre for African Studies (CEA, UEM). His areas of interest and research include agrarian movements, rural politics, food sovereignty, and climate change. He has been involved in agrarian social movements, both locally and internationally, working with the National Farmer’s Union of Mozambique (UNAC) and the International Secretariat of La Via Campesina. He was also involved in the production of professional film documentaries (Land of Plenty, Land but of a Few and TIERRA EN SUSPENSO: Amenazas y resistenciasen Cabo Delgado) on the topics of his interest.
Authoritarian Capitalism and Social Agrarian Movements in Southern Africa: Exploring Contentious Politics and Emancipatory Possibilities
Across Southern Africa, dominant political and economic developments are driven by a neoliberal compass. In recent times, the agrarian sector, more specifically, has been undergoing crucial neoliberal transformations. Incessant authoritarian penetration of capital in the countryside, mostly through foreign investment in forms and on terms that are exposing fractures and division among societies, within communities, and between citizens and states, has triggered political reactions from below, in form of agrarian (or rural) movements and more. On the whole, the shift to neoliberalism in Southern Africa has driven an increasingly hostile attitude to popular movements and activists from the state, including mobilizing public opinion against contesting civil society. My research aims to explore answers to the following question: how have populism and authoritarianism evolved, separately and together, in recent years in southern Africa, and how have progressive agrarian movements responded to counter this? I aim to find answers to this by looking at Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Mozambique. In addition, the research will explore the political potential for rural emancipation in Southern Africa by looking at the possibilities of progressive change not only in the countryside, but also nationally/regionwide.