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From War to Peace on the Mozambique-Malawi Borderland

Harri Englund


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.

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an exceptionally rich study… Englund's central achievement is to provide a nuanced and complex sense of what the process of war and displacement was really about.
A valuable contribution to the literature on contemporary Mozambique as well as an innovative ethnography of a war, its antecedents, and its aftermath.
Those who saw the difference at the time of the Mozambican civil war between the Malawian side - teeming with life - and the Mozambican side - eerily empty except for some destroyed structures - will pick up this book eagerly in an attempt to understand what they saw. They will not be disappointed… Englund shows himself a deft ethnographer in his analysis of kinship… [the book's] main strength is the careful observation of everyday life.

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