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Do ‘Zimbabweans’ Exist?

Trajectories of Nationalism, National Identity Formation and Crisis in a Postcolonial State

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Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni

This book examines the triumphs and tribulations of the Zimbabwean national project, providing a radical and critical analysis of the fossilisation of Zimbabwean nationalism against the wider context of African nationalism in general. The book departs radically from the common ‘praise-texts’ in seriously engaging with the darker aspects of nationalism, including its failure to create the nation-as-people, and to install democracy and a culture of human rights. The author examines how the various people inhabiting the lands between the Limpopo and Zambezi Rivers entered history and how violence became a central aspect of the national project of organising Zimbabweans into a collectivity in pursuit of a political end.

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Acknowledgements ix List of Abbreviations xi Chapter One Introduction: Deconstructing the National Project 1 Chapter Two Nationalism and its Moments 39 Chapter Three National Identity and Common Citizenship 95 Chapter Four A Nation within a Nation 149 Chapter Five Violence and Impunity 189 Chapter Six Mugabeism as Nationalism 233 Chapter Seven Endgame or Elite Transition? 299 Chapter Eight Conclusion 345 Bibliography 367 Index 401

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