African Studies African Socialism
by
Kelly Askew
  • LAST MODIFIED: 22 February 2018
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199846733-0200

Introduction

After obtaining independence from the colonial powers in the 1950s through the 1980s, newly established African states had to decide whether to pursue Western-style electoral democracy with free-market capitalism, or Eastern European–style single-party socialism with centralized control of the economy. Yet Africa’s postcolonial condition imposed significant technical and administrative constraints on these countries. For those choosing socialism, the lack of development under colonialism resulted in a small number of wageworkers, and hence weak working-class consciousness. African countries, it seemed, were too agrarian, and their governments were too nationalistic. Ethnic and regional cleavages trumped class. They had peasants, not workers, and their leadership was often petty bourgeois. New socialist governments had to make do with a worker-peasant alliance, finding China a more relevant model than the Eastern bloc. Furthermore, African governments had to simultaneously pursue nationalism and socialism, generating many contradictions. Strict Marxism-Leninism eschews mass-based parties in favor of vanguard parties, but the quest for unity and a popular base drove many African governments to prefer the former. Additionally, Marxism-Leninism, as a European product, faced anticolonial antipathy. With the Cold War defining this period, the decision whether to align with the West or the Sino-Soviet bloc was politically fraught. In the end, thirty-five states, representing a majority of the continent, opted for some variant of socialism. Many explanations exist for socialism’s popularity among African intellectuals and politicians, yet perhaps the most trenchant was offered by Seydou Badian Kouyaté, Mali’s minister of planning and rural economy: “You cannot be a capitalist when you have no capital” (quoted in Grundy 1964, p. 176, cited under Mali). The attractions of socialism included a language to promote the modernization and unification of emerging nation-states, centralized control of the economy (to facilitate rapid improvement in people’s lives), state consolidation and expansion (to ensure equitable distribution of wealth), an emphasis on revolutionary change (justifying coercive means and military intervention), and international bonds with fellow socialist/communist states (promising economic, political, and military assistance). The literature abounds with classification schemes delineating the features, merits, and internal contradictions of socialism/communism on the continent, measuring them against each other and “scientific socialism” as articulated in the Soviet sphere. In the end, however, attempts to establish socialist systems were compromised by the position African economies held relative to the world capitalist system. The combination of import substitution industrialization policies and export-oriented agriculture committed African countries to disadvantageous terms of trade and continued reliance on transnational actors. Thus, state capitalism developed in lieu of socialism.

General Overviews

A number of scholars have produced historical and analytical assessments of African socialist and Marxist/Leninist states. These range from sympathetic to critical in tone, and review both the challenges and successes of efforts at radical political, social, and economic transformation. Young 1982 compares the development outcomes of three types of African ideologies: Afro-Marxism, populist (African) socialism, and African capitalism. Friedland and Rosberg 1964 reviews early engagements with African socialism, while Rosberg and Callaghy 1979 contrast cases of “first wave” African socialism with “second wave” scientific socialism. Babu 1981 argues that only scientific socialism, not African socialism, can liberate African economies from neocolonialism. Munslow 1986 examines Lusophone socialist states, and Wiles 1982 analyzes seven African communist states within a broader New Communist Third World frame, including Yemen, Mongolia, Albania, Vietnam, and North Korea. Markakis and Waller 1986 explores the rise of radical Marxist military regimes, while Hughes 1992 argues that internal contradictions compounded by the fall of Eastern bloc patrons led to the demise of Marxism in Africa.

  • Babu, A. M. African Socialism or Socialist Africa? London: Zed, 1981.

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    A trenchant analysis of the challenges facing African attempts to seek a nonaligned socialist path, written by a Zanzibari intellectual, politician, and committed Marxist.

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    • Friedland, William H., and Carl G. Rosberg Jr., eds. African Socialism. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1964.

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      This early volume assesses self-identified African socialist states, their definitions of socialism, and their progress to date. Case studies include Ghana, Guinea, Senegal, Mali, and Tanganyika. Published by Stanford University Press for the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace.

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      • Hughes, Arnold. “The Appeal of Marxism to Africans.” Journal of Communist Studies 8.2 (1992): 4–20.

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        A study of how African radical elements saw in Marxism a morally superior social, political, and economic order, but could not sustain attempts at implementing it due to internal contradictions and the fall of mentor regimes in Eastern Europe.

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        • Markakis, John, and Michael Waller, eds. Military Marxist Regimes in Africa. London: Frank Cass, 1986.

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          Originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Communist Studies, these essays explore cases of Marxist states that, through centralized control of the economy and political system and increased militarization from foreign patronage, developed into radical military regimes.

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          • Munslow, Barry, ed. Africa: Problems in the Transition to Socialism. London: Zed, 1986.

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            Analysis of the difficulties besetting the socialist transition, approached both thematically (problems of class-based mobilization, Marxism, women’s labor) and via various case studies (Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Angola).

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            • Rosberg, Carl G., and Thomas M. Callaghy, eds. Socialism in Sub-Saharan Africa: A New Assessment. Research Series 38. Berkeley: Institute of International Studies, University of California, 1979.

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              Intended as an update to Friedland and Rosberg 1964, this volume distinguishes “first wave” African socialism (charismatic leaders, inclusive mass parties, ideologies referencing traditional African collectivism) from “second wave” scientific socialism (class analysis, vanguard parties, international alliances with communist states, rejection of religion, and use of coercion). Essays on Tanzania, Guinea, Zambia, Somalia, Ghana, Benin, Congo-Brazzaville, Mozambique, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, and Ethiopia.

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              • Wiles, Peter, ed. The New Communist Third World: An Essay in Political Economy. London and Canberra, Australia: Croom Helm, 1982.

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                Case studies of communist states beyond Eastern Europe, divided into “communist,” “marginal,” and “independent Stalinist” types.

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                • Young, Crawford. Ideology and Development in Africa. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1982.

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                  Compares a wide variety of postcolonial African states, including socialist and Afro-Marxist states. Outlines six elements of Afro-Marxism: (1) organization of state and party per Leninist principles, (2) dominance of political figures like intellectuals or “revolutionary democrats,” (3) policies aiming to control the commanding heights of the economy, (4) caution regarding agricultural collectivization, (5) tolerance of religion, (6) ties to communist states.

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                  Bibliographies

                  Only a few bibliographies have been produced that cover the topic of socialism in Africa. Jumba-Masagazi 1970 is the one bibliography focused on African socialism, but it is somewhat limited since it ends in 1970, while socialism in Africa certainly continued well past that date. Machava and Pitcher 2013 is up to date but limited to three countries: Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea-Bissau. However, one can also consult bibliographies in the World Bibliographical Series, which produced country-by-country bibliographies of all states in the world. Works in the series can be mined for information on African states associated with socialism.

                  • Jumba-Masagazi, Abdul H. K., comp. African Socialism: A Bibliography and Short Summary. Information Circular 4. Nairobi: East African Academy, Research Information Centre, 1970.

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                    Wide-ranging bibliography of over five hundred works on African socialism through 1970.

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                    • Machava, Benedito, and Anne Pitcher. “Comparative Politics of Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea-Bissau.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Political Science. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

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                      Highly current and well-organized bibliography on Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea-Bissau, with a dedicated section on “Independence, Socialism, and State-Building.”

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                      • World Bibliographical Series. Oxford: Clio Press.

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                        Volumes in this series cover each individual country’s history, geography, economy, politics, peoples, cultures, religion, and social organization. Relevant volumes include (but are not limited to) The Congo, compiled by Randall Fegley (Vol. 162, 1993); Eritrea, compiled by Randall Fegley (Vol. 181, 1995); Ethiopia, compiled by Stuart Munro-Hay and Richard Pankhurst (Vol. 179, 1995); Guinea, compiled by Margaret Binns (Vol. 191, 1996); Mozambique, compiled by Colin Darch (Vol. 78, 1987); and Tanzania, compiled by Colin Darch (Vol. 54, 1996).

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                        Reference Works

                        One scholar, Bogdan Szajkowski, is single-handedly responsible for producing the most reference works on socialist regimes around the world. Szajkowski 1981, for example, is a three-volume reference guide to Marxist governments. Szajkowski 1982 provides a concise summary comparing the establishment of Marxist regimes, limited to states recognized as such under international law that self-ascribe as Marxist. Szajkowski 2004 presents an expansive overview of governments and political parties throughout the world that self-identify as revolutionary or radical. Finally, the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress produced an Area Handbook Series that offers detailed book-length overviews of the history, politics, economics, societies and cultures of specific countries.

                        • Area Handbook Series. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, Federal Research Division.

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                          Book-length country studies that cover the history, politics, economics, societies, and cultures of a given country. Not all African socialist states are included in the series, however. Relevant volumes include Algeria: A Country Study, edited by Helen Chapin-Metz (1994); Angola: A Country Study, edited by Thomas Collelo (1991); Egypt: A Country Study, edited by Helen Chapin-Metz (1991); Ethiopia: A Country Study, edited by Thomas P. Ofcansky and Laverle Berry (1993); Ghana: A Country Study, edited by Laverle Berry (1995); Somalia: A Country Study, edited by Helen Chapin-Metz (1993); and South Africa: A Country Study, edited by Rita M. Byrnes (1997).

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                          • Szajkowski, Bogdan. Marxist Governments: A World Survey. 3 vols. London: Macmillan, 1981.

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                            Three-volume reference work covering the history and politics of Marxists states, divided up as “Albania–The Congo” (Vol. 1), “Cuba–Mongolia” (Vol. 2), and “Mozambique–Yugoslavia” (Vol. 3).

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                            • Szajkowski, Bogdan. The Establishment of Marxist Regimes. London: Butterworth Scientific, 1982.

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                              Summaries of every self-declared Marxist state’s origins, including Somalia, Guinea-Bissau, Dahomey/Benin, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Angola, and Ethiopia.

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                              • Szajkowski, Bogdan, ed. Revolutionary and Dissident Movements of the World. 4th ed. London: John Harper, 2004.

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                                Reference guide to governments self-identifying as revolutionary in orientation, and to opposition movements within them. Uses a broad understanding of “revolutionary,” which includes the United States of America.

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                                Journals

                                Although a number of journals have published studies and case studies concerning various aspects of socialist/communist pursuits in Africa, the more prominent ones to feature these topics are the Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics (now East European Politics), Studies in Comparative Communism (now Communist and Post-Communist Studies), Journal of Comparative Economics, and Review of African Political Economy. Others that contain articles of relevance include Africa, African Affairs, Canadian Journal of African Studies, Journal of Modern African Studies, and World Development.

