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Contesting hegemony : civil society and the struggle for social change in Zimbabwe, 2000-2008

Ncube, Cornelias (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This thesis employs Gramsci’s language of hegemony in order, firstly, to explore the role of civil society in legitimating and resisting state hegemony, and secondly, to examine the sociological basis of counter-hegemonic politics in post-2000 Zimbabwe. The thesis arose out of a critique of reductionist approaches in the theorising and study of changing state-society relations in post-2000 Zimbabwe that identifies civil society exclusively with opposition politics and excludes organisations aligned to the ruling party, and therefore resulting in functionalist discussions that view civil society as necessarily anti-state. This thesis demonstrates however that a dense hegemonic civil society also exists and it is organically aligned to ZANU-PF in its advocacy for a social change based on a radical transformed terrain of the relations of social forces of production, vis-à-vis land redistribution, albeit implementing this vision through coercive violence, persuasive but exclusionary discourses of radical nationalism, Afro-radicalism and nativism. Confronting it, is an equally militant counter-hegemonic civil society aligned to the MDC, and it deploys the discourses of constitutionalism and human rights to resist state hegemony and to unravel the violent nature of ZANU-PF’s nationalist project, but in ways devoid of a serious critique of the structural inequalities of a post-independent Zimbabwe.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Marquette, Heather and Jackson, Paul B.
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:International Development Department
Subjects:HT Communities. Classes. Races
HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
DT Africa
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1086
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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