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Matlosa, Khabele. The State of Democratisation in Southern Africa: Blocked Transitions, Reversals, Stagnation, Progress and Prospects
2017, Politikon, 44(1), pp. 5–26. doi: 10.1080/02589346.2017.1278640.
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Abstract:

Southern Africa has experienced highs and lows in its efforts towards democratisation. Following political independence of Southern Africa states, the germination of democratisation was a rather slow process. A brief period of multi-party democracy introduced through pre-independence elections quickly dissipated and was replaced by one-party, one-person and, in some instances, military regimes. This era also coincided with the height of the Cold War globally and the heyday of apartheid in which inter-state conflicts had intensified. Since the late 1980s and early 1990s, a new dispensation has emerged wherein multi-party democracy has re-emerged in the context of the post-Cold War and post-apartheid dispensation, marked by relative peace dividend. However, democratisation in Southern Africa remains a mixed bag today. Some countries have not yet experienced the democratic transition. Others have managed to transition from one-party, one-person and military regimes to multi-party democracies. In various others, there are signs of reversal of democratic gains. This paper reviews the state of democratisation in Southern Africa with a view to understand why the regional record is so uneven across countries that form the Southern African Development Community (SADC). While the article presents a regional snapshot, it also presents comparative insights from Botswana and Lesotho.

Comment: The author debates the popular notion of whether states were 'fit for democracy' by asking whether they became 'fit through democracy' through the example of South African countries. The paper thus contributes to the debate on democratisation of formerly colonised/ authoritarian countries and the ideas in political science about democratic trajectories by investigating the linkages between political transitions and democratisation. This article can be used by students of political history in tracing the history of democratisation around the world, as well as in the debate of the longterm impacts of colonisation and authoritarian rule on democracy.

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Ndlovu-Gatsheni, Sabelo. J. How did Europe Rule Africa? Dialectics of Colonialism and African Political Consciousness in the Matabeleland Region of Zimbabwe
2008, “How Did Europe Rule Africa? Dialectics of Colonialism and African Political Consciousness in the Matabeleland Region of Zimbabwe,” Lwati: A Journal of Contemporary Research, 5(1).
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Abstract:

The question of how Europe ruled Africa relates to the crucial issues of settlernative identity as constructions of colonialism as well as political consciousness formation and development among the colonized as well as the colonizers. Because colonialism operated ambiguously throughout its life to the extent of hiding its adverse contours of epistemological and mental invasion that have come to haunt during the post-colonial era, it deserve to be subjected to systematic theorization and historicization. This article deploys various conceptual tools culled from post-colonial theories to delve deeper into the dialectics and ontology of colonial governance in Zimbabwe and it simultaneously historicize the phenomenon of colonial governance on the basis of how white Rhodesians inscribed themselves in Matabeleland in the early twentieth century. It also systematically interrogates the development of Ndebele political consciousness under the alienating influences of settler colonialism up to the mid-twentieth century. The article contributes to the broader debates on colonial encounters and colonial governance that have left an indelible mark on ex-colonies across the world. Colonialism was not just a footnote in African history. It had long term pervasive impact of altering everyone and everything that it found in Africa.

Comment: Contributes to the debate on the long-term impacts of colonialism and how it was near impossible to break free from the institutionalised colonial discourse in postcolonial Zimbabwe. Shows that indigenous people are transformed in their conventions and discourse through engaging with colonialism, even in their engagement is in opposition to colonialism. Useful in that the article synthesises many theoretical post-colonial ideas and makes tangible by applying them to the Zimbabwean case. Useful for a teaching on decolonisation, how colonial governments functioned and interdisciplinary teaching on sociology/anthropology/history.

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