                                Series

                                A single wide-ranging series, the Marxist Regimes series, produced over thirty volumes examining socialist/communist systems on a country-by-country case study basis. It was edited by one of the most prolific scholars of comparative communism, Bogdan Szajkowski (see Reference Works section). Volumes on African cases include Somerville 1986 (cited under Angola); Foy 1988 (under Cape Verde); Schwab 1985 (under Ethiopia); Ray 1986 (under Ghana); Galli and Jones 1987 (under Guinea-Bissau); Covell 1987 (under Madagascar); and Stoneman and Cliffe 1989 (under Zimbabwe). See also Allen 1989 (under Benin); Radu and Somerville 1989 (under Congo (Republic of)); and Baxter and Somerville 1989 (under Burkina Faso).

                                • Marxist Regimes series. Edited by Bogdan Szajkowski. London: Frances Pinter.

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                                  A thirty-six-volume series featuring multidisciplinary analyses of the application of Marxism in societies around the world.

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                                  Non-Western Works

                                  Soviet and Eastern European scholars only rarely looked upon African socialist/communist governments as such. Instead, they typically glossed them as being of “socialist orientation”–flawed attempts at scientific socialism, whether due to colonial proto-capitalist economies or the absence of a working class. A large body of literature out of Eastern Europe and the former USSR details the argument and its variants. However, varied though they were in their commitment to and adoption of socialist policy, African countries were not unlike Eastern European, East Asian, and Latin American socialist states. All—to different degrees—tailored socialist ideology and policy to suit local conditions. All combined socialism with nationalist and modernist aspirations, though often in inconsistent and contradictory ways. Yet African socialisms have been derided for their lack of socialism to a much greater degree than these other cases. One Soviet critic dismissed the cases in Africa as “phoney Maoized Marxism” that “obscures the growing consciousness of some groups of the intelligentsia and students in Africa, egging them onto a false path of adventurism and anti-Sovietism” (Solodovnikov 1978). Others denounced African socialisms as undeserving of the title “socialism” (e.g., Potekhin 1964, Klinghoffer 1969, Gromyko 1983). Still others present a more hopeful perspective, arguing that socialism presented the only true antidote to colonial exploitation, and that former colonies could achieve greater progress down the noncapitalist path if they pursued socialist policies and followed the advice of the Soviet Union (e.g., Andreyev 1977, Chirkin and Yudin 1978, Solodovnikov and Bogoslovsky 1975). Klinghoffer 1969 explains the Soviet perspective from an American vantage and argues that African states were understandably reluctant to substitute colonial domination with that of the Soviet Union. Light 1992 describes the evolution of Soviet policy from the 1950s to the 1990s, including the shift from supporting nationalist movements in Africa, whether socialist or not, as a means of destabilizing Western capitalist countries to supporting socialist-oriented states.

                                  • Andreyev, I. The Noncapitalist Way: Soviet Experience and the Liberated Countries. Translated from Russian by Galina Sdobnikova. Moscow: Progress, 1977.

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                                    Marxist analysis of noncapitalist development. Ends with the argument that African societies have to overcome both primordial ethnic affiliations and bourgeois ideology in order to successfully implement scientific socialism.

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                                    • Chirkin, V. Y., and Y. A. Yudin. A Socialist-Oriented State: Instrument of Revolutionary Change. Moscow: Progress, 1978.

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                                      Wide-ranging analysis arguing that colonialism can only be overcome through the development of a socialist state. Compares the constitutions, degree of democratic participation, security of national sovereignty, and class relations of states around the world with a socialist orientation, including Algeria, Angola, Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, and Tanzania.

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                                      • Gromyko, A. Africa Today: Progress, Difficulties, Perspectives. Moscow: USSR Academy of Sciences, 1983.

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                                        A compilation of essays by the former director of the Institute of Africa, USSR Academy of Sciences, on the difficulties faced by African countries bound to neo-imperialist relations following independence and the need to adopt not only a socialist orientation (present in a few cases), but also scientific socialism to achieve true progressive transformation.

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                                        • Klinghoffer, Arthur Jay. Soviet Perspectives on African Socialism. Rutherford, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1969.

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                                          Written by an American political scientist with expertise on the Soviet Union, this book discusses the development of Soviet views toward African socialist regimes and how the widespread reluctance to join the Communist bloc and risk trading colonial overlordship for Soviet domination tempered Soviet demands for ideological purity in African contexts.

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                                          • Light, Margot. “Moscow’s Retreat from Africa.” Journal of Communist Studies 8.2 (1992): 21–40.

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                                            Outlines the history and evolution of Soviet involvement in and policies toward African nationalist and communist movements from the 1950s under Khrushchev to the 1990s under Gorbachev.

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                                            • Potekhin, I. I. “On African Socialism: A Soviet View.” In African Socialism. Edited by William H. Friedland and Carl G. Rosberg Jr., 97–112. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1964.

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                                              Considers whether capitalism and class struggle is a required stage for African states to pass through (yes), and whether “African socialism” counts as socialism (no).

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                                              • Solodovnikov, V. “The Main Trends of Socio-political Thought in Contemporary Africa and the Social Democrats.” In Theories of Non-Marxist Socialism in African and Arab Countries. Edited by the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, 9–25. Prague: Oriental Institute in Academia, 1978.

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                                                Details debates presented at the Tunis Conference of African Socialists in July 1975 and their division into two primary camps: democratic socialists (Senegal, Tunisia) versus the socialist-oriented states (People’s Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Algeria).

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                                                • Solodovnikov, V., and V. Bogoslovsky. Translated from the Russian by A. Bratov. Non-Capitalist Development: An Historical Outline. Moscow: Progress, 1975.

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                                                  Theorizes that the transition from colonialism to national liberation to socialism must necessarily pass through a phase of “non-capitalist development,” with four main challenges: in the economic sphere, nationalizing the means of production; in the social sphere, limiting exploitation and raising the living standard of workers and peasants; in the political sphere, ensuring participation by workers in national and international governance; and in the ideological sphere, strengthening the tendencies toward socialism and ultimately scientific socialism.

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                                                  First Wave: African Socialism

                                                  The “first wave” of socialist movements, dating to the 1950s and 1960s, can fruitfully be understood as variants of “African socialism” (also termed “populist socialism” by Crawford Young). These early socialist states—including Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania, Zambia, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, and Tunisia—positioned themselves in opposition to both capitalism and “scientific socialism” and claimed socialism as inherent to African (or, in the case of North Africa, Islamic) social life. A shared concern to adapt and modify Marxist-Leninist principles to local histories, conditions, and values distinguished “African socialism” from doctrinaire socialism, which insisted on a standard template with one-size-fits-all prescriptions. Exclusive vanguard parties of the Leninist variety were eschewed in favor of mass parties with open membership, and orthodox Marxist belief in the necessity of class struggle as a precursor to socialist revolution was replaced with ideas of “noncapitalist development” and multiple paths to socialism. By and large, these states disputed the Marxist dismissal of religion as “false consciousness”; indeed, Algeria’s Houari Boumedienne called Islam “the world’s first socialist movement” (quoted in Young 1982, p. 127, cited under General Overviews). Despite their many shared attributes, attempts were made to distinguish these socialist programs from each other: “Consciencism” in Kwame Nkrumah’s Ghana, “African socialism” in Leopold Senghor’s Senegal, “Neo-Destour socialism” in Tunisia, ujamaa (familyhood) in Julius Nyerere’s Tanzania, “Communocracy” in Touré’s Guinea, and “Humanism” in Kenneth Kaunda’s Zambia. These movements hit their apogee in the mid-1960s, but for the most part they met with only mediocre success in terms of economic development. The sudden overthrow of Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah in 1966 and Mali’s Modibo Keita in 1968 constituted a heavy defeat for African socialism, yet adherence to its principles and policies continued in Tanzania and Algeria certainly, and to a lesser degree in the other states. Friedland and Rosberg 1964 presents case studies of these regimes with some overview analyses, while Callaghy 1979 identifies some common weaknesses. The volume Theories of Non-Marxist Socialism in African and Arab Countries (Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences 1978) presents perspectives from Eastern European scholars on African and Arab socialist development, with detailed case studies coupled with theoretical analyses.

                                                  • Callaghy, Thomas M. “The Difficulties of Implementing Socialist Strategies of Development in Africa: The ‘First Wave.’” In Socialism in Sub-Saharan Africa: A New Assessment. Edited by Carl G. Rosberg and Thomas M. Callaghy, 112–129. Research Series 38. Berkeley: Institute of International Studies, University of California, 1979.

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                                                    Argues that the ideological weakness of first-wave socialism inaccurately linking socialist development to traditional African culture produced related weaknesses: that class-based struggle and use of coercion could thus be avoided. Callaghy further argues that environmental factors related to economic dependence on external states could only be compensated by clarity of purpose in socialist ideology and organization, which was not successfully achieved by first-wave examples like Ghana and Mali, and instead produced African neomercantilist states.

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                                                    • Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. Theories of Non-Marxist Socialism in African and Arab Countries. Prague: Oriental Institute in Academia, 1978.

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                                                      Papers presented as a symposium held 2–4 December 1975 at Liblice, Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (CSSR), titled “Non-Marxist Conceptions in African and Arab Countries.” Includes essays on Senegal, Tunisia, Mongolia, China, Egypt, Mozambique, and Ethiopia.

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                                                      • Friedland, William H., and Carl G. Rosberg Jr., eds. African Socialism. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1964.

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                                                        Early volume assessing self-identified African socialist states, their definitions of socialism, and their progress to date. Case studies include Ghana, Guinea, Senegal, Mali, and Tanganyika. Published by Stanford University Press for the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace.

