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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The allocation of land as a historical discourse of political authority in Tanzania
Author:Bjerk, PaulISNI
Periodical:International Journal of African Historical Studies (ISSN 0361-7882)
Geographic term:Tanzania
Subjects:land tenure
oral history
colonial policy
Abstract:By analysing links between oral traditions, colonial policy, and popular discourse, this paper illuminates the strategic interventions in land policy by Julius Nyerere, Tanzania's first president. The paper explores the discursive underpinnings shaping local debates about land policies. It begins with a survey of the politics of land allocation across the territory that is now mainland Tanzania (Tanganyika in colonial times). The paper then focuses on two areas that had particular influence in late colonial land policy: the chiefdoms on the Western shore of Lake Victoria and around Mount Kilimanjaro, arguing that debates about land allocation in colonial Tanganyika were debates about membership in a political community. These debates about land allocation in colonial Tanganyika later merged into debates about citizenship in the postcolonial nation. The concluding section demonstrates the influence practices around land had on a postcolonial policy which sought to create a new national society partly through the co-optation of landed discourse. The author argues that the act of allocating land was and continues to be a key attribute of political authority, and so constitues a political discourse in what is now mainland Tanzania. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]