Governance, Local Politics and 'Districtization' in Tanzania: the 1998 Arumeru Tax Revolt
AbstractIn 1998 Arumeru District, NE Tanzania, erupted in a revolt over taxation. In one of the most remarkable instances of rural political mobilisation since Independence, almost the entire population of the District refused to pay Local Government Development Levy. Consistent with supporters of a donor-inspired 'Governance Agenda', some commentators in Tanzania lauded the revolt as evidence that multi-party democracy was finally leading to a new era of transparency and democratic accountability in development administration. The present paper provides an account of the revolt and argues that such an interpretation is premature: popular mobilisation was the outcome of a contingent conjuncture in which acute economic hardship coincided with elite interests of a factional nature; the revolt does not demonstrate the ability of peasants to hold leaders accountable on a regularised basis. More generally, the revolt is symptomatic of a process of class de-structuring under which Tanzania's middle class now secures its reproduction not through national organs of the state but through struggle for control of local institutions. This process, dubbed 'districtization', has important implications for political stability and accountability in Tanzania.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford in its series QEH Working Papers with number qehwps41.
Date of creation:
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Queen Elizabeth House 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TB United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (1865) 281800
Fax: +44 (1865) 281801
Web page: http://www.qeh.ox.ac.uk/
More information through EDIRC
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
You can help add them by filling out this form.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Rachel Crawford).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.