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                                                        Second Wave: Afrocommunism/Afro-Marxism

                                                        Pessimism over African socialism contributed to the emergence of the “second wave” of socialism in the 1970s, involving the embrace of “scientific socialism” and resulting in “Afrocommunist” or “Afro-Marxist” regimes. These tended to be states emerging from great instability in search of a tried-and-true programmatic approach to stability and development. Military juntas declared, by fiat, Marxist-Leninist governments in Congo-Brazzaville (1969), Somalia (1970), Benin (1974), Ethiopia (1974) and Madagascar (1975). Prolonged liberation struggles from Portuguese colonial rule set the stage for the creation of avowedly Marxist regimes in 1975 in Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, and Cape Verde. While it experienced little armed struggle, São Tomé and Príncipe, the smallest of the Portuguese colonies in Africa, also declared its “orientation” to socialism following independence in 1975. And in Guinea, Sekou Touré committed himself to scientific socialism when his earlier “communocratic” approach proved ineffective. To varying degrees, as discussed in Ottaway and Ottaway 1986 and Keller 1987 (as well as the other contributors to this volume, edited by Keller and Rothchild), these states instituted vanguard parties, articulated socialist ideals through a colorful and realist iconography, nationalized the “commanding heights” of the economy, implemented policies of industrialization, and pursued villagization projects in the countryside. However, no matter how ardent its affiliation with Marxism-Leninism, only rarely did an African regime fulfill completely the prescriptions of “scientific socialism.” As Young 1982 points out, in even the most committed Afro-Marxist states, “revolutionary democrats,” not workers, formed the key constituency, and “mixed economies,” including private capitalist enterprises, were the norm. African countries were simply in no position, given the constraints inherited from colonialism (e.g., poverty, poorly institutionalized states, economies designed to produce raw agricultural exports, ethnic divisiveness), to take full command of the economy, however much they may have wished to do so. They lacked skilled personnel, foreign exchange to purchase inputs and spare parts, and the capital necessary to launch new industrial initiatives. Survival in the face of hostility by Western countries or the vagaries of the weather and global economic trends often required pragmatism, not orthodoxy. Thus, Folson 1976 distinguished “Afro-Marxist” regimes, which accommodated Marxism to African conditions, from “African Marxist” regimes, or the nonexistent strict application of scientific socialism in Africa. And Jowitt 1979 concluded that the constraints drained Afro-Marxist regimes of their revolutionary potential. Ottaway 1987, however, notes that three elements—ideological commitment, structural conditions, and “historical accident”—affected the success of Marxist-Leninist African regimes. Markakis and Waller 1986 draws on a variety of cases to specifically analyze Marxist military regimes, which the authors find inherently flawed by a blind commitment to centralization and subsequent rejection of mass mobilization. Finally, Cohen 1986 contests the view that Afrocommunism resulted from the wholesale adoption of Marxist theory, and instead argues that just as multiple varieties of “African socialism” emerged, so too there were ways in which Marxist theory was indigenized and melded with revolutionary theories of African and African diasporan political theorists to produce multiple Afrocommunisms.

                                                        • Cohen, Robin. “Marxism in Africa: The Grounding of a Tradition.” In Africa: Problems in the Transition to Socialism. Edited by Barry Munslow, 40–55. London: Zed, 1986.

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                                                          Provides some of the ideological antecedents to Afrocommunism, from Padmore and Nkrumah to Fanon and Cabral, to argue for the development of a continental African approach to Marxist theory.

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                                                          • Folson, B. D. G. “Afro-Marxism: A Preliminary View.” African Review 6.4 (1976): 92–117.

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                                                            Draws a distinction between “African Marxist” regimes, where one would find rigorous application of the principles of scientific socialism, and “Afro-Marxist” regimes, where principles of scientific socialism were adapted to African conditions. Concludes that no African Marxist regimes have emerged, only Afro-Marxist regimes.

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                                                            • Jowitt, Kenneth. “Scientific Socialist Regimes in Africa: Political Differentiation, Avoidance, and Unawareness.” In Socialism in Sub-Saharan Africa: A New Assessment. Edited by Carl G. Rosberg and Thomas M. Callaghy, 133–173. Research Series 38. Berkeley: Institute of International Studies, University of California, 1979.

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                                                              Seeks answers to the contradictions between rhetoric and reality in African scientific socialist regimes. Considers both international (e.g., ties to or rejection by external Communist parties; instrumental pursuit of allies) and domestic dimensions (e.g., unestablished elites; desire for political differentiation from colonialism), and concludes that there are insufficient external variables to propel African scientific socialists into truly revolutionary action.

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                                                              • Keller, Edmond J. “Afro-Marxist Regimes.” In Afro-Marxist Regimes: Ideology and Public Policy. Edited by Edmond J. Keller and Donald Rothchild, 1–21. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1987.

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                                                                Reviews prior scholarship on Afro-Marxist regimes and measures them according to five characteristics: (1) the priority placed on ideology, (2) development of a vanguard party to align ideology with policy, (3) authoritative state structure, (4) state control of the economy, and (5) central planning of the economy. Concludes that self-ascription is insufficient to determine an Afro-Marxist state, and that evidence of some socialist institutions and policies must exist to qualify as such.

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                                                                • Markakis, John, and Michael Waller, eds. Military Marxist Regimes in Africa. London: Frank Cass, 1986.

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                                                                  Reissue of a special issue of the Journal of Communist Studies (Vol. 1, 1985). Essays cover Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Congo, Benin, Burkina Faso, and Madagascar, which do not entail conventional military-led coups but cases in which a ruling elite is removed by radicalized soldiers who restructure the political system along Marxist-Leninist principles. Rather than being states formed by a revolutionary party (as orthodox theory would have it), these Afrocommunist states were all birthed by an army.

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                                                                  • Ottaway, Marina. “Afrocommunism Ten Years After: Crippled but Alive.” Issue: A Journal of Opinion 16 (1987): 11–17.

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                                                                    Focuses on the Afrocommunist regimes of Ethiopia, Angola, and Mozambique that, unlike others that attempted to implement socialism on the continent, stayed true to orthodox Marxism-Leninism. Ottaway explains their varying outcomes as tied to three variables: ideological commitment, structural conditions, and “historical accident.”

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                                                                    • Ottaway, Marina, and David Ottaway. Afrocommunism. 2d ed. New York: Africana, 1986.

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                                                                      Contends that African communist states should be counted among the ranks of Marxist-Leninist states, even if they take a different shape, due to having to adapt to local circumstances, and reject blind subservience to the Soviet Union. Focuses on three cases—Mozambique, Angola, and Ethiopia—with Ethiopia being the most successful, and Angola the least successful, at having pursued Marxist-Leninist policies.

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                                                                      • Young, Crawford. Ideology and Development in Africa. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1982.

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                                                                        Compares a wide variety of postcolonial African states, including socialist and Afro-Marxist ones. Outlines six elements of Afro-Marxism: (1) organization of state and party per Leninist principles, (2) dominance of political figures like intellectuals or “revolutionary democrats,” (3) policies aiming to control the commanding heights of the economy, (4) caution regarding agricultural collectivization, (5) tolerance of religion, and (6) ties to communist states.

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                                                                        Country Studies

                                                                        In all the country sections to follow, citations are limited to academic literature. For reasons of space limitations, the writings of socialist leaders, many of whom carefully articulated their socialist visions and analyzed the constraints they faced (e.g., Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, Amilcar Cabral, Ahmed Ben Bella, Sekou Touré, Samora Machel), have been excluded.

                                                                        Algeria

                                                                        Algeria suffered one of the longest-lived experiences of colonial rule in Africa (130 years), and it endured an extensive war of liberation (1954–1962). The socialist National Liberation Front (Front de Libération Nationale, or FLN) led the country to independence and was the sole political party until multiparty politics were introduced in 1989. One of Africa’s oldest oil producers and the largest exporter of natural gas to Europe, Algeria was able to use state control of the hydrocarbon sector to support socialist policies of industrialization well into the mid-1980s. Entelis 2016 (first published 1986) analyzes the nation’s political history from the pre-Islamic era into the 1980s and, like Pfeifer 1985, faults leaders Ahmed Ben Bella and Houari Boumedienne for paying insufficient attention to agricultural policy and too much attention to industrial policy. Byrne 2009 explores the international context of Algeria’s socialist revolution, while Ottaway and Ottaway 1970 and Roberts 1984 analyze its internal and domestic politics. See also the Oxford Bibliographies article “Algeria.”

                                                                        • Byrne, Jeffrey J. “Our Own Special Brand of Socialism: Algeria and the Contest of Modernities in the 1960s.” Diplomatic History 33 (2009): 427–447.

                                                                          DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7709.2009.00779.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                          An analysis of the international context and pressures on Algeria during the 1960s, when it committed itself to a socialist path.

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                                                                          • Entelis, John P. Algeria: The Revolution Institutionalized. London and New York: Routledge, 2016.

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                                                                            Overview of Algerian history from antiquity through 130 years of colonialism, the War of National Liberation, the pursuit of Islamic socialism (1960s–1970s), and the rise of Islamic revivalism (1980s). Argues that the failure of agrarian reform, despite successful efforts at industrialization, led to the demise of socialism. First published 1986 (Boulder, CO: Westview).

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                                                                            • Ottaway, David, and Marina Ottaway. Algeria: The Politics of a Socialist Revolution. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1970.

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                                                                              Political history of Algeria, with a focus on the differences in ideology, governance structures, and policy choices of Ahmed Ben Bella versus Houari Boumedienne. Argues that efforts to institutionalize Islamic socialism were ultimately undermined by the power of political factions spanning administrative elites, the military, and technocrats.

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                                                                              • Pfeifer, Karen. Agrarian Reform under State Capitalism in Algeria. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1985.

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                                                                                Outlines the shift from socialism to state capitalism in Algeria under Houari Boumedienne, and argues that state ownership of the means of production was a response to colonial-era modes of exploitation—not in the interests of advancing socialism, but rather to inculcate private capitalism.

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                                                                                • Roberts, Hugh. “The Politics of Algerian Socialism.” In North Africa: Contemporary Politics and Economic Development. Edited by Richard Lawless and Allan Findlay, 5–49. London: Croom Helm, 1984.

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                                                                                  Traces the contours of state-led development in Algeria from a political-elite-driven program under Ben Bella, to a more radical populist program under Boumedienne, to economic liberalization in the Chadli Benjedid regime.

