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Title: 'I am Zambia's redeemer' : populism and the rise of Michael Sata, 1955-2011
Author: Sishuwa, Sishuwa
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 7987
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis explores the broad continuities in the strategies that individual leaders in Africa have employed to mobilise political support across different historical periods and party systems, from the late colonial to the post-colonial era, and from single-party to multiparty systems. It examines this question through a historical biography of Michael Sata, a political leader in Zambia whose life and career, like those of several other Zambian individual politicians, cut across the main divides in the country's political history: the late-colonial period (1953-1964), the one-party state (1973-1991) and the era of multiparty democracy (since 1991). Sata's experiences also span a number of political organisations such as the United National Independence Party (from the early 1960s to 1991), the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (1991-2001) and the Patriotic Front (2001-2011). I argue that Sata employed several political strategies such as populism, clientelism, ethnic appeals and coalition building to mobilise support across these historical epochs and party institutions. The existing literature on Zambian political change has largely focused on ethnicity, which has taken attention away from the fact that most ethnic politics has had, as this thesis demonstrates, a populist component. More broadly, what this study demonstrates is the utility of historical biography in understanding political change. Examining the life of an individual whose experiences cut across supposed turning points and disruptions, or the institutions that have come and gone with them, captures not only change but continuities too, which are generally missing in many accounts of political life in Africa, and consequently allows us to gain new and unique insights.
Supervisor: Deutsch, Jan-Georg ; Cheeseman, Nic Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Populism ; Zambia ; Biography ; African History ; Michael Sata ; Politics ; History