The Historical Dimensions of Democracy and Human Rights in Zimbabwe

Nationalism, Democracy and Human Rights (Vol 2)

Ngwabi Bhebe & Terence O. Ranger



This, the second volume on the historical dimensions of human rights in Africa, reconsiders questions of nationalism, democracy and human rights. It asks why the first ‘democratic revolution’ was frustrated in Africa, despite the democratic dimensions of the early nationalist movements. It considers possible causes of the resulting post-independence authoritarianism in Zimbabwe as centralism, top-down modernisation, or ‘development’; and it reviews the outcomes of a commandist state.


This fine collection of specific historical research and Ranger's useful introduction opens new insights and suggests important areas of research that will help both to understand the current crisis and to provide ways to rethink a more democratic future. - African History


Ngwabi Bhebe was the founding vice chancellor at Midlands State University in Zimbabwe.

Terence O. Ranger was a prominent African historian, focusing on the history of Zimbabwe. His work spanned the pre- and post-Independence period in Zimbabwe, from the 1960s to the present. He died in 2015.