Journal of Contemporary African Studies

Published by Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Online ISSN: 1469-9397
Print ISSN: 0258-9001
This paper has attempted to show that the effects of labour migration on the rural periphery of southern Swaziland have changed over time as part of broader changes in the Swazi social formation. The paper highlights a number of specific changes which labour migration has facilitated. Money from mine labour is used to hire tractors which, in turn, facilitates female involvement in agricultural production. The absence of men no longer necessarily brings about a reduction of family fields under cultivation. Such developments point to a need for reconceptualising the impact of male labour migration on the economy of the rural periphery of Swaziland. As a result of the dominance of underdevelopment theory in the analysis of labour migration in Swaziland, no serious attempt has been made to follow wages from mine labour to the rural economy. This paper uses fresh evidence to analyse the different ways by which wages from the mines are invested in the rural economy. It argues that most of the money is invested in those portfolios perceived as important for improving living conditions. They include education, agricultural implements, such as tractors, and housing. -Author
This article describes why greater attention needs to be given to the role of demographic phenomena in creating Sudan's current economic crisis. While state planning and direct involvement in the economy may be on the decline throughout Africa, the public sector cannot simply stop taking any responsibility for planning and policy-making in the domains of population and human resources development. The current nature and scope of population and human resources planning in the Sudan is evaluated and a description given of the machinery and institutions involved in the planning process. Their overall effectiveness is assessed. A broad framework based upon a socioeconomic and demographic system relevant to the objectives of human resources development is presented, with the proposed framework identifying the institutions responsible for creating and monitoring plans for human resources development.
Structural conditions are undoubtedly central in understanding the opportunities and constraints that women face in resettlement. My own data support a materialist perspective that emphasizes access to and control of economic resources, and I also focus on how political, economic and cultural conditions limit women's room to better their lives. I deal with these structural conditions at length. However, I have also found important spheres of power for women in prevailing gender relations. These include women's control of market gardens, certain types of property and income that belong to women, changing gender ideologies as a direct result of enlightened state policy, and changes in household decision-making processes. Most important for the purposes of this article, however, are the advantages to widows in resettlement policy to date, and the gendered control over certain crops. In order to counteract the tendency to focus on structural oppression, I have chosen to highlight these spheres of power and negotiation as possible strategic sites for positive change.
This article explores the relationship between the security culture of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and how it has responded to transnational challenges in West Africa. To do so, it provides an overview of how the ideas, norms and principles that constitute the embryonic security culture of ECOWAS have evolved historically. Against this backdrop the article focuses on how the regional organisation has dealt with a specific contemporary security challenge: child trafficking. The concluding part of the article seeks to explain ECOWAS's collective action on child trafficking with reference to the region's different threat perceptions and security priorities. This article argues that although the decisions and policies of ECOWAS on child trafficking are influenced by certain shared ideas, norms and principles, a breakdown of collective political will and continuing differences on the key security referents and appropriate approaches to the security of individuals have led ECOWAS member states to fail in effectively addressing this particular transnational security challenge.
This article argues that state-induced displacements are not aberrations, but rather an ever-present possibility and practice integral to contemporary as well as past modes of rule and state making. States and their allies make discursive use of notions of sovereignty to legitimise violence and displacement against selective citizens in the service of different projects at multiple scales. Such practices are themselves a means of producing and performing sovereignty, in Agamben's (1998) terms. Three cases from post-independence Zimbabwe are used to provide some evidence and insight into more general patterns linking displacement, sovereignty and state making. At the same time, they confirm the historical and spatial diversity of particular assertions and versions of sovereignty, as reflected in situated expressions and effects of state making.
This article provides a historical analysis of Robert Mugabe's rise to power in the fractious hierarchy of the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), in part by crushing all opposition and manipulating regional and international actors – including British, American and Mozambican political leaders – into supporting his claims to leadership. It also tells an often-ignored story of internal political struggle during the liberation war involving a small group of young political soldiers, the Zimbabwean People's Army (ZIPA), which challenged the policies, practices and ideology of the ‘old guard’ and tried to unify ZANU and Zimbabwe African People's Union, the country's two nationalist movements at the time. Drawing on interviews and extensive archival data, the article argues that ideology was central to this political struggle; ZIPA embraced a more radical and potentially more democratic vision for the liberation movement and for the future of the country. What kind of regime might have been consolidated in post-independent Zimbabwe if ZIPA had succeeded in unifying the country's national liberation movement and pushing them into the political direction ZIPA desired? This will never be known. By 1977, less than two years after the group emerged, its leaders were imprisoned in Mozambique's jails where they would remain until just prior to Zimbabwe's first democratic election in 1980.
