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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Mugabe, Mbeki and the Politics of Anti-Imperialism
Authors:Phimister, IanISNI
Raftopoulos, Brian
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
heads of State
international relations
Politics and Government
About person:Robert Gabriel Mugabe (1924-2019)ISNI
External links:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/0305624042000295503
Abstract:One of the most significant aspects of the current crisis in Zimbabwe, especially the events of the past two or three years, has been its international character. At the heart of President Robert Mugabe's offensive against the array of forces opposed to his rule are repeated attempts to place the Zimbabwe problem at the centre of a larger anti-imperialist and Pan-African position. These tactics have been crucial to the process of legitimizing the recent actions of ZANU-PF, in power since independence in 1980. The land question in particular has been located within a discourse of legitimate redress for colonial injustice. Knowing that his authoritarian rule would be confronted with a widespread national and international critique centred on property rights, human rights and the rule of law, Mugabe and his advisors constructed alternative discourses around the need for renewed liberation struggle solidarity, the continuing effects of African marginalization attendant on the globalization process, and the presumptions of liberal imperialism. Behind this rhetorical shield, the ZANU-PF government has effectively suspended the rule of law as it attempts to bludgeon its opponents into silence. In doing so, it has enjoyed the support provided by the so-called 'quiet diplomacy' and 'constructive engagement' of other Southern and Central African governments. In this paper, the course of anti-imperialism pursued by Zimbabwe's government is first plotted against the background of 9/11 and 'new' or 'liberal' imperialism, before tracing its intersection with pan-African and Third World sympathies. Attention is then paid to the role played by South Africa, as the support of President Thabo Mbeki has been crucial for the survival of Mugabe's regime. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]