This chapter presents a brief historical perspective and a characterisation of the nature of the authoritarian political tradition that has marked Mozambique since the proclamation of independence in 1975. The recent political history of Mozambique is characterised by an authoritarian political tradition, both under the one-party state, which lasted from independence in 1975 until 1990, and in the period that followed the introduction of a multi-party system and the end of the civil war. Food production in Mozambique, the vast majority of which comes from peasant family farming, has long been affected by the natural disasters that frequently strike the country, triggering government emergency programmes backed by foreign aid. Mozambique's political system as a whole is marked by the authoritarian political tradition that was inherited from the colonial period and further developed by Frelimo party during the period of one-party rule. Frelimo's historically vanguardist, elitist and top-down characteristics are also evident in the political cultures of Mozambique's other political parties.