Postcolonial Ireland And Zimbabwe: Stagnation Before Convergence
This paper discusses the slow and hesitant integration of two post-colonial economies into the global economy. One is Ireland, whose independence began in 1921, but which only found its place securely at the productive frontier by the 1990s, with many setbacks on the way. The other is Zimbabwe, which ceased being a colony in 1965 but achieved proper independence only in 1980. Following independence, Zimbabwe’s economic performance in an increasingly globalized world was, like that of Ireland at first, hesitant and disappointing, even before its catastrophic decline in the past decade. Zimbabwe – now reckoned one of the poorest countries in the world – seems to have stumbled through a series of disastrous economic policy errors. Yet the struggles in Zimbabwe over land ownership and the errors in trade policy, fiscal discipline and even financial policy have parallels, more or less close, with the longer and ultimately more successful history of Irish independence.
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