CAHSS Faculty Articles

Title

The Politics of Entitlement and State Failure in Zimbabwe

Department

Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

Publication Date

2008

Publication Title

Peace Research

ISSN

0008-4697

Volume

40

Issue/No.

1

First Page

77

Last Page

101

Abstract

In 2008, the meltdown of the post colonial state of Zimbabwe climaxed in violence-ridden presidential elections. The egregious extent of the violence instigated an unprecedented departure from the African diplomatic practice of speaking no evil of fellow leaders, with one or two countries even refusing to recognize Mugabe's presidency. Although the repressive nature of the government earned it international condemnation, for at least twenty years after independence Mugabe received significant electoral endorsement and little public protest. Even when forces massacred segments of the population and violently evicted the poor from the cities, no civil society uprising emerged. This raises the question why the population acquiesced in the rulership of an inept and corrupt government. Utilizing theoretical concepts from Gramsci and Foucault, this paper argues that a hegemonic interplay of consensual and forceful power, based on an ethos of liberation entitlement that was accepted by the public in part due to colonial resentment, enabled ZANU PF to maintain a monopoly on political office under the façade of democratic governance.

ORCID ID

0000-0003-3937-0431

Peer Reviewed

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