Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Political Science


Susan L. Woodward

Committee Members

Irving Leonard Markovitz

Stephanie Golob

Subject Categories

Comparative Politics


Social Protection, Angola, Mozambique, State-building, Political Elites


I examine the extent to which the involvement of international development actors in poor and post-conflict countries can override the influence of the domestic political elites on the outcomes of social protection programs. I compare the outcomes of social protection arrangements in two post-conflict countries, Angola and Mozambique. They have different levels and kinds of international involvement, which I define based on the involvement of post-conflict UN peace operations and their dependency on foreign aid. While Mozambique had a UN operation and has been dependent on foreign aid, Angola did not have a UN operation after its civil war and does not depend on foreign aid. I demonstrate that despite these different levels and kinds of international involvement, the outcomes of social protection have been similar. I argue that while international development actors may influence these countries to adopt internationally designed programs of social protection, they neither alter the attitudes of the domestic government in relation to redistributive programs nor are they able to expand the outcomes of the programs implemented. I analyze three arrangements of social protection: reintegration of former-combatants, fuel subsidies for consumers, and the institutionalization of formal social protection structures. This dissertation contributes to the current debate on social protection among international development actors by showing the importance of considering social protection the result of domestic political dynamics.