Back to Index
for book chapters: Zimbabwe in Transition
for a Democratic Alternative for Zimbabwe (IDAZIM)
for abstracts: 30 October 2010
97 version - (40KB)
PDF version - (32KB)
you do not have the free Acrobat reader on your computer, download
it from the Adobe website by clicking
Zimbabwe is arguably
a country in transition. Since 1999, the country has experienced
years of intense political conflict between the then ruling ZANU-PF
party and the erstwhile opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC). By the time the watershed 2008 harmonised elections wre held,
Zimbabwe had fallen into a state of almost complete economic and
social collapse characterized by poor public services especially
in the areas of primary health care, provision of clean water, electricity
and shortages in basic commodities. .
2008, the political leadership finally embarked on a new path when
rival parties signed a tripartite inter-party
power-sharing agreement. A coalition government was finally
formed in February 2009 amidst significant outstanding issues that
carried conflict and contestation into the life of the power-sharing
agreement. This 'unity' government took office in February
2009 and is commonly referred to as the "Inclusive Government."
Its installment has helped
to reduce extreme political violence and stabilize the economy.
However, a long way remains in solving the structural causes of
Zimbabwe's internecine political conflict and the attendant
economic problems. Given the hesitancy of international cooperating
partners to establish formal aid relations with Harare, the task
to restore growth to the economy, and fulfilling basic social service
is still a far cry. Thus, the Inclusive Government is struggling
to make its case to some powerful sections of the international
community who seem shy to embrace a regime that still appears to
have its authoritarian pillars intact.
In this regard, while
the power-sharing government was initially greeted with relief and
unbridled optimism by Zimbabwean citizens, the slow pace of stabilization,
persistence of high levels of unemployment and fears that the old
regime is not ready to surrender power have cooled down earlier
It is therefore vitally
important to capture and provide an interpretative narration of
these rapidly evolving circumstances and experiences to capture
this complex where the contestation for the control of the state
is paramount. The proposed book series seeks to do that.
is that a transition is an interval of intense contestation and
uncertain outcome between political regimes. Zimbabwe entered such
a period with the signing of the GPA but the transition is nascent,
fragile and uncompleted. Luckily, Zimbabwe, though a fragile state,
is not a failed state for it still retains (a) a monopoly of organized
violence, a defining attribute of a state, (b) a residual capacity
to deliver services, and (c) international legal recognition.
As a fragile state, Zimbabwe
surely has deficits in all the dimensions of a governance system
including political governance, economic-administrative governance,
and security governance. These three interlinked dimensions of governance
represent core challenges for rebuilding fragile states. Zimbabwe
is lacking in political legitimacy and administrative effectiveness
and cannot guarantee human security. Notwithstanding this general
conclusion about the state of governance in the country, not much
is known about each of the three interacting sub-systems. Further,
knowledge is lacking as to the kind and quality of these dimensions
that would facilitate and move forward the democratic transition.
Numerous research questions
come up in trying to unpack the Zimbabwe's transition. For
instance, when did Zimbabwe's transition start? What structural
conditions were at play and what were the triggering factors? What
are the pivotal institutions and who are the critical players who
facilitate and/or impede the transition? What is the likelihood
of the Inclusive Government shepherding the transition processes?
Or is the coalition government merely interrupting a long running
structural pattern of resilient authoritarianism? What do ordinary
citizens think about what is happening in their political arena
during this deeply challenging period? Understanding popular priorities
and preferences, and gauging the public's own assessments
of how the coalition government has performed on the ground in ways
that affect their daily lives must be part of the discourse on the
country's future. This is what the proposed book series wish
The objective of the
book is to critically understand - through analysis -
issues of democratic governance, democratic transition, role of
civil society in transition processes, structural and agential factors
in the transition, institution-building and matters of state capacity
and public sector-decision making. A distinguished panel of academics
will review and edit the book for publication.
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.