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Coming to terms: Zimbabwe in the international arena (1980-1994).

Schwartz, Richard David (1997) Coming to terms: Zimbabwe in the international arena (1980-1994). PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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At independence, a government of a third world country inherits a set of international economic relations and a set of international political relations. The latter, being dominated by intergovernmental links, are more easily refashioned to the design of the new regime. The former, having been forged by a combination of external factors (international markets, international commodity regimes, trade treaties, transport routes) and diverse internal factors (private sector and public sector actors, production patterns, import necessities and export opportunities) are less responsive to government intervention. International economic relations will therefore almost inevitably remain at variance with the pattern of political relations and alliances that the new regime wishes to develop. The inevitability of this discrepancy does not lessen the dilemma for the government of a newly independent state, especially one with a revolutionary or radical public posture. The problem for a third world government in such a situation is not therefore to reconcile its international political and economic relations, but to develop a coherent and plausible explanation for the discrepancy between them which does not at the same time diminish the regime's credibility. On 18 April 1980, Zimbabwe became independent. Since then, Zimbabwe's cabinet has been dominated by a party, ZANU(PF), that came to power with a revolutionary ethos and an avowedly Marxist-Leninist world view. Today, Zimbabwe's role on the world stage and its network of international political and economic relations only very partially reflects ZANU's pre-independence positions. Despite its inevitably unique aggregation of experiences, Zimbabwe shares political, economic, social and historical characteristics with a number of other countries. This study attempts to delineate the principal factors, whether individual or common to other third world states, that shaped the way Zimbabwe forged its international links in the first fourteen years after independence. It argues that government attempts to restructure international economic relations since independence have largely failed. While such failure has been recognised, it has been neither acknowledged nor adequately explained to the Zimbabwean electorate.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, International Law and Relations, Economics, History
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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