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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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10 Views on Democracy and the Multi-Party System 553


553 10 Views on Democracy and the Multi-party System The previous chapters have provided insights into political action, participation and organization of Tanzanian citizens at various levels and spheres of the transforming political system. The last chapter included a review of the political culture of rural citizens based on action analysis. In this final chapter, the political culture in Tanzania will now be analyzed in the common terms of attitudes, orientations and values as expressed by Tanzanian citizens. The focus will be on how rural citizens perceive democracy and what differences there are in attitude towards democracy and the multi-party system among unorganized rural people, local government officials and politicians. One prevalent approach to studying the political culture of the masses has been carrying out opinion polls in order to reveal authoritarian or democratic attitudes and orientations. In Tanzania, the Nyalali opinion poll provided results that indicated a wide-spread demand for democracy, however within the one-party system. Shortly before the first presidential and parliamentary elections within the multi-party system in 1995, attitudes of Tanzanians towards democracy were again collected. Participants were asked, among other things, to mark in a list which one of various listed actions they would choose to influence and change government policy in case of disagreement. An overwhelming majority preferred to approach their leaders and argue with them peacefully. The researcher drew the conclusions that only a small number of people would choose democratic means and that a paternalistic, authoritarian concept of politics was prevalent in rural...

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