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The multiple meanings and uses of South–South relations in extraction : The Brazilian mining company Vale in Mozambique

Title data

Cezne, Eric ; Hönke, Jana:
The multiple meanings and uses of South–South relations in extraction : The Brazilian mining company Vale in Mozambique.
In: World Development. Vol. 151 (2022) . - No. 105756.
ISSN 0305-750X

Official URL: Volltext

Abstract in another language

South-South relations have raised hopes of a new development geography – one based on solidarity and more horizontal partnerships among countries in the Global South. In recent years, however, many of these aspirations have proven far-fetched. In the case of Brazil, the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro may even suggest that the South–South hype is now over and done. However, empirical accounts of the engagement of Southern, emerging market-based multinationals across the Global South, such as that of Brazil’s mining corporation Vale in Mozambique, remain scarce. One missing perspective in defining South-South relations is the agency of other actors beyond emerging powers’ governments. This article therefore goes beyond the pre-eminence of the Brazilian state. Instead, it analyses how South–South relations have been signified and used by two critical actors in the context of Vale’s extractive operations in Mozambique: first, the professionals involved in corporate responsibility projects and second, the Mozambican power elites. There is a range of analyses of South–South ties, the imaginaries and hopes associated with them, and their practical possibilities which change according to the expectations, demands, and interests of different actors. We observe that Brazilian professionals in particular have built on specific cultural framings and imaginaries associated with South–South relations to claim a distinct vision and practice of corporate responsibility. Taking note of the prominent role played by Mozambique’s ruling party Frelimo, we further demonstrate how Mozambican power elites have harnessed, through gatekeeping practices, the country’s commodity-spurred architecture of South–South relations to reaffirm political power and amplify individual economic interests. In light of Vale’s current withdrawal from Mozambique, we posit that our analysis provides a timely opportunity to reflect on the multiple makings, and implications of South-South engagement, the controversies linked to the role of Brazilian capital in Africa, and Mozambique’s development through extraction.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies
Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Chair Sociology of Africa > Chair Sociology of Africa - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Jana Hönke
Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Chair Sociology of Africa
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 300 Social sciences, sociology and anthropology
300 Social sciences > 320 Political science
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2022 07:57
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2022 08:18