The crisis that has engulfed Zimbabwe since 2000 is not simply a struggle against dictatorship. It is also a struggle over ideas and deep-seated historical issues, still unresolved from the independence process, that both Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF regime and Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC are vying first to define and then to address. This book traces the role of politicians and public intellectuals in media, civil society and the academy in producing and disseminating a politically usable historical narrative concerning ideas about patriotism, race, land, human rights and sovereignty. It raises pressing questions about the role of contemporary African intellectuals in the making of democratic societies. In so doing the book adds a new and rich dimension to the study of African politics, which is often diluted by the neglect of ideas.
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2010. XVIII, 286 pp.
Contents: African Nationalism – Robert Mugabe – Public Intellectuals – Patriotic History – The Use of History to Legitimise
Power – Human Rights – Sovereignty – Race Relations – History and Politics of Land in Africa – Nationalism – Ethnicity.