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                                                                                  Angola

                                                                                  While all five of Portugal’s former colonies adopted Marxism as their ideological blueprint for postcolonial nation-building, Angola emerged in 1975 as the most orthodox among them. After the Portuguese were defeated militarily by Agostinho Neto and his Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the People’s Republic of Angola was established as a one-party state. However, in 1977 the MPLA held a party congress at which it transformed itself from a mass movement to a vanguard party with limited membership and a governing politbureau. Mass organizations for women, trade union members, youth, and children were established. The state nationalized banks, insurance companies, internal and external trade, transportation, education, health, and, most importantly, the critical oil and diamond sectors. Some 6,000 plantations and 5,000 industrial enterprises abandoned by the departing Portuguese were also nationalized. Chabal 2002 explains Angola’s radicalism first as a consequence of the well-organized Portuguese Communist Party, which served as the only viable opposition to the Salazar regime in both Portugal and its territories, and second as a result of Portugal’s refusal to consider decolonization. Bhagavan 1986 and Somerville 1986 detail the means through which Angola institutionalized socialism in the face of political instability (especially from Jonas Savimbi’s National Union for the Total Independence of Angola [UNITA] and the smaller National Front for the Liberation of Angola [FNLA]) and external interference (from the United States, South Africa, the Soviet Union, Cuba, and Zambia). Marcum 1987 argues that the commitment to socialism was compromised by dependency on Western oil corporations for state revenue, while Kaure 1999 places blame for the failure to successfully implement socialism on internal factors. Hodges 2001 and Birmingham 2002 detail developments following the introduction of market reforms, the emergence of oil and diamond cronyism, and the development of a “predatory” state. Webber 1992 argues that the transition away from Marxism was not simply a response to the collapse of the Soviet Union, but also a result of internal pressures. See also the Oxford Bibliographies article “Angola.”

                                                                                  • Bhagavan, M. R. “Establishing the Conditions for Socialism: The Case of Angola.” In Africa: Problems in the Transition to Socialism. Edited by Barry Munslow, 140–215. London, Zed, 1986.

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                                                                                    Analysis of the theory and practice of Angolan socialism, and of the limits on its implementation resulting from ongoing civil war and foreign destabilization, as well as the negative impact of Portuguese sabotage of the economy.

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                                                                                    • Birmingham, David. “Angola.” In A History of Postcolonial Lusophone Africa. By Patrick Chabal, with David Birmingham, Joshua Forrest, Malyn Newitt, Gerhard Seibert, and Elisa Silva Andrade, 137–184. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002.

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                                                                                      Concise overview of political and economic developments since independence in 1975. Argues that Angola has come full circle from being an authoritarian colonial state to a dictatorship based on oil revenues.

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                                                                                      • Chabal, Patrick. “Lusophone Africa in Historical and Comparative Perspective.” In A History of Postcolonial Lusophone Africa. By Patrick Chabal, with David Birmingham, Joshua Forrest, Malyn Newitt, Gerhard Seibert, and Elisa Silva Andrade, 3–134. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002.

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                                                                                        Comparative analysis of Lusophone Africa’s processes of decolonization, nation-building, implementing socialism, international linkages, and transition from one-party rule to multiparty electoral politics.

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                                                                                        • Hodges, T. Angola: From Afro-Stalinism to Petro-Diamond Capitalism. Oxford: James Currey, 2001.

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                                                                                          Political economic analysis of the Angolan state as a continuum from authoritarian colonial rule to “Afro-Stalinist” authoritarian rule to petro-diamond croney capitalism.

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                                                                                          • Kaure, A. Angola: From Socialism to Liberal Reforms. Harare, Zimbabwe: SAPES, 1999.

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                                                                                            Concise analysis of Angolan socialism and why it failed.

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                                                                                            • Marcum, John A. “The People’s Republic of Angola: A Radical Vision Frustrated.” In Afro-Marxist Regimes: Ideology and Public Policy. Edited by Edmond J. Keller and Donald Rothchild, 67–83. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1987.

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                                                                                              Argues that despite earnest attempts to implement nationalization, centralization, and collectivization, and despite the influx of foreign technical labor from Cuba and Eastern Europe, the need to collaborate with US oil interests to ensure state revenue and the instability from UNITA prevented the MPLA government from pursuing its radical agenda.

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                                                                                              • Somerville, Keith. Angola: Politics, Economic and Society. Marxist Regimes. London: Pinter, 1986.

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                                                                                                Analyzes post-independence MPLA leadership in Angola and the policies it established to develop a Marxist-Leninist vanguard party with centralized control of the economy. Argues that little progress has been possible because of ongoing military conflicts and their effects, concerted foreign sabotage of the regime, and lack of sufficient trained personnel to assume control over governance and the economy, but that true commitment to Marxism-Leninism exists.

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                                                                                                • Webber, Mark. “Angola: Continuity and Change.” Journal of Communist Studies 8 (1992): 126–144.

                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1080/13523279208415150Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                  Argues that despite having been a close ally of the Soviet Union, Cuba, and some Eastern European states, Angola was not pushed into democratization by the political and economic upheavals of 1989 in those countries, but rather by internal reform processes.

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                                                                                                  Benin

                                                                                                  Following a long period of political upheaval, including five military coups, in December 1972 Lt. Col. Mathieu Kérékou seized power in the Republic of Dahomey, and two years later, in 1974, he declared Marxism-Leninism the state ideology (Dahomean Socialism, later Beninois Scientific Socialism). Various sectors were nationalized—the petroleum sector, insurance, banks, communications, schools, and foreign companies, but not land nor trade. The state was renamed the People’s Republic of Benin in November 1975, and a Marxist constitution was adopted. A new educational system was launched that also comprised civic, ideological, physical, and military training. Revolutionary committees established at the local level gave citizens greater local administrative autonomy even as the ruling Benin People’s Revolutionary Party (Parti de la Révolution Populaire du Bénin) ruled as a vanguard party with restricted membership and headed by a thirteen-member National Political Bureau. Foreign relations pivoted away from France and toward Cuba, Vietnam, China, North Korea, and East Germany, though not overtly toward the Soviet Union, because of a declared position of nonalignment. Decalo 1979 dissects the gap between socialist rhetoric and reality in Benin, relating it to the ad hoc and incoherent nature of state doctrine and the ultimately conservative orientation of its leaders. Racine 1982 relates the lack of ideological commitment to material factors, in particular the lack of resources and continued dependency on Western powers. Allen 1989 contests the proposition that Benin was ever socialist, arguing, like Racine, that it lacked the resources to implement a socialist agenda and instead pursued policies primarily nationalistic in nature, if Marxist in rhetoric and self-ascription. High levels of corruption and economic decline in the 1980s resulted in a very lax interpretation of Marxist policies—what Allen 1992 terms “Laxism-Beninism.” Mobilization by students and trade unionists in 1989 launched a process of democratization (renuveau démocratique), resulting in a new constitution and, in 1990, a modified name: the Republic of Benin. Allen 1992 reaffirms the author’s position that Benin never qualified as a “Marxist state,” but simply assumed the trappings of one to incorporate left-leaning students and attract financial support from the Soviet bloc. Martin 1986 does not question the radical nature of Benin’s revolution but argues that no radical revolutionary movement can be sustained for long and necessarily enters a process of “Thermidorianization,” when it becomes more moderate or secularized, as in the French Revolution. See also the Oxford Bibliographies article “Benin (Dahomey).”

                                                                                                  • Allen, Chris. “Benin.” In Benin, The Congo, Burkina Faso: Economics, Politics and Society. Edited by Michael S. Radu, Keith Somerville, and Joan Baxter, 1–144. Marxist Regimes. London and New York: Pinter, 1989.

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                                                                                                    Analyzes the history of Dahomey/Benin through to its declaration of Marxism, but contests that it is Marxist in anything but name. Rather, Allen argues that Benin features clientelist politics and a bureaucratic bourgeoisie, and is more securely bound to its former colonial power of France than to communist states.

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                                                                                                    • Allen, Chris. “‘Good-Bye to All That’: The Short and Sad Story of Socialism in Benin.” Journal of Communist Studies 8.2 (1992): 63–81.

                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1080/13523279208415147Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                      Disputes the characterization of Benin as a state undergoing disengagement from Marxism and instead presents it as a more standard-variety one-party state that fell subject to processes of populist demands for democratization and political reform found in other African cases.

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                                                                                                      • Decalo, Samuel. “Ideological Rhetoric and Scientific Socialism in Benin and Congo/Brazzaville.” In Socialism in Sub-Saharan Africa: A New Assessment. Edited by Carl G. Rosberg and Thomas M. Callaghy, 231–264. Research Series 38. Berkeley: Institute of International Studies, University of California, 1979.

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                                                                                                        Comparative study assessing the increasing popularity of class-based radicalism in urban populations and neocolonial constraints on transforming political economy, with Benin falling short of the strides made in Congo-Brazzaville.

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                                                                                                        • Martin, Michel. “The Rise and ‘Thermidorianization’ of Radical Praetorianism in Benin.” In Military Marxist Regimes in Africa. Edited by John Markakis and Michael Waller, 58–81. London: Frank Cass, 1986.

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                                                                                                          Traces the revolutionary advances under Kérékou and the shift toward moderation that followed, such as the aborted processes of nationalization and development of the public sector and encouragement of the role of private initiative in economic development—what Martin calls the “Thermidorianization” of Benin’s revolution.

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                                                                                                          • Racine, Andrew. “The People’s Republic of Benin.” In The New Communist Third World: An Essay in Political Economy. Edited by Peter Wiles, 205–229. London and Canberra, Australia: Croom Helm, 1982.

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                                                                                                            Despite rhetorical claims to socialist commitment, Benin is characterized here as too poor in human and nonhuman resources and too dependent on its military to achieve a socialist transformation.

