This article was written in the ambit of the research project mentioned in the introduction. I would like to thank to all members of the research team: Andre Cristiano José, Conceição Gomes, Guilherme Mbilana, João Carlos Trindade, João Pedroso, Joaquim Fumo, Maria Manuel Marques, and Maria Paula Meneses. My very special thanks to João Carlos Trindade for sharing with me the coordination of the research project and to Maria Paula Meneses for the stimulating dialogues on African politics and culture and for her competent and diligent research assistance in the preparation of this article.
The Heterogeneous State and Legal Pluralism in Mozambique
Version of Record online: 16 FEB 2006
Law & Society Review
Volume 40, Issue 1, pages 39–76, March 2006
How to Cite
de Sousa Santos, B. (2006), The Heterogeneous State and Legal Pluralism in Mozambique. Law & Society Review, 40: 39–76. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-5893.2006.00258.x
- Issue online: 16 FEB 2006
- Version of Record online: 16 FEB 2006
This article analyzes some of the most salient features of the state and the legal system in Mozambique. I propose the concept of the heterogeneous state to highlight the breakdown of the modern equation between the unity of the state, on the one hand, and the unity of its legal and administrative operation, on the other. The centrality of legal pluralism is analyzed in light of an empirical research focused on community courts and traditional authorities. I use the concept of legal hybridization with the purpose of showing the porosity of the boundaries of the different legal orders and cultures in Mozambique and the deep cross-fertilizations or cross-contaminations among them. Special attention is given to the multicultural plurality resulting from the interaction between modern law and traditional law, the latter conceived here as an alternative modernity.