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The political economy of Zimbabwe's descent into conflict

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Author Info

  • Tony Addison

    (World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations University (UNU|WIDER), Helsinki, Finland)

  • Liisa Laakso

    (Department of Political Science, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland)

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    Abstract

    The last two years have seen intensifying political violence in Zimbabwe. Could Zimbabwe slide further into political and economic turmoil? Or are there sufficient checks and balances in the social system to halt decline? The paper argues that the failed economic stabilization of the 1990s led to increased support for the opposition movement, especially among the middle-class and trade unionists who were hit by high inflation. The veterans of the liberation war and peasants-who are the power base of the ruling party both ideologically and as voters-also became increasingly disgruntled as they had received very little after independence while the leadership had enriched itself. The government was able buy the loyalty of the war veterans and to use them to intimidate the opposition, although it does not have full control over their actions. The paper concludes that democratic forces within civil society can play an important role in conflict prevention and resolution by building bridges between the different dissatisfied groups. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/jid.996
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.

    Volume (Year): 15 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 457-470

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:15:y:2003:i:4:p:457-470

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    Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/5102/home

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    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Tony Addison & Philippe Le Billon & S. Mansoob Murshed, 2002. "Conflict in Africa: The Cost of Peaceful Behaviour," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 11(3), pages 365-386, September.
    2. Rohrbach, David D., 1989. "The Economics of Smallholder Maize Production in Zimbabwe: Implications for Food Security," Food Security International Development Papers 54060, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    3. Collier, Paul & Hoeffler, Anke, 1998. "On Economic Causes of Civil War," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 563-73, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. Zikhali, Precious, 2008. "Tenure Security and Investments: Micro-evidence from Zimbabwe’s Fast Track Land Reform Programme," Working Papers in Economics 321, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    2. Kinsey, Bill H., 2004. "Zimbabwe's Land Reform Program: Underinvestment in Post-Conflict Transformation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1669-1696, October.
    3. Deininger, Klaus & Castagnini, Raffaella, 2006. "Incidence and impact of land conflict in Uganda," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 321-345, July.

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