Understanding Zimbabwe: from Liberation to Authoritarianism

Understanding Zimbabwe’s trajectory from liberation to authoritarianism requires drawing on a broad set of debates that incorporate citizenship, voice, and nation-building, as well as the more obvious material drivers and power politics. This is a story of ambiguity and complexity in which the state and civil society mimic and learn from each other. We learn how both structural and direct violence are deployed by the regime, but also how ad-hoc and unplanned many of their interventions really were. Even as the liberation war generation reluctantly exits the Zimbabwean political stage, their influence continues to shape interaction between citizens and the state.

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