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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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8 Dynamics of Civil Society 417


417 8 Dynamics of Civil Society During the 1990s, the Tanzanian civil society unfolded in response to four factors: the socio-economic pressures caused by economic liberalization, dwindling social services due to austerity policies, perceived shortcomings in the process of democratization and supportive donor policies. Hence, four arenas of action will be at the focus of analysis: 1. the socio-economic arena, where actors develop economic options, cope with economic constraints and compete or cooperate economically with one another, 2. the socio-political arena of social service provisioning, care and social security, including state-society interactions in this field, 3. the political arena of interaction between civil society organizations and government representatives, Parliament, the judiciary, political parties and individual politicians, 4. the arena of interaction between civil society organizations and donor agencies, or more indirectly, between civil society organizations and government authorities which implement donor-driven policies. In order to work out the dynamics in these arenas, cases from various areas in Tanzania are presented and discussed in the light of the following aspects: aims, activities and organizational structures of civil society groups, social structure of activists and social environment of activities, relations with other civil society groups and donor organizations, relations with state authorities and officials, politicians and political parties. Based on case analyses, the main actors, structures, moves and trends in Tanzanian civil society will be identified. The overview starts with organizations which occur most frequently throughout the country, i.e. the various socio-economic and socio-cultural groups (8.1) and the cooperative societies (8.2). It...

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