Liberation Movements in Power

May 2013
400 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Library eBook
James Currey
BISAC POL010000, POL053000, HIS047000

Liberation Movements in Power

Party and State in Southern Africa

Roger Southall

eBook for Handhelds
Analyses the ZANU-PF in Zimbabwe, SWAPO in Namibia and the ANC in South Africa and to what extent their promises of democracy have been effected in government.
The liberation movements of Southern Africa arose to combat racism, colonialism and settler capitalism and engaged in armed struggle to establish democracy. After victory over colonial and white minority regimes, they moved into government embodying the hopes and aspirations of their mass of supporters and of widespread international solidarity movements. Even with the difficult legacies they inherited, their performance in power has been deeply disappointing. Roger Southall tracks the experiences in government of ZANU-PF, SWAPO and the ANC, arguing that such movements are characterised by paradoxical qualities, both emancipatory and authoritarian. Analysis is offered of their evolution into political machines through comparative review of their electoral performance, their relation to state and society, their policies regarding economic transformation, and their evolution as vehicles of class formation and predatory behaviour. The author concludes that, while they will survive organizationally, their essence as progressive forces is dying, and that hopes of a genuine liberation throughout the region will depend upon political realignments alongside moral and intellectual regeneration.

ANC South Africa
SWAPO Namibia
Zanu-PF Zimbabwe

Roger Southall is Professor Emeritus in Sociology, University of the Witwatersrand and a Research Associate of the Society, Work and Development Institute.

Southern Africa (South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Swaziland): University of KwaZulu-Natal Press

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Analysing Liberation Movements as Governments
Settler Colonialism in Southern Africa
The Evolution of the Liberation Movements
The War for Southern Africa
Contradictions of Victory
Liberation Movements and Elections
Liberation Movements and the State
Liberation Movements and Society
Liberation Movements and Economic Transformation
The Party State, Class Formation and the Decline of Ideology
Fueling the Party Machines
The Mafia State? The ANC under Jacob Zuma
Conclusion: The Slow Death of the Liberation Movements


[I]t is only through transparent and thorough research that politically sensitive history can be unravelled and this is precisely what the author has achieved with his Liberation Movements in Power: Party and State in Southern Africa. ITINERARIO

An important comparative study ... essential reading for anyone interested in this topic. STRATEGIC REVIEW FOR SOUTHERN AFRICA

Comparative in its approach, research-rich, even-handed and a sobering read. POLITIKON

An important achievement in particular for its synthetic vision and persuasive overall argument. AFRICA SPECTRUM

A welcome addition to the literature [which] should be viewed as required reading for anyone wanting to get to grips with the topic. COMMONWEALTH & COMPARATIVE POLITICS

A theoretically rich and empirically grounded account of an important subset of African political regimes. . This highly recommended book is essential reading. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF AFRICAN HISTORICAL STUDIES

Encyclopaedic in detail and scope, elegantly written and carefully analysed, and makes a convincing and nuanced argument for the degeneration of NLMs. ... [This] important volume should become essential reading to anyone hoping to unpick the failures of liberation in southern Africa. REVIEW OF AFRICAN POLITICAL ECONOMY

A mine of information for researchers and those wanting to pick over the wide literature on the topic. AFRICAN ARGUMENTS

With meticulous detail and extensive documentation, Southall analyses the theoretical and political environment of Southern Africa and the growth of the liberation movements. . Highly recommended. CHOICE, February 2014

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