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                                                                                                            Burkina Faso

                                                                                                            When Captain Thomas Sankara assumed control of Upper Volta in August 1983 in a coup d’état, he sought to break the neocolonial relationship with France and develop a self-reliant state. Endowed with great charisma and popular support, Sankara committed the country to Marxism-Leninism in his Political Orientation Speech (Discours d’orientation politique) of October 1983 that identified neocolonialism as the main challenge to Dahomey’s development. The country was renamed Burkina Faso in 1984 and power was consolidated in the ruling National Council of Revolution (Conseil National de la Révolution, or CNR). Local revolutionary cells called Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (Comités de Défense de la Révolution, CDRs) and popular tribunals were established to bring the revolution to the people. Rural health and educational initiatives were launched, a radical reformulation of women’s roles in society was advanced, and a new economic development plan focused on increasing agricultural productivity and improving infrastructure was released. International alliances were cultivated with radical states, including Libya, Cuba, Ghana, Benin, Congo and, to lesser degree, the Soviet Union. Though Sankara was assassinated in an October 1987 coup, his desire to redirect national planning in radical ways had resonated widely, especially with youth, and obliged his successor, Blaise Compaoré, to continue the socialist revolution in rhetoric if not in substance. Martin 1987 argues that the Burkinabè revolution succeeded in generating true popular support due to Sankara’s ability to clearly articulate the goals of the revolution, which prioritized the needs of the rural populace. Speirs 1991 identifies multiple contradictions faced by Sankara that undermined his revolutionary strategy, namely the opposing power and privileges of urban workers, civil servants, commercial classes and traditional chiefly authorities. Baxter and Somerville 1989 draws attention to left-wing intellectuals who, though a relatively small faction, contested Sankara’s agenda for a populist revolution rather than one led by a vanguard, and the Compaoré faction who overthrew Sankara on the grounds of his having deviated from the primary goals of the revolution. Otayek 1992 traces how Compaoré’s overthrow of Sankara on this justification, that the revolution needed to be “rectified,” evolved into a complete rejection of Marxism-Leninism and state capitalism and an embrace of democratization and liberalization. Yet Otayek identifies domestic pressures from trade unions and traditional chiefs, not external pressure, as the primary drivers of this process. Finally, Otayek 1986 dissects what constitutes an ideal type of radical military regime, and why Burkina Faso is a superb example of such a regime. See also the Oxford Bibliographies article “Burkina Faso (Upper Volta).”

                                                                                                            • Baxter, Joan, and Keith Somerville. “Burkina Faso.” In Benin, The Congo, Burkina Faso: Economics, Politics and Society. Edited by Michael S. Radu, Keith Somerville, and Joan Baxter, 237–300. Marxist Regimes. London and New York: Pinter, 1989.

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                                                                                                              After Thomas Sankara was killed in a coup, his popularity and the popular resonance of his desires to redirect national planning in radical ways required his successor Compaoré to at least assert a continuation of the socialist revolution.

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                                                                                                              • Martin, Guy. “Ideology and Praxis in Thomas Sankara’s Populist Revolution of 4 August 1983 in Burkina Faso.” Issue: A Journal of Opinion 15 (1987): 77–90.

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                                                                                                                Detailed overview of the origins, ideology, and political and economic organization of the 1983 Populist Revolution under Thomas Sankara. Argues that it has succeeded despite scarce resources and the demise of socialism elsewhere in the world because of genuine popular support for the revolution.

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                                                                                                                • Otayek, René. “The Revolutionary Process in Burkina Faso: Breaks and Continuities.” In Military Marxist Regimes in Africa. Edited by John Markakis and Michael Waller, 82–100. London: Frank Cass, 1986.

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                                                                                                                  Argues that the case of Burkina constitutes an ideal type of radical military regime for the following reasons: (1) the officers in charge were young and noncommissioned; (2) they attacked and sacrificed foreign interests in order to build and fully control a new society; (3) they formed alliances with counter-elites such as intelligentsia, students, trade unions, and political organizations; (4) they saw their mission as endowed with special purpose; and (5) it was led by a charismatic leader.

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                                                                                                                  • Otayek, René. “The Democratic ‘Rectification’ in Burkina Faso.” Journal of Communist Studies 8.2 (1992): 82–104.

                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1080/13523279208415148Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                    Links the overthrow of the Sankara regime to popular demands for democratization, the strength of the trade union movement, and the resilience of Mossi political structures.

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                                                                                                                    • Speirs, Mike. “Agrarian Change and the Revolution in Burkina Faso.” African Affairs 90 (1991): 89–110.

                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.afraf.a098408Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                      Analysis of contradictions in Thomas Sankara’s policies that led to revisions of his revolutionary strategy and its ultimate abandonment.

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                                                                                                                      Cape Verde

                                                                                                                      Amilcar Cabral led the nationalist movements against Portuguese colonial rule in Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau, and in 1956 he founded the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), which would rule following independence in 1974. Assassinated in 1973, Cabral never saw his countries obtain independence. He nevertheless is recognized as one of Africa’s most influential political theorists, as Luke 1981 explores, whose writings drew on Marxist ideas even if he eschewed the label. PAIGC ruled both Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde following independence, but after the 1980 coup in Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde formed its own political party: the African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV). Davidson 1986 describes how, though working with a deficit of human and material resources, Cape Verde’s independent government set about simultaneously developing a vanguard party and the institutions of governance. It also pursued literacy campaigns, agricultural development, and land reform (the latter a key priority of Cabral, since 39 percent of all Cape Verdean peasants were landless, and an additional 30 percent owned too little to guarantee subsistence). Foy 1988 emphasizes the rare political stability of Cape Verde and relates it to the careful governance strategy of the PAICV as well as critical support received both from international donors and Cape Verdeans in diaspora. Yet Andrade 2002 describes how, despite advances in the agricultural, educational, and health-care sectors, overall reforms fell short of their goals, thus paving the way for a shift in power in 1991 and market reforms. See also the Oxford Bibliographies article “Cape Verde.”

                                                                                                                      • Andrade, Elisa Silva. “Cape Verde.” In A History of Postcolonial Lusophone Africa. By Patrick Chabal, with David Birmingham, Joshua Forrest, Malyn Newitt, Gerhard Seibert, and Elisa Silva Andrade, 264–290. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002.

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                                                                                                                        Concise overview of political and economic developments from the precolonial era through colonialism, independence in 1975, socialism from 1975 to 1990, and the era of democratization and economic liberalization—with an emphasis on the last of these.

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                                                                                                                        • Davidson, Basil. “Practice and Theory: Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde.” In Africa: Problems in the Transition to Socialism. Edited by Barry Munslow, 95–113. London: Zed, 1986.

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                                                                                                                          A historical overview that credits Cabral with tremendous success in his development of the PAIGC in both countries, and outlines the variables that have led to different outcomes, but that nonetheless privilege redistribution and revolutionary change in both countries.

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                                                                                                                          • Foy, Colm. Cape Verde: Politics, Economics and Society. Marxist Regimes. London and New York: Pinter, 1988.

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                                                                                                                            Studies how the Socialist Party has strategically exploited its relations with foreign partners and its large overseas diaspora to promote economic growth and successful political development with a strong party base throughout the country.

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                                                                                                                            • Luke, Timothy W. “Cabral’s Marxism: An African Strategy for Socialist Development.” Studies in Comparative Communism 14 (1981): 307–330.

                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1016/0039-3592(81)90033-8Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                              Penetrating analysis of Amilcar Cabral’s Marxist theory as placing equal emphasis on economic, political, and social-psychological liberation.

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                                                                                                                              Congo (Republic of)

                                                                                                                              The Republic of the Congo counts as Africa’s first Afrocommunist state, the earliest to declare its ideological commitment to Marxism-Leninism. It obtained independence in 1960 under a Western-aligned government, and was notable for its high level of education and urbanization as compared to other newly independent African states. In August 1963 the “Congolese Revolution” (or more commonly, Les Trois Glorieuses) took place, marked by three days of strikes and demonstrations by a loose alliance of students, trade unionists, and parts of the army that toppled the government. Marxism-Leninism became the state ideology in 1963, but internal power struggles led to a coup in 1968 that resulted in Marien Ngouabi being named head of state and the country being renamed the People’s Republic of the Congo. Ngouabi introduced a Soviet-style constitution; consolidated power in the ruling Congolese Party of Labour (Parti Congolais du Travail, or PCT), rendering state institutions subordinate to it; introduced a command economy; welcomed advisors from Eastern Europe and North Korea; and eliminated his political rivals through frequent purges. Ngouabi was assassinated on 18 March 1977, and the former defense minister Denis Sassou Nguesso eventually rose to power. Dependence on oil and neglect of the agricultural sector undermined stated economic objectives, especially following the crash in oil prices in the 1980s. Despite close military and educational ties to the Soviet bloc, neocolonial trade relations with France has continued throughout the postcolonial period, with France as Congo’s primary trade partner and source of foreign aid. In 1986 Sassou Nguesso negotiated loans from the World Bank and IMF. Structural adjustment required liberalization of the economy and acceptance of multiparty politics, which Sassou Nguesso introduced in 1989 and 1990, respectively. He was ousted during a 1991 party congress when the ruling party officially abandoned Marxism-Leninism. Racine 1982 argues that Congo’s fate has been determined by its financial indebtedness to the West and military dependence on the Communist world, the former being the more burdensome of the two. Radu and Somerville 1989 point out that despite a sincere and strong commitment to socialism, Congo’s leaders never properly took into account the objective conditions they inherited that required modification of Marxist-Leninist policy. Decalo 1979 argues that Congo was one of Africa’s most industrialized countries, yet Decalo faults its leaders for never having acquired the most profitable sectors and for not ending neocolonial relations with France. Eaton 2006 describes the post-1991 descent into ethnicized politics and the 1997 civil war that ended with Sassou Nguesso’s return to power. Tommasi 1999 outlines Congo’s reluctant engagement with reform in the 1990s and how it had to accommodate to elements of the former socialist system. See also the Oxford Bibliographies article “Congo, Republic of (Congo Brazzaville).”

                                                                                                                              • Decalo, Samuel. “Ideological Rhetoric and Scientific Socialism in Benin and Congo/Brazzaville.” In Socialism in Sub-Saharan Africa: A New Assessment. Edited by Carl G. Rosberg and Thomas M. Callaghy, 231–264. Research Series 38. Berkeley: Institute of International Studies, University of California, 1979.

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                                                                                                                                Comparative study assessing the increasing popularity of class-based radicalism in urban populations and neocolonial constraints on transforming political economy, with Benin falling short of the strides made in Congo-Brazzaville.

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                                                                                                                                • Decalo, Samuel. “Socio-economic Constraints on Radical Action in the People’s Republic of Congo.” In Military Marxist Regimes in Africa. Edited by John Markakis and Michael Waller, 39–57. London: Frank Cass, 1986.

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                                                                                                                                  Identifies the severe socioeconomic constraints that hindered a radical restructuring of society in Congo: an inability to set economic priorities and control budgetary excesses; resurgent ethnic tensions; minuteness of the Marxist-Leninist party; internal divisions; external fiscal constraints such as neocolonialism; and, significantly, a bloated public sector that consumed state funding faster than it was produced, generating a constant state of fiscal crisis.

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                                                                                                                                  • Eaton, David. “Diagnosing the Crisis in the Republic of Congo.” Africa: Journal of the International African Institute 76 (2006): 44–69.