Veteran activists v. 'foot soldiers' in Kenya's political demonstrations.
This is a study of young human rights activists who provide a unique window on Kenya’s recent and turbulent political history (1997-2012). The period includes the end of authoritarian rule and election of a ‘reform’ government in 2002 that expanded some human rights but abused others. Based on archival materials and periodic, multiple interviews by the author with key youth activists, the findings make three contributions to the study of human rights and democracy. First, it identifies the often overlooked role of secondary level activists in a human rights/democracy social movement, the so called ‘foot soldiers’. Second, it explores the failure of Kenya to consolidate its democracy and quell police violence, including the assassination of two human rights investigators, an event which sent a chill through the activist community. Third, by tracing the trajectory of some ‘foot soldiers’ during this period, the study confirms a theory of a cycle of social movement activism but suggests modifications.
Since the late 1980s evidence has been emerging in support of rumours of South African involvement in the southern African ivory trade from the mid-1960s onwards. There is some evidence that, from the early mid-1970s, elements of the South African government and its security forces began actively to encourage their allies in Rhodesia, Mozambique and Angola to acquire ivory and sell it through South Africa. The first really authoritative evidence that the South African Defence Force (SADF) was indeed implicated in the ivory trade in Angola especially came from Colonel Jan Breytenbach, one of the founding officers of the South African Special Forces, who had seen active service in southern Angola from 1970 on. An interview with Breytenbach, conducted at his home in the Cape Province on 8 December 1989 by Ross Reeve, working on behalf of the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), is reproduced here. In the interview, Breytenbach gives considerable detail concerning his earlier allegations that UNITA had smuggled ivory on a huge scale for many years, in complicity with officers of the SADF. A brief postscript notes that considerable doubt remains as to the precise degree of SADF involvement in the ivory trade and that the South African government has instituted (in 1994) a judicial inquiry into the alleged smuggling of and illegal trade in ivory and rhinoceros horn. Bibliogr., notes, ref
A legal residential segregation did not exist in colonial West Africa. In Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, legal residential segregation early on was the rule, in those cities alluded to in the title of this paper. This does not mean that this segregation was completely realized. One of the results was fear and increasing insecurity as much as insecurity increased fear. Therefore, a connection is obvious between the 'africanisation' of cities and the emergence of gated cities ironically increasing a process of ghettoisation, and a new residential segregation based on wealthy versus poor people instead of white versus black urbanites. South Africa and Kenya were the only colonies where residential segregation began to be imposed early on. First, it addressed rural areas where white settlers intended to confiscate natives' rights on their lands. In South Africa, the land act of 1913 reserved for natives only 13% of their previous land.
This article contributes to a growing literature on the character of leadership, democracy and governance espoused by post-liberation governments, focusing on the African National Congress (ANC) as a political party. The article provides a brief overview of the two most common approaches to analysing the ANC's transition from a national liberation movement to a political party in an electoral democracy, the dominant party approach and what is termed the Fanonesque perspective. Neither is found to be wholly satisfactory, for largely the same reason – their tendency to present what is effectively a caricature of the ANC, by selectively highlighting features of its practices that conform to a pre-determined pathology, rather than acknowledging the ANC's complexity, variability and essentially contested nature. In developing an alternative approach, the paper draws from an earlier body of literature on single-party–dominant states in post-independent Africa that was empirically driven and comparative in nature. Such an approach can help us develop a more realistic, less sensationalist interpretation of ANC rule in South Africa.
