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Title: Civil society as a conflictual sphere in post-liberalization Tanzania : the roles of NGOs and trade unions
Author: McQuinn, Mark
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2011
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This research examines, through a Gramscian perspective, the reconfiguration of civil society in post-liberalization Tanzania, centring on the rationale for the marginalization of trade unions. The liberalization of the Tanzanian economy, which started from the latter half of the 1980s, and was accompanied by a move to multiparty liberal democracy during the 1990s, has led to conflicts in the sphere of civil society. Since liberalization, influential multilateral and bilateral donors have driven the state to reconstitute civil society as an independent variable, based on a de Tocquevillian vision, whereby a wide variety of freely-formed organizations take part in national policy-making processes in a consensual way, to indicate their views and needs to the state. This requires the state to accept and accommodate a plurality of ideas, thereby, avoiding dominance by a small number of well-organized groups of citizens. However, the donors have supported the rise to prominence of a few urban-based non-governmental organizations (composed of well-educated professionals) versed in the hegemonic discourse, which revolves around the concepts of partnership, participation and ownership. In contrast, trade unions have been marginalized by the donors and the state, as they are regarded as a threat to neo-liberal hegemony in Tanzania, since they have engaged in a war of position, by organizing a small number of industrial actions and rhetorically challenging the state"s treatment of the workforce. In responding to their marginalization, trade unions are hampered by two substantive problems: an ideological vacuum concerning perceptions of their role within the sphere of civil society in the post-liberalization period and structural constraints caused by lack of finance, falling membership and poor facilities. By using a Gramscian framework to analyse the position of trade unions in post-liberalization Tanzania, it is possible to understand how the integral state has maintained hegemony through the combined use of moral and intellectual leadership and coercive legal-bureaucratic means. Thus, the use of a Gramscian analysis provides a considerable amount of explanatory power concerning the ways in which associational life is integrated into national policy-making processes in post-liberalization Tanzania, and allows the weaknesses in the prevailing liberal conception, with its de Tocquevillian ideological roots, to be clearly seen.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral