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Title: The politics of land in Tanzania
Author: Sundet, Geir
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1997
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This is a study of the politics of public policy. It provides analysis of land policy and a study of policy making and of the Tanzanian state. Rather than deducing the state's agenda from its actions and the policies it produces, this thesis seeks to examine the interactions between the significant factions and personae of the Tanzanian political and administrative elites. This approach goes beyond identifying the divisions within the state between the Party leadership, the technocrats within the Government, and the Presidency. The thesis demonstrates how the ways in which conflicts are resolved, or deferred, and compromises are reached can lead to outcomes which do not necessarily constitute the sum of identifiable interests. In particular, a 'hidden level of government' is uncovered which consists of a technocratic elite which has, to a large extent, managed to depoliticise otherwise sensitive and controversial policy decisions and thus impose their stamp on policy outcomes. This approach to the analysis of rural land policies reveals the continuities in the state's approach to land issues. Since the colonial period, the objective of Tanzania's land policies has been to transform the countryside from the presumed inefficiencies of the 'traditional' modes of land use to fit the needs of a 'modern' and monetised economy. The modernising policies have provided the rationale for an authoritarian approach to land tenure and have been implemented by a centralised land administration. This thesis' historical analysis of the policies associated with the period of ujamaa and villagisation, and of the case studies of the 1983 Agricultural Policy and the 1995 National Land Policy, show that a modernising discourse and centralising administrative practices have remained at the centre of the policy agenda, despite dramatic changes in economic strategies and political institutions, and controversies over the future direction of land policies. The resulting land tenure regime relies on discretionary decision making by politicians and land officials and fails to provide workable procedures of checks and controls against malpractice. This study's detailed examination of the formulation of the National Land Policy reveals how a small elite of senior civil servants were able to hijack the policy making process and side-step political pressure for reform. They ignored, or appropriated selectively, the evidence and recommendations produced by comprehensive policy reviews, including the 1992 Presidential Commission of Inquiry, to maintain their direction of land policy while failing to address the evident shortcomings of the existing land policy regime.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Land tenure ; Government policy ; Land use ; Politics and government ; Tanzania