This article examines the impact of current neoliberal political reforms on trade union performance in West and Central Africa. To what extent have trade unions been involved in the political restructuring of the State? Has political liberalization constrained or enhanced their political influence and ability to defend their members' interests? The article offers a comparative study of the role of trade unions in two African countries, Ghana and Cameroon. Trade union responses to economic and political liberalization appear to be quite different in these countries: generally positive in Ghana and clearly negative in Cameroon. The author argues that a range of factors is responsible for this situation, including differences in the impact of structural adjustment, the nature of the State and State-society relations, the organizational capacity of the unions, their relationship with political parties and other civil-society organizations, and their search for innovative ways to respond to neoliberal reforms. In Ghana, there have been significant changes in State-trade union relations, while the Cameroonian case has been characterized by a remarkable degree of continuity in these relations. Bibliogr. [ASC Leiden abstract]
The ‘right to contest’ is an internationally recognised principle, embodied in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The issue posited by this paper is whether and how contestation can occur, in resource-rich countries in Africa, constructively or destructively. Constructive contestation in Africa is particularly important in relation to natural resources, those under the land, on the land and perhaps most importantly in relation to the land itself. Without the political and social spaces to contest decisions regarding those resources constructively, violence or other forms of destructive contestation may ensue. In Africa, the problem of contestation is exacerbated by the predation of resources – its illicit taking by more dominant parties – and consequent territorial dispossession, loss of culture and identity, and the often justified feelings of betrayal and anger. If one accepts that contestation in a constructive manner ought to be provided for, the questions then arise as to who can legitimately contest and on what basis.
Many inter-State and intra-State conflicts in Africa become more complex by being extended into 'proxy wars', i.e. secondary, often 'low intensity' armed conflicts, pursued in the context of a major power struggle, or outright wars between States carried out by subsidiary or co-opted insurgent movements, usually of an ethno-regional nature. In the Horn of Africa, the proxy war phenomenon is visible owing to alliances behind the scenes, the involvement of neighbouring countries, and frequent changes of allegiance. The proxy war strategy was pursued by both players in the 1998-2000 border war between Ethiopia and Eritrea, not only in the enemy country but also in neighbouring States. Since the peace agreement of June 2000, the importance and impact of the proxy war factor has declined somewhat, but whether this decline will contribute to the building of a 'lasting peace' is not at all certain. The experience of tenuous negotiation during the past two years seems to indicate otherwise. The author argues that the threat of regional instability by proxy conflict remains, as long as the Ethiopian and Eritrean regimes are unwilling to make real peace with each other. App. (list of insurgent movements), bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]
Conversion from livestock and/or crop farming to game farming has been a notable trend on privately owned land in South Africa over the last decades. The rapid growth of wildlife ranching is associated with an annual increase in the areas enclosed by game fences and high demand for wildlife which is being traded privately and at wildlife auctions. Key environmental, agricultural and land reform legislation has been passed since 1994 that impacts this sector, but this legislation does not provide a clear regulatory framework for the game farming industry. This article seeks to understand why game farming is thriving in a regulatory environment plagued with uncertainty. The focus is on one province, KwaZulu-Natal. It is clear that the state is not a homogeneous and monolithic entity applying itself to the regulation of the sector. There is no clear direction on the position of private game farming at the interface of environmental and agricultural regulations. The argument put forward is that the fractured state, in fact, provides space within which the game farmers are able to effectively manoeuvre and to maximise their advantages as private landowners. While game farmers may complain about strict wildlife regulation in the province, the benefits they gain from the combination of a divided state and the presence in this province of a strong, autonomous conservation body are considerable.
South Africa's ruling party is well known as an organisation that supports the ideal of non-racialism. However, the extent to which the African National Congress (ANC) has defined and instrumentalised the concept of non-racialism is contested. This article looks at the history of non-racialism in the party and more recent interpretations by ANC leadership, before examining how non-racialism is understood, 19 years into democracy, by members of the party. Based on interviews with over 45 ANC branch members, the article describes how members, broadly speaking, have deep-seated concerns with non-racialism in the ANC and in society more generally. There is recognition from ANC branch members that race relations have significantly improved since the ANC moved into government; however, they feel not enough change has taken place and that racial tensions are impeding social cohesion and concomitant growth and progress in the country. There is division among members in regards to the efficacy and impact of the party's racially based policies such as affirmative action as well as the manner in which race potentially influences leadership opportunities within the party. Furthermore, the article shows that there is lack of definition and direction on the part of the ANC in regards to the instrumentalisation of non-racialism, and this deficiency has negative consequences for racial cohesion in the party. The article concludes by discussing how investigations into party branches through the lens of non-racialism, highlights more deep-seated concerns about local-level party democracy and a party fractured at the grassroots.
