Zimbabwe's Lost Decade
Politics, Development and Society
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: African Books Collective
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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List of Acronyms
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List of Tables & Boxes
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Preface & Acknowledgements
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Zimbabwe occupies a special place in African politics and international relations. Its politics and socio-economic policies have been subjects of intense national introspection as well as international debate over the years. One sign of the preoccupation was the outpouring of theses and publications in the form of books, ...
1. Colonialism, Nationalism & the National Question
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This volume wrestles with the question of why and how Zimbabwe ‘lost’ five decades of development and democracy. This was not a conscious decision on the part of either the settler colonial or post-colonial political elites. The wasted decades were an unintended outcome of policies and measures formulated and implemented between 1958 and 2008. ...
2. The State & its Institutions
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A great deal of the explanation of Zimbabwe’s ‘lost decades’ lies in the nature and orientation of the state and its institutions that emerged at Independence. To what extent was the post-independence state really a new or different state? The same question can be asked in relation to institutions of the post-colonial state: ...
3. Political Parties
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The last two chapters have demonstrated how party politics have been central in Zimbabwe’s political development in the past 50 years. Political parties were leading actors in the nationalist/liberation struggles as well as in the post-colonial era. Surprisingly, however, there have been very few studies on parties ...
4. Democracy, Constitutionalism & Participation
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Curiously, the predominant political discourse in Zimbabwe soon after Independence was not about democracy but ‘socialism’, and the possibility of ‘transition’ to that state of affairs. The discourse was strongly ‘ideological’. The rationale for that leap in discourse was that the sequel of the ‘liberation struggle’ ...
5. Development Deferred
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Nowhere has Zimbabwe performed as poorly as it has done as in economic development since it gained independence in 1980. The country’s economy shrank from an estimated USD9 billion in 1997 to USD4 billion in 2008. This is as surprising as it is disappointing. ...
6. Land Reform & its Aftermath
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A large part of the explanation of the stagnation and decline of Zimbabwe’s economic development, as assessed in Chapter 5, relates to the changing fortunes of its agriculture. No account of Zimbabwean politics, economics and social development would therefore be complete without assessing the significance of the land question. ...
7. State & Civil Society: A Changing Balance
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How have the political and economic developments assessed in the last six chapters shaped the growth of society and its relations with the state? Undoubtedly, the three decades of erratic growth, stagnation and crisis have left profound imprints on Zimbabwean society. ...
8. Society, Livelihoods & Migration
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The impact of the political developments assessed in the first part of this book, and the economic disruptions described in Chapters 5 and 6, have been very profound for Zimbabwean society. The severe repercussions have included the spread and deepening of poverty, a relentlessly tight squeeze on livelihoods ...
9. Punching above its Weight in Foreign Relations
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How did Zimbabwe manage its foreign policy and relations during the lost decades, especially during the turbulence of 1998 to 2008? Given its systemic decline, the country has failed to punch above its weight, despite the bellicose rhetoric and expansive worldview of Robert Mugabe that posited the contrary. ...
Conclusion: Towards a Renewal
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This book is an ambitious attempt to ponder the key issues of politics, development and society in Zimbabwe. It has drawn on 25 years of research and publications on these issues. In reflecting on the ‘Lost Decades’, and especially the decade 1998–2008, a critical approach was consistently pursued. ...
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Page Count: 246
Publication Year: 2012