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Politics and International Relations (PIR): News


New book: Understanding Zimbabwe

Sara Rich Dorman's Understanding Zimbabwe examines the interactions of social groups — churches, NGOs, and political parties — from the liberation struggle, through the independence decades, as they engaged the state and ruling party. Her empirically rich account reveals how strategies of control and co-option were replicated and resisted, shaping expectations and behaviour.


‘Sara Rich Dorman offers us an original, refreshing and well thought-out understanding of Zimbabwe’s complex contemporary politics. With her focus on the articulation and deployment of power and the role of non-state actors (NGOs and others) in politics, Dorman succeeds not only in enriching Zimbabwean studies but also the broader modes of writing African contemporary history and politics.’ — Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni editor of Mugabeism? History, Politics and Power in Zimbabwe and author of The Decolonial Mandela: Peace, Justice and Politics of Life

‘For many African states we lack authoritative texts that explain their political history and bring it up to date in a thorough and balanced way. With Sara Rich Dorman’s readable and insightful volume, this gap has been filled for Zimbabwe. If you are looking for one book to read on Robert Mugabe and ZANU-PF you cannot do much better than this.’ — Nic Cheeseman, Associate Professor of African Politics, Oxford University

‘Sara Rich Dorman provides a comprehensive and thoughtful narrative of the tragedy of politics in Zimbabwe after the triumph of its liberation movement. Instead of demonising Mugabe, she explains the resilience of the Zimbabwe African National Union, which used the tools of coercion, distribution of resources, and ideological positioning to maintain itself as the exclusive representative of the nation.’ — Frederick Cooper, author of Africa in the World: Capitalism, Empire, Nation-State

Dorman's book is published in the UK by Hurst and in the US by OUP

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