The underlying and proximate causes of internal conflicts 
Africa is in a deep and persistent malaise. It is by far the least developed continent economically, and the most conflict-prone politically. In policy-making circles and media characterisations, it is "the hopeless continent" (The Economist May 13-19, 2000). Such pessimism is driven in part by the failure to manage — much less resolve — the destructive consequences of multiple violent conflicts. The ineffectiveness of conflict management efforts by the United Nations, the OAU, sub-regional organisations, or eminent personalities like Nelson Mandela or Jimmy Carter, is itself due in large part to the lack of a conceptual framework for analysing internal turmoil. Without an appropriate diagnosis of the causes of conflict, remedial action becomes a futile, if not dangerous exercise. This article seeks to articulate in preliminary form a framework for understanding and diagnosing the causes of Africa's multiple internal conflicts. It suggests that these are rooted in the everyday politics and discourses of weak states, rather than in outbreaks of ancient hatreds, the pathology of particular rulers, or the breakdown of normally peaceful domestic systems; and argues that the direction of effective conflict resolution lies in reconfiguring local politics and reconstructing the malformed African state rather than in the "saving failed states" approaches of recent years.
The functions and meanings of bridewealth in African societies have been analysed extensively in anthropological and historical studies. Although bridewealth remains widely practised in Southern Africa, few studies have examined the custom in a contemporary context. This paper addresses the paucity of research by focusing on South African Zulu society where, among all cultural traditions, the payment of bridewealth (ilobolo) continues to be one of the most salient. On the basis of recent qualitative research data collected in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, we argue that ilobolo practices among urban Zulu people are multifaceted and its contemporary functions debated and contested. However, there is also broad consensus about the obligation to uphold the custom based on a complex web of cultural and spiritual motives, socio-economic considerations and collectivist identity politics.
The current discussion on democratization in Africa tends towards Eurocentrism in that it pays insufficient attention to the analytical and methodological implications of cultural imperialism, localization, wrongly claimed universality, and the social price of relativism. Conceptually, formal constitutional democracy is only one variant of democracy among others, and besides, it is an item of political culture which has only relatively recently been introduced to Africa. Recent developments among Nkoya peasants of Kaoma district, Zambia, and working-class townsmen from Francistown, Botswana, most of whom identify themselves ethnically as Kalanga or Tswana, suggest that the democratization movement is only another phase in the ongoing political transformation of Africa. In the course of this process, by an interplay of local and national (ultimately global) conceptions of political power, indigenous constitutional, philosophical and sociological alternatives of political legitimacy are tested, and subsequently accommodated or discarded as obsolete. The author carried out anthropological fieldwork among the Zambian Nkoya in 1972-1974, and in Francistown in 1988-1989, and in both cases has made repeated return visits since. Bibliogr., notes, ref
This article is a detailed examination of the impact that the development of a private game reserve initiative in northern KwaZulu-Natal had on the lives of farm dwellers in the late 1990s. The reshaping of this landscape for ecotourism purposes – a decision taken by a group of private landowners – meant that the residents of the former cattle farms were relocated, a process which had serious consequences for them. The outcomes of relocation from the farms are explored through conversations with the relocated farm dwellers. In an attempt to convey the texture of the emotional geography of dispossession, we document both the tangible and the less tangible losses suffered from the farm dwellers' point of view, as well as their experience with the state bureaucracy. The legal and bureaucratic process leading up to the relocation is then retraced through court documents and other archival evidence. At one level, this case raises questions about the capacity of the post-apartheid South African land reform programme to secure the land rights of marginalised groups such as farm dwellers, despite legislation passed to protect them. At a deeper level, this article is about the conceptual inadequacies of the law. While the law finds it easy to render visible and to protect (saleable) private property, it struggles to fully recognise more complex land relationships. The people whose experience is described in this article felt disempowered, their lives effectively invisible. We problematise the continuing primacy of private property in post-apartheid South Africa and argue that the voices of those with other histories on the land should receive more serious attention.
