Redemptive or Grotesque Nationalism?

Rethinking Contemporary Politics in Zimbabwe

James Muzondidya & Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni



At the beginning of 2000, with the launch of the so-called Third Chimurenga, Zimbabwean nationalism revealed some of its most grotesque aspects, resulting in a polarisation of the nation into ‘patriots’ and ‘sell-outs’ and dividing academics into groups such as ‘regime intellectuals’, left-nationalists, left-internationalists, ‘nativists’ and ‘neo-liberals’. Drawing upon the arguments and insights of an array of scholars, many based in Zimbabwe, this book offers a new analysis of the grotesque character of Zimbabwean nationalism, a nationalism that has provoked ambivalent responses locally, regionally and internationally.


This is important reading for anyone interested in understanding the perilous interplay of ‘dismantling and building’ that has shaped Zimbabwean nationalism’s many transformations. - Jocelyn Alexander, Professor of Commonwealth Studies, University of Oxford


James Muzondidya teaches southern African history at the University of Zimbabwe. His research interests are in minority rights and cultures and identity politics in the postcolonial African state.

Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni is Research professor and Director of Scholarship in the Department of Leadership and Transformation (DLT) in the Principal and Vice-Chancellor's Office at the University of South Africa.