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The politics of Brazilian multinationals in Africa: Vale in Mozambique

Grant number: 19/00844-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2019
Effective date (End): March 07, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Political Science - International Politics
Principal Investigator:Maria Hermínia Brandão Tavares de Almeida
Grantee:Mathias Jourdain de Alencastro
Supervisor abroad: Andres Malamud
Home Institution: Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento (CEBRAP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal  
Associated to the scholarship:17/13092-1 - The African politics of Brazilian multinationals: Odebrecht in Angola, 2002-2017, BP.PD


The purpose of this project is to examine the character of the relations between African states and multinationals. The project draws on my extensive research on the historical trajectory of Odebrecht in Angola, the subject of my Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (Fapesp)-funded postdoctoral research at the Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento (Cebrap), to analyse, from a comparative perspective, the politics of the Brazilian multinational Vale in Mozambique.Mostly concerned with other emerging powers, existing studies on Brazil-Africa relations tend to analyse the role of Brazil's state and private sector in regards to India and especially China's role in the African continent. To fill this lacuna, this project compares the impact of Oderbecht in Angola with that of a multinational from Brazil, Vale, in a former Portuguese colony, Mozambique. It seeks to demonstrate how, in both cases, the overarching control enjoyed by the private companies, rather than signalling the absence of the state, represents instead a particular mode of governance, based on the mutually constitutive relationship between the state and the private sector that traces back to the colonial period. In both countries, the governments have drawn on multinationals to reinforce and perpetuate their power.