The Moral Economy of the State examines state formation in Zimbabwe from the colonial period through the first decade of independence. Drawing on the works of Gramsci, E. P. Thompson, and James Scott, William Munro develops a theory of “moral economy” that explores negotiations between rural citizens and state agents over legitimate state incursions in social life. This analysis demonstrates how states try to shape the meanings of citizenship for agrarian populations by redefining conceptions of the public good, property rights, and community membership.
The book's focus on the moral economy of the state offers a refreshing perspective on the difficulties experienced by postcolonial African states in building stronger state and rural institutions.
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This book looks at the microfoundations of poverty in the developing world and in particular those present in property rights. The local institutions that govern land access are fundamental in affecting the distribution of wealth in a society. Property rights matter because they affect political development and economic growth. Development economists and policy makers often work on the assumption that property rights evolve from collective to more specified systems.
Although development issues generally have been considered in a framework of economic theory and politics, in this volume Tedros Kiros looks to European ideas of moral philosophy to explain the underdevelopment of Africa and the persistent African food crisis. He draws upon the works of Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Karl Marx and the concepts of hegemony and counter-hegemony.
The Unsettled Land engages with the current debates on land and politics in Africa and provides a much-needed historical narrative of the Zimbabwean case. In early 2000, a process of land occupation began in Zimbabwe. It involved the movement of hundreds of thousands of black farmers onto mostly white-owned farms, often under the leadership of veterans of Zimbabwe’s 1970s liberation war. The Zanu (PF) government cast this moment as the end of colonialism.