Undergraduate Course: Zimbabwe: Politics of a Post-Colonial State (PLIT10071)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course explores post-colonial politics through the experience of one state. It will use the detailed study of Zimbabwe as a prism through which to interrogate the development of African states more generally; country-specific themes will be linked to wider readings and debates about post-colonial states. Students will consult and use primary sources alongside critical reading of secondary materials.
This course explores post-colonial politics through the experience of one state. It will use the detailed study of Zimbabwe as a prism through which to interrogate the development of African states more generally; country-specific themes will be linked to wider readings and debates about post-colonial states. Students will be encouraged to consult and use primary sources alongside critical reading of secondary materials.
A range of digital and audio-visual resources will made available to students, in addition to library resources.
Themes explored will include:
The origins of the state - the impact of settler society, the extractive structures of the state, and how demand for labour and land shape migration patterns, identity formation (race, class and ethnicity), and early political institutions;
the "imagining of ethnicity" and the impact of missionaries and labour migration on political identity and organization, as well as considering the contemporary implications of identity and citizenship;
the tensions and conflicts within the Zimbabwean nationalist movement, focusing on debates about peasant mobilization, the role of coercion, and will contrast the experiences in urban and rural areas. Ideological divides within the movements, and their impact on the post-independence parties will also be considered;
questions about the relationship between land use, racial segregation, conservation and the extractive economy. In the post-colonial period, the focus will be on the role of government, the "failure" of land reform, and the tensions between land restitution, land as a generator of growth, and land as a means of poverty alleviation;
post-colonial economic policy, exploring the government's rhetoric and reality, in particular the tensions between "development, growth and poverty", the role of international financial institutions, and the role of domestic NGOs.
elections since 1980 and how they have shaped politics in Zimbabwe. Particular attention will be paid to the role of ZANU(PF), the emergence (or lack thereof) of opposition parties in Zimbabwe, and the role of the judiciary and NGOs in election observing.
how the relationship between "civil society" and the state has changed during the post-colonial period, drawing attention to the varying relationships, and methodological challenges of studying civil society;
the post-colonial state¿s use of violence. It will explore the role of military and the war veterans, as well as the ways in which the state¿s use of violence has changed, as well as its discourses and justifications. Consideration will also be given to the efforts of human rights organizations to document human rights abuses, and hold the state to account;
questions of cultural nationalism, control and censorship. In addition to tracing the crackdown on independent newspapers and radio, the session will examine the regime's attempt to harness cultural entrepreneurs to its political agenda, as well as the ways in which musicians, writers, and actors have resisted state incursions into the creative domain, and the implications of this for the political arena;
Zimbabwe's regional position, evolving relations with its neighbours, as well as the broader diplomatic relations with key players such as the UK, the US and China, in the context of the current crisis.
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Visiting students should have at least 3 Politics/International Relations courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the recent history and contemporary politics of Zimbabwe
- Analyse the political processes and institutions of post-colonial states
- Assess and deploy primary and secondary source materials in discussion and written work
- Engage in scholarly discussion concerning the above topics
- Work confidently and independently, with guidance from the instructor, on an extended research essay.
|Dorman, Sara, Understanding Zimbabwe (2016)|
Gallagher, Julia Zimbabwe's international relations : fantasy, reality and the making of the state (2017)
Gatsheni-Ndlovu, Sabelo (ed), Mugabeism? History, Politics and Power in Zimbabwe (2015)
Raftopoulos, Brian and Alois Mlambo eds, Becoming Zimbabwe (2009)
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||By the end of the course, students should have strengthened their skills in:
1. Communication and Research ¿ analysing evidence and using this to develop and support a line of argument in written and oral work;
2. Critical Analysis ¿ comparing, contrasting and evaluating different arguments in the work of other authors;
3. Project Management ¿ working independently and as part of groups, prioritizing objectives, and working to deadlines;
4. IT ¿ locating material online, using online databases, LEARN and other online resources.
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||2 hour seminar
|Course organiser||Dr Sara Dorman
Tel: (0131 6)50 4239
|Course secretary||Mr Alexander Dysart
Tel: (0131 6)51 5197