Drawing on Alistair Fraser's concept of the ‘colonial present’, I show how private game farms are both conceptualised and deployed to maintain ideas of boundaries and belonging that sustain colonial ideals and identities. This article is located on the banks of the Mzinyathi River in KwaZulu-Natal, a river that has functioned as a boundary between various groups for almost two hundred years. The game farms located in this area conserve the idea of the river as a frontier space for ‘white’ South Africa and a boundary with ‘black’ South Africa, as well as entrenching their own boundaries through the imagination and realisation of an idealised space. I argue that the game farms safeguard and perpetuate a colonial present whilst obscuring opportunities for other ways of interpreting and using the space of the farm. Ultimately, how the game farms are now imagined and the way they operate is counterproductive to social transformation in the rural landscape.
As a result of shifting wildlife policy, approximately one-sixth of South Africa's total land has been ‘game-fenced’ and converted for wildlife-based production during the last three decades. The wildlife industry has thereby become a multibillion rand industry with an increasingly vocal political arena. Seeing nature and its production as an organised political project, this article sets out to give insight into the shifting power relations between wildlife utilisers, government officials and civil society in South Africa. It does so by examining the production of dominant narratives on wildlife in the emerging organisational field of wildlife policy. This article studies the Wildlife Forum, an important national discursive space in which government engages with non-governmental parties about wildlife policy. The article argues that by means of organisational and discursive restructuring, government and industry actors have promoted a discourse alliance that endorses both government's conservation interests and industry's development interests, while excluding dissenting voices.
This article examines competing interpretations of the nature and cause of Zimbabwe’s contemporary crisis. It finds that while neoliberal macroeconomic policies promoted by international financial institutions helped to provide a structural basis for the crisis, arguments attributing blame to Britain and to wider Western sanctions are overblown and inaccurate. Similarly, although Western reactions to Zimbabwe’s land reform have had a racist tinge, these paled in comparison with the explicit racist intent of policies adopted by the Zimbabwean Government. The claim that Zimbabwe is undergoing a process of progressive transformation must be weighed against the nature of state power, the intensification of class divisions, a precipitous economic decline, a problematic development strategy and the extreme abuse of human, civil and political rights.
This article attempts to unravel the rubric of livestock rearing in Southern Matabeleland in the aftermath of the Fast Track Land Reform and Resettlement Programme (FTLRRP). It also shows how livestock rearing has been placed high in livelihood rankings in this region. The article is based on a detailed ethnographic study of the impact of the FTLRRP in the decade 2000 to 2010 in Gwanda and Umzingwane districts, and is an extract of my PHD thesis entitled ‘Visible hectares, Vanishing livelihoods’. The broad argument of the thesis is that the land reform programme has achieved change of commercial land ownership patterns from ‘white’ to ‘black’ Zimbabweans. The programme however has not coupled that with the support necessary to improve the livelihoods of the majority of people in the region. One of the impediments is that the state-crafted ‘one size fits all’ resettlement model failed to take cognisance of the socio-economic and ecological conditions of different provinces in the country. Hence the argument in this article is that the FTLRRP could have improved livelihoods of people in this region if livestock rearing was given priority and support by the state.
This article addresses farm workers and farm dwellers' tenure insecurity and its relationship with farm conversions in the agricultural district of Cradock, located in the Eastern Cape Karoo. It argues that consequences of farm conversions for farm workers/dwellers' tenure security must be understood within the context of regional land and labour histories. Its main contention with existing positions that ‘blame’ farm conversions for increased evictions and an efflux of workers/dwellers from farms is that there is a correlative rather than causative relationship between farm conversions and farm worker/dweller displacements in the semi-arid areas. It argues that the extreme nature of the historical land question and the continued dominance of a historically white land-owning class in the semi-arid areas render farm workers/dwellers structurally vulnerable to having their residential arrangements on farms terminated at any given moment. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in Cradock between 2009 and 2011, the article shows that game farm conversions tend to perpetuate existing land and power relations on farms as they have prevailed over time. However, it also argues that the distinctiveness of game farm conversions lies in their near ‘irreversibility’ as a land use form which creates more permanently securitised and sealed-off pockets of consolidated land in the countryside. These transformations increase the erosion of farm workers/dwellers' embedded social histories and cultural imprint as a labouring class on the landscape.
