The Rise and Decline of the Zairian State

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9780299101145: The Rise and Decline of the Zairian State

Zaire, apparently strong and stable under Presdident Mobutu in the early 1970s, was bankrupt and discredited by the end of that decade, beset by hyperinflation and mass corruption, the populace forced into abject poverty. Why and how, in a new african state strategically located in Central Africa and rich in mineral resources, did this happen? How did the Zairian state become a “parasitic predator” upon its own people?

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About the Author:

Crawford Young is the Rupert Emerson Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Thomas Edwin Turner was professor of political science at Wheeling Jesuit University. He has also worked for Amnesty International. He lives in the Washington D.C. metro are.

Review:

“One of the finest books on post-independence African politics that has yet appeared, even though the tale it has to tell is, from a humanitarian perspective, resolutely bleak.  .  .  .  Young and Turner are to be congratulated on a major contribution to the study of African politics.”—Africa

"This is it, the one best book on Zaire, combining lucid writing, a comprehensive research basis, and a theoretical underpinning of impressive elegance.  If time is limited, read chapters 2, 10, 12 and the conclusions.  If money is limited, spend on nothing else except this work; it is the overwhelmingly most useful and complete guide toward understanding contemporary Zaire."—School of Area Studies Foreign Service Institute, U.S. Department of State

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Book Description University of Wisconsin Press, United States, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Zaire, apparently strong and stable under President Mobutu in the early 1970s, was bankrupt and discredited by the end of that decade, beset by hyperinflation and mass corruption, the populace forced into abject poverty. Why and how, in a new African state strategically located in Central Africa and rich in mineral resources, did this happen? How did the Zairian state become a parasitic predator upon its own people? In this broadly researched study, Crawford Young and Thomas Edwin Turner examine the political history of Mobutu s Zaire, looking at critical structures and patterns of societal flux, inequality, and cleavage, in particular the urban-rural nexus, the problematic of class formation, and the fluid patterns of cultural pluralism. The authors begin with a succinct history of the origins of the Zairian state (formerly the Belgian Congo), examining in particular the problems, inherited from its colonial heritage, that led to the first few tumultuous years of independence. They then turn to the critical aspects of transformation of civil society, including the relationships between urban and rural factions, class formation, and the rapidly shifting nature of ethnicity as a sociopolitical factor. They offer a comprehensive overview of the major political trends, tracing the regime through its successive phases of power seizure, consolidation, growing personalisation, crisis, and decline. Finally, Young and Turner assess the state s actual performance in several policy areas: economy, international relations, and its package of Zairianization and radicalization measures. Young and Turner s thorough research, informed analysis, and straightforward style will do much to illuminate the political workings of a major African state long considered an enigma by most Western observers. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9780299101145

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Book Description University of Wisconsin Press, United States, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. Zaire, apparently strong and stable under President Mobutu in the early 1970s, was bankrupt and discredited by the end of that decade, beset by hyperinflation and mass corruption, the populace forced into abject poverty. Why and how, in a new African state strategically located in Central Africa and rich in mineral resources, did this happen? How did the Zairian state become a parasitic predator upon its own people? In this broadly researched study, Crawford Young and Thomas Edwin Turner examine the political history of Mobutu s Zaire, looking at critical structures and patterns of societal flux, inequality, and cleavage, in particular the urban-rural nexus, the problematic of class formation, and the fluid patterns of cultural pluralism. The authors begin with a succinct history of the origins of the Zairian state (formerly the Belgian Congo), examining in particular the problems, inherited from its colonial heritage, that led to the first few tumultuous years of independence. They then turn to the critical aspects of transformation of civil society, including the relationships between urban and rural factions, class formation, and the rapidly shifting nature of ethnicity as a sociopolitical factor. They offer a comprehensive overview of the major political trends, tracing the regime through its successive phases of power seizure, consolidation, growing personalisation, crisis, and decline. Finally, Young and Turner assess the state s actual performance in several policy areas: economy, international relations, and its package of Zairianization and radicalization measures. Young and Turner s thorough research, informed analysis, and straightforward style will do much to illuminate the political workings of a major African state long considered an enigma by most Western observers. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9780299101145

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