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Title: Power at the margins of post-colonial states in Africa : remaking authority on fast track resettlement farms in Zimbabwe
Author: Chamunogwa, Arnold Rangarirayi
ISNI:       0000 0004 7966 1775
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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I use the case of the rapid displacement and remaking of authority on resettlement farms during the Fast Track Land Reform Programme (FTLRP) in Zimbabwe to engage with and contribute to scholarly debates on the making and unmaking of power and authority on the margins of post-colonial states in Africa. The FTLRP resulted in 170,000 black smallholder households being resettled on close to 11 million hectares of land previously held by approximately 4,500 white large-scale farmers from 2000 to 2004, a process that repeatedly remade authority in unexpected and difficult to explain ways. I use the FTLRP to build on and challenge Christian Lund's twilight institution approach. This approach focuses on non-state organizations that exercise public authority by mimicking "stateness", usually in contexts where states and ruling parties are weak. Twilight institutions proliferated under FLTRP in efforts to control land access, conduct and order, but they were directly shaped by complex interactions with a historically strong bureaucratic state, which was itself increasingly conflated with the ruling party, Zanu PF. I argue that it is through an ethnographic approach to the logics, languages and practices of authority at the state's margins that we can best understand these processes and re-evaluate the concept of twilight institutions. I found that twilight institutions were used to enforce order and govern conduct by a powerful ruling party whose political agenda was incompatible with long-established state bureaucratic ideas and practices, yet the twilight institutions remained, to an important extent, subordinate to those same state bureaucracies. Nonetheless, twilight institutions shaped rural authority in significant ways by elaborating a coherent set of ideas, symbols and practices of authority, which they used to mediate struggles for justice and survival at the state's margins.
Supervisor: Alexander, Jocelyn Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: politics ; land reform ; Africa ; state power