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Keith Somerville Reviews Liberation Movements in Power by Roger Southall

Liberation Movements in Power: Party and State in Southern AfricaVerdict: carrot

There’s no arguing with Roger Southall’s opening thesis that “Whereas at one time liberation movements represented ‘the answer’ to southern Africa’s woes, they are now increasingly seen as ‘the problem.’” He looks at the experience of ZANU-PF in Zimbabwe, SWAPO in Namibia and the ANC in South Africa – from nationalist movements that developed military wings and guerrilla struggles to unseat white minority regimes, to incumbent governments which are increasingly distant from their original support base and show few signs of building plural politics or having any great tolerance for dissent.

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