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Publication Details

Reference
Moore, David (2008) Contesting Civil Societies in Zimbabwe’s Interregna.  : 1-36.

Summary
Interregnum means ‘between reigns’. There is little doubt that since approximately 1998 Zimbabwe has been dangling on a precipice of at least two instances in which intricate complexes of rules, processes, and arrays or alliances of social and political forces combine to present quite different socio-economic systems and modes of governance. The first, and apparently least far-reaching from the realm of ‘politics’ to society in general, is intimately related to the issue of the retirement of Zimbabwe’s and the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front’s (ZANU-PF) president Robert Gabriel Mugabe. This can be called the ‘succession issue’ and brings into play a long history of internecine struggle – generational, ethnic, and even today, ideological – within the ruling party itself. In and of itself this does not necessarily involve ‘civil society’ and other components of the social formation to a great degree. Succession issues can be solved by agreement among a small elite of rulers, less happily by a coup or even small war, and in a ‘feudal’ society by the passing of the throne from monarch to heir (which many times involved conflict too!), and the rest of society can tick along more or less as it always had, with only incremental changes in the material base filtering up through the networks of accumulation and class formation to effect the modalities of the superstructure gradually.

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