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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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9 Changing Relations between Rural Citizens and State: An Actor-oriented Approach to Analyzing Transformation 511

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511 9 Changing Relations between Rural Citizens and State: An Actor-oriented Approach to Analyzing Transformation Countries that are in a process of transformation towards democratic rule are inevitably caught in the dilemma between enhanced dynamics in society and the need to keep up stability and order during the process of restructuring the political system (see Schmitter 1996: 87-92; Przeworski 1990: 202). Demands towards the political institutions are increasing and a multitude of societal groups strive at more participation. The institutions of state and government, however, are still orientated towards representative or dirigiste functions and, if under pressure, tend to be used in an authoritarian way (Zinecker 1999: 9-10). Considering this background, this chapter presents a study of conflict at the interface of state and society in Tanzania (see also Long 1993: 218). Actor- oriented conflict analyses are held to make possible an adequate assessment of the ongoing process of transformation. Land conflicts form a field of conflict which has dimensions not only inside society but also concerns the relation between society and state and is furthermore linked to economic liberalization. There is already a tradition of linking land conflicts to political system transformation in political thought, from which two main propositions can be extracted: 1. Modernization, presumably also in its contemporary form of economic liberalization, is accompanied by social differentiation and enhanced expression of commercial agricultural and urban-civilian interests, as well as new opportunities for foreign investors. The respective groups have a strong interest in clarifying land ownership and hence,...

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