Some Thoughts of a Brazilian Expat Returning Home in the Midst of an Eroding Democracy

I recently came back to Brazil after six and a half years living abroad. It isn’t the first time I stay away for a while and have a reality shock coming back. This time, however, the shock is much worse, as everyday I see signs of a country that is progressively losing many of the important conquests of the last 30 years in terms of human rights and democracy. In this context, the on-going impeachment process of president Dilma Rousseff is just the culmination of a much more complex process that touches fundamental changes in our society and the way … Continue reading Some Thoughts of a Brazilian Expat Returning Home in the Midst of an Eroding Democracy

Decentralisation and local governance in Mozambique: the challenges of promoting bottom-up dynamics from the top down

Ref.: Maschietto, R.H. (2016) Decentralisation and local governance in Mozambique: the challenges of promoting bottom-up dynamics from the top down, Conflict, Security & Development, 16:2, 103-123, DOI: 10.1080/14678802.2016.1153306 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14678802.2016.1153306 (Note: if you do not have access to this database, this link provides up to 50 free clicks to the full article: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/nw4kfUJvQGq7sP9Vc24m/full) Abstract Since the conclusion of the peace accords in 1992, Mozambique has undergone several changes in the field of governance and institution- building. One key aspect of such reforms, strongly promoted by donors in peace-building contexts, has been the agenda of decentralisation and … Continue reading Decentralisation and local governance in Mozambique: the challenges of promoting bottom-up dynamics from the top down

What has Changed with Peace? Local Perceptions of Empowerment in Mozambique

Ref: Maschietto, R.H. (2015) What has Changed with Peace? Local Perceptions of Empowerment in Mozambique, Journal of Peacebuilding & Development, 10:2, 20-35, DOI: 10.1080/15423166.2015.1050797 Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15423166.2015.1050797?journalCode=rjpd20 Abstract Democracy promotion and economic liberalisation have been two pillars of contemporary peacebuilding practices. Whereas several studies have discussed the implementation of such reforms, much less has been written about their long-term effects, including repercussions in terms of changing people’s perception about their own power and ability to influence political spaces. Addressing this gap in the literature, this article analyses local perceptions of change following the peace accords in Mozambique. The analysis is … Continue reading What has Changed with Peace? Local Perceptions of Empowerment in Mozambique

Peacebuilding as ‘a lot about the state and so much less about its citizens’

My friend Marisa Borges and I have been working for a while now on a joint project that blends our PhDs. As many of you know, I have discussed peacebuilding and empowerment in the analysis of Mozambique. Marisa’s thesis has focused, instead, on peacebuilding and citizenship in the case of Guatemala. While talking about our researches, we realised that, notwithstanding our different topics, our overall focus was not fundamentally different. In fact, I had realised in my fieldwork that one of the main limitations to empowerment in Mozambique was precisely the lack of many individuals’ acknowledgment of their citizenship — … Continue reading Peacebuilding as ‘a lot about the state and so much less about its citizens’

Some Thoughts about the ‘Local Turn’ in Peacebuilding

*This post was originally published in Portuguese at Mundorama. This is a revised version of the original text. Over the last 20 years the literature on peacebuilding has increasingly incorporated the concern with the ‘local’ (Lederach, 1997; Richmond, 2011; Donais, 2012; Mac Ginty & Richmond, 2013; Paffenholz., 2015). Back in the 1990s, this ‘local turn’ was linked to the idea of peacebuilding from below and the work of academic-practitioners in the field of mediation and conflict resolution. At this stage, the idea of bringing the local in was framed by the understanding that empowering local actors was a fundamental thing … Continue reading Some Thoughts about the ‘Local Turn’ in Peacebuilding

‘Empowerment’ or ‘Emancipation’?

One of the questions I got on my PhD viva was ‘Why are using empowerment and not emancipation?’ As I had spent five years working on a framework to analyse empowerment I had to come up with a good answer… Not sure I convinced my external examiner, but here’s a few words about my view on this matter. First of all, the question was posed based on the understanding that ‘empowerment’ has been co-opted by international institutions and used as a way to justify international intervention by giving it a more ‘bottom-up’ shape — even if that meant basically providing … Continue reading ‘Empowerment’ or ‘Emancipation’?