The Politics of Economic Reform in Zimbabwe

Continuity and Change in Development

Tor Skålnes



In 1990 Zimbabwe embarked on economic liberalisation. The country's economic associations, notably that erstwhile proponent of protectionism, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, had successfully lobbied for gradual reform. While state autonomy has often been regarded as a vital condition for reform, in Zimbabwe societal groups have induced an initially recalcitrant government to reconsider its basic policies. After 1980 the government tried to limit political competition. However, because of the perceived need for racial reconciliation following the guerrilla war, it maintained dialogue with settler-dominated interest groups along the pattern of societal corporatism established in the 1930s.


Zimbabwe is comparatively under-researched, although a few good books have been written in the past few years about developments since ZANU(PF) came to power. This is one of them. - Carolyn Jenkins, The Journal of Modern African Studies


Tor Skålnes was a Norwegian scholar who died tragically in 1999.