Maria Pereira da Costa

Research Topic:

Comparative normative approach on the international legitimisation strategies of Lusophone Africa's anti-colonial movements within the UN (1955-1975)
International Relations Network
Balliol College
MPhil International Relations

I am an International Relations MPhil candidate at Balliol College. My research focuses on the different tactics and narratives used by Lusophone Africa’s main national liberation movements in establishing a diplomatic offensive against Portuguese colonialism within the UN, and how this can change our perspective on late colonial politics. In particular, I will be looking at how the MPLA (Angola), FRELIMO (Mozambique) and PAIGC (Guinea-Bissau) went beyond armed struggle to achieve their ultimate aim: national independence. My focus is on the earlier stages of the movements (from the late-1950s until early-1970s) and I intend to comparatively research the norms, narratives and strategies they employed within the UN to gain international legitimacy. My research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, as part of the Grand Union DTP, and I am supervised by Ricardo Soares de Oliveira.

Previously, I obtained my undergraduate degree at St Anne’s College, Oxford, in History & Politics (First Class). I have worked as a Research Assistant for Professor Jane Gingrich’s SCHOOLPOL project, which aims to create the first systematic database on educational policy in selected democracies since 1945. I have also interned for the International Crisis Group, as part of their Development team.