Conflict in perpetuity? Examining Zimbabwe’s protracted social conflict through the lens of land reform

Sims, Bryan M. (2015-04)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This dissertation analyses the relationship between civil society and political leadership within the context of Zimbabwe’s protracted social conflict, particularly through the lens of land policy. Through the use of strategic informants, it yields important insights into the origins, form and impact of political leadership and civil society in a way that will expose the dynamics of elite and grassroots mobilisation and the political context in which land policy is either made or obstructed. Specifically, this dissertation examines two research questions. First, if political leadership is not representative of the citizenry, is land policy more likely to engender overt conflict? Second, if civil society has an autonomous role in the public sphere, is land policy more likely to benefit citizens? This dissertation also confronts an emerging empirical problem: the absence of descriptive data in regards to how civil society and political leadership have engaged in reforming land policy in Zimbabwe during the period of transition from 2008 to 2013. By measuring representation and autonomy – indicators of human needs satisfaction– this dissertation traced each phase of the protracted social conflict as it both helped to create the conditions for a liberation model of representation while simultaneously further exacerbating protracted social conflict within Zimbabwe.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis ontleed die verhouding tussen die burgerlike samelewing en politieke leierskap veral deur die lens van grondbeleid, binne die konteks van Zimbabwe se uitgerekte sosiale konflik. Dit het ten doel om belangrike insigte op te lewer in die oorsprong, vorm en impak van politieke leierskap en die burgerlike samelewing. Die word blootgestel in 'n manier wat die dinamika van die elite en mobilisering op grondvlak in ag neem soweel as die politieke konteks waarin grondbeleid óf gemaak is of belemmer word. Hierdie tesis konfronteer ook 'n opkomende empiriese probleem: die afwesigheid van beskrywende data met betrekking tot die betrokkenheod van die burgerlike samelewing en politieke leierskap tydens die grondhervorming proses in Zimbabwe gedurende die tydperk van oorgang tussen 2008 en 2013. Deur die meting van verteenwoordiging en outonomie - aanwysers van menslike behoeftes bevrediging - word elke fase van die uitgerekte sosiale konflik ondersoek met betrekking tot hoe ‘n bevryding model van verteenwoordigheid beide gehelp het om die voorwaardes te skepvir die eindeiging van die PSC; maar terselfdertyd het dit ook die sosiale konflik in Zimbabwe verder uitgerek. !

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96932
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