                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.3366/afr.2006.0003Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                    Analysis of Congo’s transition from socialist one-party government to multiparty democracy and how the resulting consequences were interpreted and articulated locally.

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                                                                                                                                    • Racine, Andrew. “The People’s Republic of Congo.” In The New Communist Third World: An Essay in Political Economy. Edited by Peter Wiles, 230–253. London and Canberra, Australia: Croom Helm, 1982.

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                                                                                                                                      Bound through neocolonial ties to the West, especially in oil production, the Congo has been compromised in its attempts at socialist transformation.

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                                                                                                                                      • Radu, Michael S., and Keith Somerville. “People’s Republic of Congo.” In Benin, The Congo, Burkina Faso: Economics, Politics and Society. Edited by Michael S. Radu, Keith Somerville, and Joan Baxter, 145–236. Marxist Regimes. London and New York: Pinter, 1989.

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                                                                                                                                        Billed by the authors as not only the oldest example of scientific socialism in Africa, but also one of the best, Congo features a powerful party structure (that subordinates government), sustained and populated by its radicalized military rulers. And with considerable resources, via oil revenues, to pursue transformative advances, it has made progress toward centralizing control over the economy. However, even Congo has been hampered by its position in the world capitalist economy.

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                                                                                                                                        • Tommasi, Daniel. “Bureaucracy, Socialism and Adjustment: Congo and Madagascar.” In African Economies in Transition: The Reform Experience. Edited by Jo Ann Paulson, 68–119. Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan, 1999.

                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1007/978-1-349-27483-3_3Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                          Compares socialist structures and practices of two former French colonies, Congo and Madagascar, and their experiences of reform in the 1990s, spanning political reform, financial stabilization, public enterprise reform, deregulation, and external investments/financing/debt.

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                                                                                                                                          Egypt

                                                                                                                                          As Beinen and Lockman 1988 and Botman 1985 describe, Egyptian socialism dates to 1919, when successful labor strikes resulted in the founding of the Socialist Party of Egypt. It represented multiple strains of ideology from Fabianism to Marxism-Leninism, but this made it unpopular with the Comintern, so in 1922 it changed its name to the Egyptian Communist Party and adopted a more orthodox ideological position. In 1924 the government cracked down on the party after it successfully organized a strike in Alexandria. Organized communism died out and reemerged in the 1940s in a number of disconnected organizations led primarily by minority Jewish Egyptians or non-Egyptians (Armenians, Italians, Greeks). Botman 1988 traces the subsequent history of Egyptian communism. In 1947 the Democratic Movement for National Liberation (DMNL) emerged but deviated from orthodox Marxism in pursuing democratic nationalism first and communism afterward. Radical leftists, with support from the French Communist Party, reestablished the Egyptian Communist Party (ECP) in 1950. However, Gamal Abdul Nasser and a group called the Free Officers overthrew the monarchy on 23 July 1952 with the support of the DMNL. The Free Officers subsequently renamed themselves the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) and appointed the nationalist hero General Muhammad Naguib as president. When a labor strike occurred in August, however, the government brutally suppressed it, executing the leaders. Naguib grew disenchanted with Nasser’s repressive tactics and resigned in February 1954. Nasser became prime minister and in October signed a treaty ending British occupation. He was a key personality at the 1955 Bandung Conference and became president in June 1956. In July 1956 he nationalized the Suez Canal and repelled an invasion by Israeli, British, and French forces. In 1957–1958 the DMNL and ECP joined forces to form the United Communist Party of Egypt. However, in 1959, Nasser cracked down on the movement and imprisoned hundreds of Communists. In 1961–1962 he nationalized many sectors of the economy, officially committed Egypt to Arab socialism, renamed the ruling party the Arab Socialist Union and, as detailed by Bier 2011, launched programs to redress gender inequality. Thus, while Nasser adopted some communist elements, he suppressed labor and organized communism, rejected Marxism-Leninism, and refused to align with the Soviet Union. Ginat 1997 analyzes Nasser’s socialism as nationalist socialism, which rejected proletarian internationalism and emphasized the distinctiveness of Arab nations. Nasser died of a heart attack in 1970 and was succeeded by his vice president, Anwar Sadat, who implemented policies of economic liberalization.

                                                                                                                                          • Beinen, Joel, and Zachary Lockman. Workers on the Nile: Nationalism, Communism, Islam and the Egyptian Working Class, 1882–1954. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1988.

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                                                                                                                                            Provides a detailed history of the emergence of working-class consciousness and an organized labor movement, beginning in the late 19th century and ending with the ascendance of Nasser as Egyptian head of state.

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                                                                                                                                            • Bier, Laura. Revolutionary Womanhood: Feminisms, Modernity and the State in Nasser’s Egypt. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2011.

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                                                                                                                                              Historical analysis of state feminism and the rise of women as political subjects during the period of Nasser’s Arab socialism. Nasser sought to empower women so as to be equal to men in post-revolutionary Egypt using laws, social programs, and the creation of new institutions to undermine patriarchy, produce new political subjectivities, and enlist women as agents in national development.

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                                                                                                                                              • Botman, Selma. “The Rise and Experience of Egyptian Communism: 1919–1952.” Studies in Comparative Communism 18 (1985): 49–66.

                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1016/0039-3592(85)90055-9Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                Details the early history of communism in Egypt, from its emergence in 1919 through 1952 and its failure to amass support outside of the city of Cairo and beyond students, workers, and the Jewish minority.

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                                                                                                                                                • Botman, Selma. The Rise of Egyptian Communism, 1939–1970. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1988.

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                                                                                                                                                  A thorough political and intellectual history of Egyptian communism and its ideological and historical impacts, despite its failure to generate a mass movement.

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                                                                                                                                                  • Ginat, Rami. Egypt’s Incomplete Revolution: Lutfi al-Khuli and Nasser’s Socialism in the 1960s. London: Frank Cass, 1997.

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                                                                                                                                                    Analysis of the 1960s “Arab socialist” period under Gamal Abdul Nasser, both in theory and in practice.

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                                                                                                                                                    Eritrea

                                                                                                                                                    In 1993, Eritrea obtained independence from Ethiopia following a UN-sponsored referendum in which 99.8 percent voted in favor of secession. This ended a thirty-year war for liberation. Eritreans had developed a strong sense of nationalism under Italian colonial rule (1889–1941), a fact noted by the British, who then administered it until 1952. Then a UN resolution federated it within the Ethiopian empire, which claimed it as one of its original holdings. The veneer of autonomy was shattered in 1962 when Emperor Haile Selassie annexed Eritrea and declared it a province of Ethiopia. After Selassie was overthrown by the Marxist Dergue regime in 1974, Eritrean hopes for independence were again dashed, in large part because it was a valued route to the Red Sea. The movement for independence began in 1961. The first organization to emerge was the Eritrean Liberation Movement (ELM), which employed civil disobedience and demonstrations. It was eclipsed in 1965 by the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF), which advocated armed struggle. As Iyob 1995 and Iyob 1997 explain, the ELF was led by exiled Muslim Eritreans who aligned their cause with Arab nationalist movements and discriminated against Christian Eritreans. The ELF lacked a coherent revolutionary ideology, however, and its organizational structure, based on regional/cultural zones, fomented sectarianism. Pool 2001 provides a history of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) from its origins in 1977 as a breakaway faction of the ELF to its military defeat of Ethiopia and its current position leading the independent government of Eritrea (after a name change, to the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice, or PFDJ). Unlike the ELF, the EPLF developed a disciplined and well-organized movement that succeeded in securing support throughout Eritrea. It had a well-articulated socialist ideology drawing on Marxist and Maoist principles that united the interests of workers, peasants, women, and revolutionary intellectuals in a unified class analysis, and it asserted the equal rights of all nationalities and religions. Already in the 1970s, it implemented rural development programs, such as land reform to redress land inequality, and provision of free health-care and veterinary services. The EPLF defeated the Ethiopian army in 1991 with the liberation of Asmara, but waited two years to prepare for the referendum on independence. From 1998 to 2000, Eritrea and Ethiopia fought another war over the village of Badme on their shared border. Bereketeab 2009 highlights the many social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of the EPLF/PFDJ government, as well as the causes and consequences of the second war and the rise of authoritarianism in Eritrea today. See also the Oxford Bibliographies article “Eritrea.”

                                                                                                                                                    • Bereketeab, Redie. State-Building in Post-Liberation Eritrea: Challenges, Achievements and Potentials. London: Adonis & Abbey, 2009.

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                                                                                                                                                      Analysis of post-liberation Eritrea, including its achievements, the second war with Ethiopia, and the prospects for the future.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Iyob, Ruth. The Eritrean Struggle for Independence: Domination, Resistance, Nationalism, 1941–1993. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

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                                                                                                                                                        A history of Eritrea’s liberation movement from the end of Italian colonialism to the establishment of the independent government in 1993.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Iyob, Ruth. “The Eritrean Experiment: A Cautious Pragmatism?” Journal of Modern African Studies 35 (1997): 647–673.

                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1017/S0022278X97002498Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                          Assessment of the new independent Eritrean state’s first four years (1993–1997), with a brief discussion of the EPLF’s orientation toward socialism.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Pool, David. From Guerillas to Government: The Eritrean People’s Liberation Front. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2001.

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                                                                                                                                                            Study of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF)—its formation, organizational structure, ideology, methods of mobilization, military successes, and development into a governing body recognized within the global order of nation-states.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Tronvoll, Kjetil. “The Process of Nation-Building in Post-War Eritrea: Created from Below or Directed from Above?” Journal of Modern African Studies 36 (1998): 461–482.

                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1017/S0022278X98002833Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                              Analysis of the Eritrean government’s interventions in two domains: local rural administration and land reform. Argues that both interventions undermine long-standing practice and replace local participation in governance with centralized control. Raises concerns about the long-term impact on pastoralist livelihoods and the threats that privatization of land and allocations to investors will have for rural residents.

