State, Land and Democracy in Southern Africa: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

State, Land and Democracy in Southern Africa

1st Edition

By Arrigo Pallotti, Corrado Tornimbeni


208 pages

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Each country in southern Africa has a unique history but in all of them socio-economic inequalities and high poverty levels weaken the governments’ legitimacy and represent a challenge to models of economic development. One key issue appears to be the solution of the land question. This vital concern affects both citizenship and democracy in the political systems of the region, yet no government has shown the capacity or commitment to solve it. In this volume leading European, American and African scholars explore in detail the relationship between state, land and democracy. They examine the historical background of asset allocation and its impact on questions of nationality, the definition of citizenship, human rights and the current political and economic processes in southern Africa.


’All the contributions to this timely book on the politics of land in Southern Africa are country-studies, but the collection is not a survey. Rather each chapter analyses a specific problem in historical depth. With the guidance of a reflective introduction by Mario Zamponi, this strategy helps the reader to understand sometimes neglected aspects of Southern Africa’s agrarian questions.’ Bridget O'Laughlin, Institute of Social and Economic Studies (IESE), Mozambique

Table of Contents

1. State, Land and Democracy: Reflecting on Agrarian Change in Southern Africa, Mario Zamponi

Part I

2. An Unfinished Agenda in a Neoliberal Context: State, Land and Democracy in Malawi, Blessings Chinsinga

3. Rural Development and the Fight against Poverty in Tanzania: A Fifty-Year Perspective, Arrigo Pallotti

4. State, Poverty and Agriculture in Zambia: The Impact of State Policies after Democratization, Federico Battera

5. Land and Labour Contestation in Manica, Mozambique: Historical Issues in Contemporary Dynamics, Corrado Tornimbeni

Part II

6. Proposed Large-Scale Compensation for White Farmers as an Anglo-American Negotiating Strategy for Zimbabwe, 1976-1979, Timothy Scarnecchia

7. Land Reform, Livelihoods and the Politics of Agrarian Change in Zimbabwe, Ian Scoones

8. Women and Land in Zimbabwe: State, Democracy and Gender Issues in Evolving Livelihoods and Land Regimes, Rude B. Gaidzanwa

9. Ecolonization and the Creation of Insecurity Regimes: The Meaning of Zimbabwe's Land Reform Programme in Regional Context, Padraig Carmody

About the Authors

Arrigo Pallotti is Associate Professor of History of Africa at the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the University of Bologna (Forlì Campus), Italy, and Research Fellow in the Centre for Africa Studies at the University of the Free State, South Africa. Corrado Tornimbeni is Lecturer of History of Africa at the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the University of Bologna, Italy.

About the Series

Contemporary African Politics

Once seen only as a continent of poverty, violence and corruption, the Africa of today is a vibrant place where social forces demand representative governance, in the process generating fresh forms of complexities in the political, social and economic life of ordinary Africans. Whether what we are witnessing is a third liberation of the continent: the first from colonialism, the second from autocratic indigenous rule and now something far more different, is a work in progress.

This series seeks original approaches to furthering our understanding of the ensuing changes on the continent. The series includes work that progresses comparative analysis of African politics. It looks at the full range and variety of African politics in the twenty-first century covering the changing nature of African society, gender issues, economic prosperity and poverty to the development of relations between African states, external organisations and between leaders and the people they would govern. The series aims to publish work by senior scholars as well as the best new researchers and features original research monographs, thematically strong edited collections and specialised texts.

To submit a proposal for Contempoary African Politics please contact Leanne Hinves [email protected]

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Africa / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies