Many of the economic transformations in Africa have been as dramatic as those in Eastern Europe. Yet much of the comparative literature on transitions has overlooked African countries. This study of Mozambique's shift from a command to a market economy draws on a wealth of empirical material, including archival sources, interviews, political posters and corporate advertisements, to reveal that the state is a central actor in the reform process, despite the claims of neo-liberals and their critics. Alongside the state, social forces - from World Bank officials to rural smallholders - have also accelerated, thwarted or shaped change in Mozambique. M. Anne Pitcher offers an intriguing analysis of the dynamic interaction between previous and emerging agents, ideas and institutions, to explain the erosion of socialism and the politics of privatization in a developing country. She demonstrates that Mozambique's present political economy is a heterogenous blend of ideological and institutional continuities and ruptures.