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                                                                                                                                                              Ethiopia

                                                                                                                                                              Counted among Afrocommunist states, Ethiopia arguably has the longest experience of any African country with Marxist-Leninist principles of governance, since it is only arguably post-communist now. Many communist features still pertain: effective single party rule, heavy state involvement in the economy, and state control over media and telecommunications. State socialism was introduced in 1974 following a violent revolution led by a group of military officers called the Derg, who deposed Emperor Haile Selassie. Harbeson 1979, Schwab 1985, and Rahmato 1987 provide analyses of the background, events, and processes of class conflict leading to the Ethiopian revolution. Zewde 2014 traces the rise and radicalization of the student movement in the 1960s, which embraced Marxism-Leninism as the antidote to feudalism and organized protests throughout the world, wherever Ethiopian students were based. Zewde credits the student movement with being the precursor to and instigator of the revolution by articulating grievances against feudal agrarian relations and the autocracy of the monarchy. The first organized political opposition movement to emerge within Ethiopia was the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party (EPRP) in 1972, which had to meet in secret because political parties were banned. It did not participate in the revolution but initially supported it. A key catalyst for the revolution was the monarchy’s denial of the severe famine of 1973–1974 that caused 300,000 deaths and the impoverishment of two million Ethiopians. The resulting loss of legitimacy led to widespread civil disturbances, strikes, and the rise of the Derg, which abolished parliament and the monarchy in September 1974. Led by Mengistu Haile Mariam, the Derg ruled Ethiopia until 1991. Mengistu presided over the establishment of the Marxist-Leninist Workers’ Party of Ethiopia (WPE), nationalization of all land holdings, implementation of a command economy, and Ethiopia’s alignment with the Soviet bloc. In September 1976 the EPRP tried but failed to assassinate Mengistu, which prompted the Red Terror of 1977–1978 in which untold numbers of civilians, many being students and children, were murdered. The Soviet Union withdrew its support for the Mengistu regime, and in 1990 Mengistu renounced communism, but his demise was imminent. In 1991 Mengistu was deposed by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), a former rebel group turned political coalition and the current ruling party of Ethiopia. While Ottaway 1987 views the Ethiopian revolution as the best example of Marxism-Leninism in Africa, Markakis 1981 considers it a case of “garrison socialism.” Markakis and Ayele 1978 presents a class analysis of the revolution and its evolution into a military dictatorship. Donham 1999 provides a firsthand account of how the revolution was experienced in rural areas, through a historical ethnography of the revolution. See also the Oxford Bibliographies article “Ethiopia.”

                                                                                                                                                              • Donham, Donald L. Marxist Modern: An Ethnographic History of the Ethiopian Revolution. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.

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                                                                                                                                                                Historical ethnography of Ethiopia’s revolution, experienced firsthand by the author and analyzed as a pursuit of modernity refracted across multiple scales from village to nation.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Harbeson, John W. “Socialist Politics in Revolutionary Ethiopia.” In Socialism in Sub-Saharan Africa: A New Assessment. Edited by Carl G. Rosberg and Thomas M. Callaghy, 345–372. Research Series 38. Berkeley: Institute of International Studies, University of California, 1979.

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                                                                                                                                                                  Historical analysis of the rise of the Derg and its militarily driven attempts to generate a socialist revolution based not on an urban working class but on the peasantry via major rural land reform.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Markakis, John. “The Military State and Ethiopia’s Path to Socialism.” Review of African Political Economy 8.21 (1981): 7–25.

                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1080/03056248108703464Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                    Outlines the results of Ethiopia’s 1974 revolution and the problems of trying to build socialism top down through military rule—what the author terms “garrison socialism.”

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Markakis, John, and Nega Ayele. Class and Revolution in Ethiopia. Nottingham, UK: Spokesman, 1978.

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                                                                                                                                                                      A Marxist analysis of the roots of the 1974 revolution and the emergence of internal divisions along class lines that culminated in counter-revolutionary activity and military dictatorship. Rather than socialist revolution, the authors argue that a Bonapartist “campaign of savage repression” took place, which in 1977 would claim the life of one of the authors, Nega Ayele.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Ottaway, Marina. “State Power Consolidation in Ethiopia.” In Afro-Marxist Regimes: Ideology and Public Policy. Edited by Edmond J. Keller and Donald Rothchild, 25–42. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1987.

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                                                                                                                                                                        Argues that while the Ethiopian revolution has yet to fulfill all its objectives, it nonetheless offers the best example of state power consolidation along Marxist-Leninist lines in Africa.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Rahmato, Dessalegn. “The Political Economy of Development in Ethiopia.” In Afro-Marxist Regimes: Ideology and Public Policy. Edited by Edmond J. Keller and Donald Rothchild, 155–179. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1987.

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                                                                                                                                                                          Provides a comprehensive analysis of events since the 1974 revolution, regarding both the consolidation of political power by the Derg and the economic plans instituted to overcome Ethiopia’s semi-feudal past and replace it with industrialization and collectivized agriculture.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Schwab, Peter. Ethiopia: Politics, Economics, and Society. Marxist Regimes. London: Pinter, 1985.

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                                                                                                                                                                            One of the first volumes in the Marxist Regimes series, this analysis presents the Ethiopian revolution as a successful Leninist/Stalinist revolution that destroyed the old feudal order and installed socialism via a radicalized peasantry and strong alliance with the Soviet Union.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Zewde, Bahru. The Quest for Socialist Utopia: The Ethiopian Student Movement, c. 1960–1974. Woodbridge, UK: James Currey, 2014.

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                                                                                                                                                                              Details and evaluates the Ethiopian student movement, which the author credits as laying the foundation for the 1974 revolution and shaping the current government.

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                                                                                                                                                                              Ghana

                                                                                                                                                                              Following independence in 1957, Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah, expanded educational and health services across the country, invested in import substitution industries, and created state enterprises in shipping, transportation, and agriculture—what Ray 1986 terms the economic “preconditions” for a socialist system. Nkrumah also established ties to Eastern bloc countries, where many Ghanaian students were sent for higher education, and with the Soviet Union, which trained his presidential regiment—all of which greatly alarmed the CIA. Legum 1964 explores Nkrumah’s declared commitment to scientific socialism but not Marxism, and Folson 1971a and Folson 1971b argue that Nkrumah’s Convention People’s Party (CPP) was initially unwilling to follow suit, yet by 1962 it espoused a vaguely socialist ideology. Nkrumah organized a socialist-oriented youth movement called Young Pioneers, and he focused foreign policy on supporting revolutionary struggles in Africa and throughout the world. It was during an overseas trip to China and Vietnam in 1966 to campaign against US interventions in Vietnam that he was deposed in a coup (reputedly with CIA involvement). The military-led National Liberation Council that ruled for the next three years privatized state enterprises, sundered ties to the Eastern bloc, and followed IMF dictates. Political instability marked by multiple coups and military juntas followed. In 1981 Flight-Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings seized power for the second time in three years, formed the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC), and launched a Marxist revolutionary movement to transform the country. He instituted anti-corruption tribunals, People’s Defence Committees, Workers’ Defence Committees, and People’s Shops, and his wife launched a women’s movement. However, he lacked a strong revolutionary party to provide ideological support. The left was fragmented into multiple parties, the most prominent being the June Fourth Movement (JFM) and New Democratic Movement (NDM). Rawlings’s reforms were attacked from the right and the left, and there were nine attempted coups between July 1982 and January 1985, with opponents citing his poor human rights record, dictatorship, and poor economic management. The PNDC struck a foreign policy of nonalignment but took inspiration from Marxist Cuba and Arab Socialist Libya and offered staunch support for revolutionary movements in southern Africa. Haynes 1992 narrates how Rawlings exchanged his revolutionary platform for multiparty democracy in 1988 and conceded to economic liberalization as early as 1983. McCain 1979 provides survey evidence to show that Ghanaians in 1974–1975 reflected favorably on Nkrumah’s legacy and policies. Ryan 1970 outlines the many constraints that prevented implementation of socialism in Ghana. See also the Oxford Bibliographies article “Ghana.”

                                                                                                                                                                              • Folson, B. D. G. “The Development of Socialist Ideology in Ghana, 1949–59, Part I.” Ghana Social Science Journal 1.1 (1971a): 1–20.

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                                                                                                                                                                                Analyzes the formation of a socialist ideology by Nkrumah and the philosophical influences he drew upon, and the inconsistent affiliation of the CPP with socialism or Marxism-Leninism from its founding to the early post-independence years.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Folson, B. D. G. “The Development of Socialist Ideology in Ghana: II—The Period of ‘African Socialism’: 1959–1962.” Ghana Social Science Journal 1.2 (1971b): 1–20.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  Details a new commitment to socialism by both Nkrumah and the CCP from 1959 to 1962, but to an African variant that was not orthodox and accepted the need for foreign private investments as necessary, in tandem with state ownership of some economic sectors.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  • Haynes, J. “One-Party State, No-Party State, Multi-Party State? 35 Years of Democracy, Authoritarianism and Development in Ghana.” Journal of Communist Studies 8.2 (1992): 41–62.

                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1080/13523279208415146Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                    Reviews the political history of Ghana from its Marxist leanings under Nkrumah and Rawlings (the first decade of his rule) to democratization.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Legum, Colin. “Socialism in Ghana: A Political Interpretation.” In African Socialism. Edited by William H. Friedland and Carl G. Rosberg Jr., 131–159. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, 1964.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      Analysis of Nkrumah’s unorthodox socialist ideology that combines Marxist scientific socialism with pan-Africanism and a heavy dose of pragmatism.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • McCain, James A. “Ideology and Leadership in Post-Nkrumah Ghana.” In Socialism in Sub-Saharan Africa: A New Assessment. Edited by Carl G. Rosberg and Thomas M. Callaghy, 207–230. Research Series 38. Berkeley: Institute of International Studies, University of California, 1979.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        Quantitative study measuring popular and elite perceptions of the value of African socialist orientation in Ghana.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Ray, Donald I. Ghana: Politics, Economics and Society. Marxist Regimes. London: Pinter, 1986.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          Analysis of the brief Marxist-Leninist moment in Ghana’s history, following Jerry John Rawlings’s ascendancy to political power.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Ryan, Selwyn. “The Theory and Practice of African One Partyism: The CPP Re-examined.” Canadian Journal of African Studies 4.2 (1970): 145–172.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            Outlines the many constraints preventing the successful pursuit of socialism in Ghana, including lack of a secure power base, lack of trained cadres, lack of administrative coordination, and ethnic divisions.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            Guinea

