Challenge to Imperialism is the first comprehensive analysis of the Zimbabwean struggle for independence in its international context. Based on extensive research in the southern African region and on interviews with the ZANU and ZAPU leaders in exile during the war, this study is an analysis of the crucial support given to the Zimbabwean nationalists by the five Frontline States—Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia. The book begins with a summary of the variable relations among the Frontline States and between those states and the Zimbabwean nationalists. More than once, Frontline governments put Zimbabwean nationalists in their own jails as tensions arose over leadership, conduct of the war, and terms for peace. Yet the Frontline States maintained their support in spite of the extremely high cost to their own economic development. How could these weak and economically dependent states confront the dominant interests in the region? Was Lancaster House simply a capitulation to imperialist interests, a constitution forced on the nationalists by the beleaguered Frontline States? This theoretical analysis addresses the complexity of these questions and suggests lessons for the current struggles in Namibia and in South Africa. Further, Dr. Thompson discusses the formation of the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) as an attempt to transform the Zimbabwean political victory into regional economic cooperation. This study of the political and economic background of Zimbabwean independence is important not only to those concerned about Zimbabwe and southern Africa, but also to those interested in the nature of liberation struggles and in the role of the state in developing countries.
The Frontline States -- Introduction -- The Alliance In Action -- The High Price Of Political Victory -- Dependence Of The Frontline Political Economies -- Across The Negotiating Table: Allies Of Rhodesia -- Relative State Autonomy: Revolutionary Support For Zimbabwean Liberation -- Limitations To State Autonomy: Populist Support For Zimbabwean Liberation -- Legacy Of The Frontline: Southern African Development Co-ordination Conference (SADCC) -- Conclusion