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Departures from Post-Colonial Authoritarianism

Analysis of System Change with a Focus on Tanzania


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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5 Patterns of Rule and Political Participation in Tanzania 1961-90 191


191 5 Patterns of Rule and Political Participation in Tanzania 1961-1990 A prerequisite of assessing the departure from post-colonial authoritarianism in Tanzania is a historical analysis of the patterns of rule, the extent of political participation and the development of the economic structures since independence. The focus of analysis is on institutional change, which is considered as reflecting the outcomes of social action and the path dependence of problem solutions. 5.1 Colonial Heritage and Changes after Independence The economic structures of Tanganyika124 at independence were the result of the colonial incorporation of selected agrarian products into the world market. The British and French, who successfully claimed the larger share of Africa at the Berlin Conference of 1885, mainly pursued a policy of turning Africans into farmers of cash crop for export to the mother countries. German colonizers developed an export-oriented agricultural sector through settler economies in Southern Africa, Kenya and the northern areas of German East Africa, the territory which became mainland Tanzania later on. When the former German colonies were put under British and French mandate after World War I, cash crop production by African farmers became the main mechanism of world market incorporation. This was also the case in Tanganyika. Coercion was the means by which subsistence-oriented peasants, who occasionally sold a surplus on domestic markets, were transformed into producers of for the most part newly introduced cash crops. For this purpose, the colonial rulers established ‘bifurcated states’ in Africa (Mamdani 1996). The main division was along racial...

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