Politics, Patronage and the State in Zimbabwe

Blessing-Miles Tendi, Joann McGregor & Jocelyn Alexander



In this important, deeply nuanced collection, a range of scholars of Zimbabwe bring together fine-grained analyses of crisis-related transformations in state institutions, political economies and the practices of politics. The historically grounded and empirically rich contributions address in new ways familiar themes in African politics such as authority, politics, patronage, violence, legitimacy, and accumulation. This is a necessary and compelling addition to the established body of literature on Zimbabwe itself, and equally a sophisticated counter-point to the limitations of much scholarship on politics and states in Africa. Indispensable reading.


For those who might characterize ZANU-PF as a waning liberation war party, this collection refutes such views by examining the extensive patronage networks deployed within the fabric of the Zimbabwean state and society and the limits of political resistance against such networks. No other collection on Zimbabwe's recent past provides such in-depth evidence and interview-based research as found in this volume. - Timothy Scarnecchia, Kent State University


Blessing-Miles Tendi is Zimbabwean. He was educated at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford. Tendi is a United Kingdom-based researcher in African politics.

Joann McGregor is professor of Human Geography at the University of Sussex.

Jocelyn Alexander is professor of Commonwealth Studies at Oxford University. Her research interests lie in the social and political history of southern Africa.