Zimbabwe's severe crisis - and a possible way out of it with a transitional government, and the new era for which it prepares the ground - demands a coherent scholarly response. 'Progress' can be employed as an organising theme across many disciplinary approaches to Zimbabwe's societal devastation. At wider levels too, the concept of progress is fitting. It underpins 'modern', 'liberal' and 'radical' perspectives of development pervading the social sciences and humanities. Yet perceptions of 'progress' are subject increasingly to intensive critical inquiry. Their gruesome end is signified in the political projects of Robert Mugabe and ZANU-PF. John Gray's Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia indicates this.
It is expected that participants will engage directly in debates about how the idea of 'progress' has informed their disciplines - from political science and history to labour and agrarian studies, and then relate these arguments to the Zimbabwean case in general and their research in particular.
This book was published as a special issue of the Journal of Contemporary African Studies.
1. Progress, power, and violent accumulation in Zimbabwe 2. ZANU PF politics under Zimbabwe’s ‘Power-Sharing’ Government 3. Narratives of progress: Zimbabwean historiography and the end of history 4. Civil society and state-centred struggles 5. Anti-developmental patrimonialism in Zimbabwe 6. Foreign investment, black economic empowerment and militarised patronage politics in Zimbabwe 7. Teachers’ and bank workers’ responses to Zimbabwe’s crisis: uneven effects, different strategies 8. ‘New realities’ and tenure reforms: land-use in worker-peasant communities of south-western Zimbabwe (1940s-2006) 9. Two perspectives on Zimbabwe’s National Democratic Revolution: Thabo Mbeki and Wilfred Mhanda 10. Reflections on the concept of progress - and Zimbabwe 11. Shifting the debate on land reform, poverty and inequality in Zimbabwe, an engagement with Zimbabwe’s Land Reform: Myths and Realities