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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Land reform and development strategy in Zimbabwe: State autonomy, class and agrarian lobby
Authors:Moyo, S.ISNI
Skalness, T.
Periodical:Afrika Focus
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:land reform
agricultural policy
External link:https://doi.org/10.21825/af.v6i3-4.6125
Abstract:This paper analyses the reasons why land redistribution in Zimbabwe has proceeded rather more slowly in the ten years since the country gained independence in 1980 than one was led to believe would be the case from early policy statements. Two major perspectives on this issue can be abstracted from the current literature. One perspective emphasizes autonomous State nonaction as a result of the great economic costs involved in the land reform exercise. The other perspective denies the economic 'irrationality' of land redistribution and seeks to locate the slowness of change in a balance of external and internal class forces that is unconducive to structural change. The authors contend that the issue of the economic rationality of land reform is unresolved due to the constricted nature of the debate within Zimbabwe. They believe that a possibility for renewing serious debate on the issue may lie in shifting the perspectives of the debate: a major transformation of the economic and social structure such as land reform should be evaluated not only in terms of short-term benefits and risks, but first and foremost in terms of the overall strategy of economic development that the country appears to have set for itself. At the moment, this strategy is not transformation to socialism, but more simply a shift from import-substituting industrialization to export-led growth within a basically capitalist organization of production. Bibliogr., notes, ref. Comments by S. Marijsse (p. 229-233). Discussion (p. 235-242).