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The Decline of Zimbabwe 1980-2008: The Search for the Causal Dynamics

Zengeni, Knocks Tapiwa (2011) The Decline of Zimbabwe 1980-2008: The Search for the Causal Dynamics. PhD. thesis, Universiti Utara Malaysia.

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Abstract

Since the late 1990s, Zimbabwe has undergone a sharp and staggering political and socioeconomic decline. Zimbabwe, once a paragon of political stability and economic success in Africa is now an integral component of the continent's growing family of failing states. All the signs of a state in crisis are visible. Since 1999 the country's economy has shrunk by over 40 percent. The country's inflation rate reached unprecedented levels of over 230 million per cent in 2008.A significant part of the population has been depended on food aid over the past decade. An estimated 80 percent of the population lives below the poverty line and 3 million of its people have since emigrated to other countries in search of better opportunities. Furthermore, Zimbabwe has been ostracised by the Western world and is generally regarded by that part of the world as a pariah state. Clearly, Zimbabwe is currently experiencing the worst political and socio-economic crisis of its 31 year old history as an independent state. In spite of its current deplorable state, Zimbabwe had a promising start and was generally considered an African model state. How did this happen? And who is responsible? Who has failed Zimbabwe? The decline of the post independent state of Zimbabwe has many causal dynamics. However, there has been an over emphasis on the culpability of Robert Mugabe and his regime for the present crisis in the extant literature and media platforms. An attempt is made in this study to show that there are other contributing factors as well other than Mugabe. Firstly, the study discusses three broad historical factors which played a fundamental role in the evolution of the present crisis in Zimbabwe, that is, the British colonial legacy, the liberation war and the Lancaster House Agreement of 1979. Secondly, the study examines the internal factors and conditions which have also defined the political and socio-economic crisis in Zimbabwe. Some of these factors include the implementation of the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP); the fierce contest for power between the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF) and the opposition forces; Zimbabwe's intervention in the Democratic Republic of Congo war and the fast track land reforms. Thirdly, the study exposes the external casual factors that have also shaped the rapid decline of Zimbabwe since 2000. This includes Western sanctions, including those imposed by organisations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, biased western media blitz and western support for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) as having aggravated the crisis in Zimbabwe. A new hybrid theoretical framework premised on the theories of regime change and regime security is developed to understand the above mentioned real causes of state decline and to explain why a once promising country has become embroiled in a crisis of unimaginable proportions .

Item Type: Thesis (PhD.)
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
Divisions: College of Law, Government and International Studies (COLGIS)
Depositing User: Mr. Badrulsaman Hamid
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2013 03:21
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2016 02:53
URI: http://etd.uum.edu.my/id/eprint/3435

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