This article focuses on local struggles and new social practices in Zambia, a country rarely discussed when investigating sites of resistance in the region. It reviews the economic history of Zambia, highlighting the centrality of mining to the country's political economy and the effects of the privatisation of Zambia's copper mines, one central part of the broader liberalisation programme undertaken in the 1990s, on former miners and mining communities. Spontaneous opposition to resettlement of local communities, as required by new private mine and landowners, led resistance to take on a more organised form, notably in the formation of the Luana Farmers' Cooperative. The cooperative met with some success under very challenging economic and political conditions, which may fall far short of a fundamental repudiation of neoliberal restructuring, but nonetheless strengthened the survival capacities and political clout of some of those most harshly affected by it.
This article investigates the current political struggle in Swaziland, focusing on the role of culture in the growing resistance by youth and other opposition groups to the political repression and naked greed of Swaziland's monarchy under King Mswati III. As this article shows, to date, opposition groups have been thwarted in their campaign for broad, but fairly straightforward, political changes in Swaziland: multi-party elections, parliamentary democracy, increased rights and citizens' participation in politics. The article explains that the King continues to use (and manipulate) culture and tradition to justify his authority, in particular through institutions like the ‘traditional Parliament’, tinkhundla, and the state investment company, tibiyo. These are, however, not part of ancient Swazi tradition; they were created by the monarchy in recent history to help the regime maintain its authority. To challenge the legitimacy of the king's rule, the opposition also creatively uses culture and tradition. The article shows how political dissidents have used songs and music, especially at funerals of political dissidents, to ‘re-claim’ culture and tradition in order to keep the struggle for political reform alive.
The article shows how the 2006 discovery of significant deposits of diamonds in eastern Zimbabwe transformed the minerals sector and its nascent regional business networks, with significant political implications. It argues that diamond revenues have been used to prop up the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party and maintain its hold on the state and dominance in the Government of National Unity. Internal battles over control of and access to diamonds posed a direct challenge to the viability of the new, ‘power-sharing’ unity government and prospects for a democratic transition in Zimbabwe. Because profits from mining are benefiting security forces and factions of the ZANU-PF elite, Zimbabwe's diamonds have cemented political corruption, further marginalised the two opposition parties, and may have guaranteed election victory for ZANU-PF in the country's next election.
In this article, we discuss how farm conversions to wildlife habitats result in the reconfiguration of spatial and social relations on white-owned commercial farms in the Karoo region of the Eastern Cape in South Africa. Farmers and landowners justify such conversions stressing economic and ecological rationales. We illustrate how conversions are (also) a reaction to post-apartheid land reform and labour legislation policies, which white farmers and landowners perceive as a serious threat. They seek to legitimate their position in society and reassert their place on the land by claiming a new role as nature conservationists. We argue that game farms should be interpreted as economically and politically contested spaces for three reasons: (1) whereas landowners present the farm workers' displacement from game farms as the unintended by-product of a changing rural economy, the creation of ‘pristine’ wilderness seems designed to empty the land of farm dwellers who may lay claim to the land; (2) game farms further disconnect the historically developed links between farm dwellers and farms, denying them a place of residence and a base for multiple livelihood strategies; (3) this way the conversion process deepens farm dwellers' experiences of dispossession and challenges their sense of belonging. Game fences effectively define farm workers and dwellers as people out of place. These dynamics contrast government reform policies aimed at addressing historical injustices and protecting farm dwellers' tenure security.
