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Departures from Post-Colonial Authoritarianism

Analysis of System Change with a Focus on Tanzania

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Elke Grawert

This study sends the reader on an exciting journey into social and political life in Africa. It gives space to the voices of Tanzanian villagers, rural associations, branches of political parties and local government officers and their views of socio-economic and political change during the 1990s. This authentic picture is combined with a thorough sociological and political economy analysis showing the dynamics in the relations between state components and social forces in the context of neo-liberal globalization. The book is not only attractive as a country case study. It contains a deep analysis of the paradigmatic shift of African political systems from post-colonial rule to governance in response to neo-liberalism and provides new insights in processes of political transformation.

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4 Sites and Methodology of Research 157

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157 4 Sites and Methodology of Research Chapters 2 and 3 have clarified that, framed by the global neo-liberal regime, current simultaneous political and economic transformations affect the political institutions, norms and attitudes of a given society, the policies of the ruling elite, the interactions within elite factions and between national and local elites as well as the interactions between political elites and civil society. But the direction is not one-way: the combined transformations are also shaped by the institutions and political cultures existing in a society and polity as well as by the various interactions. The extent and quality of change can be analyzed by investigating these fields in a diachronical perspective. In this book, analysis of political institutional developments, interactions within political elites and elite-society interactions in the post-colonial era is based on a selective review of the relevant literature and qualitative research. The author conducted a field study in various districts of Tanzania in 1997, 1998 and 2000 for three months each time, recording institutional change and particularly, dynamics of interactions between elites and society at local level. Two field visits were done in the middle of the parliamentary term after the first parliamentary election since the introduction of the multiparty system, and one during the period of campaigning for the ballot in 2000. The timing of this created the opportunity to examine the constellation of political groups during a period of little competitive pressure and, during the last field visit, to witness how the profiles of...

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