From War to Peace on the Mozambique-Malawi Borderland is the first full-length ethnography to tell villagers' stories from war to peace in Mozambique. Extended case studies of particular villages and families on the Mozambique-Malawi borderland form the core of the book. While tracing their paths to war, exile and post-war reconstruction, the book reveals the human face of national and transnational crises. This detailed study takes the reader beyond the stereotypes which often accompany interventions into humanitarian catastrophes. The villagers in this book are not nameless victims but persons with social relationships; participants, in their own way, in the histories of colonialism, nationalism, labour migration, guerrilla war, exile, repatriation and, most recently, liberal democracy. A major contribution of the book is to show how changing historical circumstances have variously pitted villagers against one another and fostered co-operation. Questions of trust, moral value and legitimate authority inform ethnographic description, leading to an innovative critique of current analytical approaches to social capital.
Those interested in humanitarian catastrophes, African politics, refugee studies and development studies will be inspired by its detailed rebuttal of stereotypes which continue to represent Africans as helpless victims.