Tanzania was a critical ally to the independence movements of Southern Africa, and its post-independence experiences of nation-building became an important model for them. The country was a pioneer in the transformation of liberation movements into governing parties, the formation of the single-party state, the introduction of heterodox socialism cum economic nationalism and the rapid emergence of illiberal and authoritarian tendencies in newly liberated countries. This article argues that in Tanzania such authoritarian tendencies were intimately and paradoxically tied up with a principally benevolent commitment to transforming society along egalitarian lines and the rapid advancement of rural development. This commitment bore repressive fruits, however, when it combined with Nyerere's and other politicians' paternalistic view of the peasantry and their belief that they knew best; a framing of postcolonial politics as an ongoing struggle against neo-colonial enemies; and a parallel suspicion that counter-revolutionary, reactionary forces lurked behind a lack of popular enthusiasm for the single-party state's project of establishing Tanzania's particular brand of ‘ujamaa’ socialism. The Tanzanian case suggests a complex picture of the nature of authoritarian tendencies in former liberation movements in post-independence Southern Africa; Tanzania's experience shows that there is more, sometimes significantly more, to such tendencies than just the self-serving motives of ruling elites.
This article begins with Ruth's teaching at Durham and Dar es Salaam and teaching and research at the Centro de Estudos Africanos in Maputo. It discusses Ruth's research on how white farmers and mining houses in South Africa addressed their common problem of finding labour that was ‘abundant and … cheap’. She wrote about migrant workers to the South African mines from the South African end in ‘The gold of migrant labour’ and from the Mozambican end in Black Gold: the Mozambican miner. The address examines her analysis of the ‘power elite’ in Barrel of a Gun. It concludes with the threat that new legislation makes to investigative journalism in South Africa.
This paper focuses on the resettlement process taking place in the context of the creation of the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique, which is part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. About 27,000 people are currently living in the park; 7000 of whom are meant to be resettled to areas along the margins of the park. The Mozambican government and donors funding the creation of the park have maintained that no forced relocation will take place. However, the pressure created by restrictions on livelihood strategies resulting from park regulations, and the increased presence of wildlife has forced some communities to ‘accept’ the resettlement option. Nevertheless, donors and park authorities present the resettlement exercise as a development project. In the article we describe how the dynamics of the regional political economy of conservation led to the adoption of a park model and instigated a resettlement process that obtained the label ‘voluntary’. We analyse the nuances of volition and the emergent contradictions in the resettlement policy process
The paper develops an analytical framework for understanding the role of social media in the 2011 North African uprisings. It argues that analysis of the role of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media tools should be broken down into two distinct phases: a pre-mobilisation phase and a collective action phase. Using frame analysis and the notion of connective action, the paper demonstrates that during the pre-mobilisation phase social media allowed for the enlarging of the public sphere to new non-political actors, and permitted the sharing of grievances and the emergence of broad and resonant frames. During the collective action phase, mobilisation was able to occur thanks to a collective action frame based on the cultural norm of social justice as well as the emergence of hybrid organisational structures that relied on a cross between social media-based entrepreneurial networks and more traditional social movement organisations.
The Arab uprisings of 2011 challenge received wisdom concerning Arab political dynamics. The character of the movements at the heart of the revolts, and the speed with which they despatched four autocratic leaders from office, raise questions of the most basic kind about the relationship between ruler and ruled in North Africa and the Middle East. This article explores such questions following events in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen. It argues that the closure of political systems combined with socio-economic distress to stimulate broad demands for regime change. New movements mobilised largely without formal institutional structures, using new communication tools, and evaded the repressive apparatus of the state. However, the novel character of these movements limited their potential to exploit the political openings they created. Indeed, the post-revolutionary setting is one in which the dominant theme is the return of the ‘old’: established elites, including Islamists, who are reasserting their interests and are well-positioned to secure advantage.
This paper examines legislative oversight of the Executive in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, since the divisions within the ANC in the run-up to the party's 2007 Polokwane conference. It explores the dynamics of oversight and experiences of MPLs of the governing and opposition parties and of legislators and senior officials of government. Importantly, it assesses the perception and confidence of citizens in rural communities in the oversight process of the Legislature. The paper argues that the factions within the ruling party have had remarkable impact on the oversight of the Executive in the Eastern Cape. Whilst a vital element of the legislative process in the Eastern Cape, oversight is weak and ineffective: ineffectual oversight intersects with citizen apathy in legislative and oversight processes in the province.
Top-cited authors
Peter Kagwanja
  • Africa Policy Institute
Karuti Kanyinga
  • University of Nairobi
Jon Abbink
  • Leiden University
David Moore
  • University of Johannesburg
Bruce Baker
  • Coventry University