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Songs and Politics in Eastern Africa brings together important essays on songs and politics in the region and beyond. Through an analysis of the voices from the margins, the authors (contributors) enter into the debate on cultural productions and political change. The theme that cuts across the contributions is that songs are, in addition to their aesthetic appeal, vital tools for exploring how political and social events are shaped and understood by citizens. Urbanization, commercialization and globalization contributed to the vibrancy of East African popular music of the 1990s which was marked by hybridity, syncretism and innovativeness. It was a product of social processes inseparable from society, politics, and other critical issues of the day. The lyrics explored socials cosmology, worldviews, class and gender relations, interpretations of value systems, and other political, social and cultural practices, even as they entertained and provided momentary escape for audience members. Frustration, disenchantments, and emotional fatigue resulting from corrupt and dictatorial political systems that stifle the potential of citizens drove and still drive popular music in Eastern Africa as in most of Africa. Songs and Politics in Eastern Africa is an important addition to the study of popular culture and its role in shaping society.
Making Nation and Race in Urban Tanzania
From Nyerere to Mkapa
This book is the first comprehensive contribution to understanding the character of important societal transitions in Tanzania during Benjamin Mkapa's presidency (1995- 2005). The analyses of the trajectory of these transitions are conducted against the background of the development model of Tanzanian's first president, Julius Nyerere (1961-1985), a model with lasting influence on the country. This approach enables an understanding of continuities and discontinuities in Tanzania over time in areas such as development strategy an ideology, agrarian-land, gender and forestry issues, economic liberalization, development assistance, corruption and political change. The period of Mkapa's presidency is particularly important because it represents the first phase of Tanzania's multi- party political system. Mkapa's government initially faced a gloomy economic situation. Although Mkapa's crusade against corruption lost direction, his presidency was characterised by relatively high growth rates and a stable macro-economy. Rural and agrarian transitions were dominated by diversification rather than productivity growth and transformation. Rural attitudes in favour of land markets emerged only slowly but formal land disputes showed more respect for women's rights. Some space emerged for widening local participation in forest management, but rural dynamics was mainly found in trading settlements feeding on economic liberalization and artisanal mining. The transitions documented and analysed of Mkapa's presidency, however, indicate only limited transformational change. Rural poverty is therefore likely to remain deep and the sustainability of economic development to be at risk in the future. Mkapa was, however, able to protect the legacy of peace and political stability of Nyerere, but there were nevertheless important challenges to the first multiparty elections and governance, and particularly in Zanzibar. The post- script (covering 2005 2010), indicates that the incumbent president, Jakaya Kikwete, has yet to prove that he can change this legacy of Mkapa. Co-published with the Nordic Africa Institute and the Sokoine University of Agriculture, the contributions to the eleven chapters of this book are evenly shared between Tanzanian, Nordic and other European researchers with a long-term commitment to Tanzanian development research. he book is dedicated to the youth of Tanzania.
Racial Thought and Violence in Colonial Zanzibar
The Swahili coast of Africa is often described as a paragon of transnational culture and racial fluidity. Yet, during a brief period in the 1960s, Zanzibar became deeply divided along racial lines as intellectuals and activists, engaged in bitter debates about their nation's future, ignited a deadly conflict that spread across the island. War of Words, War of Stones explores how violently enforced racial boundaries arose from Zanzibar's entangled history. Jonathon Glassman challenges explanations that assume racial thinking in the colonial world reflected only Western ideas. He shows how Africans crafted competing ways of categorizing race from local tradition and engagement with the Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds.
State Forestry and Social Conflict in Tanzania, 1820-2000