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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The over-centralized State and its limitations to participation in Tanzania
Author:Liviga, Athumani J.ISNI
Periodical:The African Review: A Journal of African Politics, Development and International Affairs
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Tanzania
East Africa
local government
Civil rights
political science
Abstract:The reintroduction of local governments in Tanzania in 1982 was the regime's response to a deep economic crisis that threatened not only the existence of the party-State but also the total collapse of the social services whose provision formed part of the leadership's basis for legitimacy. The performance of local governments has been poor, however, and they have not provided the masses with the opportunity to take part in decisions affecting their lives. The crucial factors for the failure of local governments can be traced to the nature and character of the Tanzanian State, notably the centralization of both political and economic power. During the colonial period, centralization fitted in with the ideology of colonialism. After independence, centralization was maintained by a combination of factors: the consolidation of the nationalists' hold on the State, the move towards a one-party system, the weakness of the State itself, the need for unity, the process of nationbuilding, and the personal survival needs of the ruling elite. The Arusha Declaration of 1967 weakened local governments in Tanzania. Socialism and self-reliance did not lead to devolution of power. Effective decentralization is not possible without the reform of existing power structures. Bibliogr., notes.