                                                                                                                                                                                            Guinea obtained independence in 1958, rejecting affiliation with the French Community. Sékou Touré served as its first president, from 1958 to 1984. He had established the first trade union and was a founding member of the Parti Démocratique de Guinée (PDG). Schmidt 2007 details how the historic vote to sever ties with France resulted from mobilization by trade unionists, women, students, and youth, and only secondarily from Touré’s influence. Adamolekun 1979 describes how Touré initially refused to align with either capitalism or socialism, vacillating in particular on the desirability of foreign investment. Similarly, in a comparison of Guinea and Senegal, Andrain 1964 classifies Touré as an African socialist who dismissed the relevance of class struggle to the African context. Nevertheless, by 1967, almost ten years after independence, Touré committed Guinea to scientific socialism. He subsumed the government to the party—this despite a Western-style constitution that divided state powers between executive, parliament, and judiciary. Touré insisted that the PDG remain a mass party rather than a vanguard party, and indeed every adult citizen was assessed a tax conferring automatic party membership. He pursued a planned economy, generating a large public sector that managed all educational and health-care facilities and strictly controlled trade, and he cultivated strong ties to the Soviet bloc, China, Vietnam, and Cuba. Yansane 1979 assesses the banking system and financial policies under Touré, finding initial success in the establishment of a new currency and provisioning of education (though quality was highly uneven), but notes the state’s reliance on foreign loans and aid. Straker 2009 and McGovern 2013 provide analyses of the state’s heavy hand in policing and politicizing culture, creating both a world-famous dance troupe and a notorious Demystification Program aimed at eliminating traditional practices deemed backward. Touré retained power until his death in 1984. In the early 1980s he pivoted politically and started making overtures to the West. He became increasingly authoritarian, surviving several coup and assassination attempts, and violently suppressed all opposition. By some estimates he was responsible for about thirty thousand deaths and the exodus of two million Guineans into neighboring countries or further. The country underwent economic liberalization following Touré’s death in 1984 and held its first multiparty elections in 1993. McGovern 2017 analyzes the aftereffects of socialist ideology and praxis in Guinea, and explores how it can be credited in part for the peace that Guinea has experienced despite being surrounded by states that devolved into violent conflict. See also the Oxford Bibliographies article “Guinea.”

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Adamolekun, Ladipo. “The Socialist Experience in Guinea.” In Socialism in Sub-Saharan Africa: A New Assessment. Edited by Carl G. Rosberg and Thomas M. Callaghy, 61–82. Research Series 38. Berkeley: Institute of International Studies, University of California, 1979.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              Identifies the factors that undermined socialist development, particularly the entrenchment of foreign capital interests in Guinea, unfavorable terms of trade in the global market, and Sekou Touré’s willingness to compromise socialist objectives to remain in power.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              • Andrain, Charles F. “Guinea and Senegal: Contrasting Types of African Socialism.” In African Socialism. Edited by William H. Friedland and Carl G. Rosberg Jr., 160–174. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, 1964.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                Compares socialist ideologies in these two states, associating Guinea with a stronger Leninist influence and Senegal as pre-Marxist due to its greater dependence on France.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                • McGovern, Mike. Unmasking the State: Making Guinea Modern. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  A rich ethnography analyzing the Demystification Campaign under Sékou Touré and its contradictory co-production of both ethnic and national identities in the name of modernity.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • McGovern, Mike. A Socialist Peace? Explaining the Absence of War in an African Country. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Counterfactual analysis of why Guinea has not fallen prey to civil war in a region where most neighboring countries with similar ethnic and economic conditions have. Argues that socialism left enduring material and mental practices that have mitigated against widespread violence.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Schmidt, Elizabeth. Cold War and Decolonization in Guinea, 1946–1958. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      Historical analysis of the movement leading to Guinea’s radical break from the French Community that is typically credited to Sékou Touré, but which Schmidt instead attributes to the critical mobilization work performed by trade unionists, students, women, and youth.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Straker, Jay. Youth, Nationalism and the Guinean Revolution. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        Analysis of how the objective of molding socialist, culturally superior youth drove key elements of Sékou Touré’s socialist program, and how, despite the decline into totalitarianism, a collective nationalist sentiment has survived into the present.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Yansane, Aguibou Y. “Monetary Independence and Transition to Socialism in Guinea.” Journal of African Studies 6.3 (1979): 132–143.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          A study of Guinea’s financial policies post-independence and its efforts to construct a new banking system and new currency in the aftermath of its disassociation from the French Community.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          Guinea-Bissau

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Many consider Amilcar Cabral and his Partido Africano da Independência da Guiné e Cabo Verde (PAIGC) the most successful of all Lusophone nationalist movements. Chabal 1983 and Galli and Jones 1987 credit Cabral and the PAIGC with creating a social and political administration during the liberation struggle that served roughly half of Guinea-Bissau’s population. They introduced health and educational services in rural areas that had never experienced them, providing building materials, health and school supplies, and volunteer doctors and nurses from friendly governments. Elected local committees were established in every village, along with People’s Stores that displaced colonial-era private traders. Agricultural extension services introduced high-yield seeds and new crops like potatoes and manioc. As Luke 1981 and Kofi 1981 discuss, Cabral championed a Marxist ideology that mixed socialism with pragmatism, as well as the political unification of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde. Chandhoke 1996 similarly credits Cabral with tailoring socialism to local conditions and taking insight from Mao by privileging peasants and agrarian reform over the small population of wage laborers. Guinea-Bissau seemed to be a model for political and economic development in Africa. However, Cabral was assassinated in 1973, a year before independence (likely in a Portuguese-led plot). His brother Luís Cabral became president and turned the PAIGC into a closed vanguard party that brooked no dissent. Policies inspired by Amilcar’s vision did result, as Rudebeck 1979 shows, in a rise in export earnings and decreased reliance on trade with Portugal. Nevertheless, the popular party apparatus that Amilcar Cabral had built disintegrated, along with local participation. Centralization of power increased under João Bernardo Vieira, who deposed Luís Cabral in 1980, and the political union with Cape Verde ended. In response to policies continually privileging urbanites in Bissau at their expense, peasants emigrated or engaged in clandestine trade with Senegal and the Gambia. The combination of agricultural decline and state expansion saw Guinea-Bissau became more dependent on foreign aid than any country in Africa, and also one of the poorest countries in the world (ranking 178 out of 188 the UN’s Human Development Index). Whereas Davidson 1986 attributes this to the loss of the PAIGC’s legitimacy, Forrest 2002 ascribes it to economic policies favoring elites, enduring colonial-postcolonial relations, and the informalization of political power. By the early 2000s, Guinea-Bissau was known primarily as a transit point for narcotics smuggling from South America to Europe, earning a designation as the world’s first “narco state.” See also the Oxford Bibliographies article “Guinea Bissau.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Chabal, Patrick. “Party, State, and Socialism in Guinea-Bissau.” Canadian Journal of African Studies 17 (1983): 189–210.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            Despite considerable challenges and lack of resources, Guinea-Bissau has retained considerable party legitimacy in rural areas, but it needs to deliver in order to sustain it.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Chandhoke, Neera. “Amilcar Cabral and the Liberation of Guinea Bissau.” In Mao Zedong and Social Reconstruction. Edited by Girin Phukon and Dhiren Bhagawati, 164–174. New Delhi: South Asian Publishers, 1996.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              Examines the influence of Mao Zedong on the ideological development of Amilcar Cabral and the fight for independence in Guinea Bissau.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Davidson, Basil. “Practice and Theory: Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde.” In Africa: Problems in the Transition to Socialism. Edited by Barry Munslow, 95–113. London: Zed, 1986.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                A historical overview that credits Cabral with tremendous success in his development of the PAIGC in both countries, and outlines the variables that have led to different outcomes but nonetheless privilege both redistribution and revolutionary change.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Forrest, Joshua. “Guinea-Bissau.” In A History of Postcolonial Lusophone Africa. By Patrick Chabal, with David Birmingham, Joshua Forrest, Malyn Newitt, Gerhard Seibert, and Elisa Silva Andrade, 236–263. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Provides a concise overview of political and economic developments since independence in 1974.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Galli, Rosemary, and Jocelyn Jones. Guinea-Bissau: Politics, Economics and Society. Marxist Regimes. London: Pinter, 1987.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Analyzes how the implementation of scientific socialism ended up privileging the expansion of the state bureaucracy at the expense of rural development.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Kofi, Tetteh A. “Prospects and Problems of the Transition from Agrarianism to Socialism: The Case of Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique.” World Development 9.9–10 (1981): 851–870.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1016/0305-750X(81)90046-2Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Economic devastation after long years of war placed these Lusophone countries in a disadvantaged position from which to try and implement scientific socialism.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Luke, Timothy W. “Cabral’s Marxism: An African Strategy for Socialist Development.” Studies in Comparative Communism 14 (1981): 307–330.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1016/0039-3592(81)90033-8Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Penetrating analysis of Amilcar Cabral’s Marxist theory as placing equal emphasis on economic, political, and social-psychological liberation.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Rudebeck, Lars. “Socialist-Oriented Development in Guinea-Bissau.” In Socialism in Sub-Saharan Africa: A New Assessment. Edited by Carl G. Rosberg and Thomas M. Callaghy, 322–344. Research Series 38. Berkeley: Institute of International Studies, University of California, 1979.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Argues that social and political struggle to establish a revolutionary vanguard party with popular support is necessary in order to organize Guinea-Bissau into a state not dependent upon external financing and not exclusively focused on agriculture.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Kenya

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Kenya achieved independence in 1963 following the protracted and violent Mau Mau Uprising (1952–1960), in which as many as twenty thousand Kenyans were killed by British colonial forces. The Kenya African National Union (KANU) assumed power, with Jomo Kenyatta as president and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga as vice president. Founded in 1960, KANU had originally encompassed varying ideologies and positions on economic development. Kenyatta was known to prefer alignment with the capitalist West, whereas Odinga argued for alignment with China, the Soviet Union, and Warsaw Pact countries. The divide between them was solidified with the release of Sessional Paper No. 10, “On the Application of African Socialism in Kenya,” of 1965, crafted by Tom Mboya, another founding member of KANU. Sessional Paper No. 10 committed Kenya to “African Socialism,” defined in this instance as a market economy combined with direct state involvement in economic planning. Following its adoption by Parliament, Odinga resigned as vice president in 1966 and founded a new political party called the Kenya People’s Union (KPU) with other left-leaning defectors from KANU. Odinga continued to nurture ties with the Soviet Union through KPU activities, leading to a face-off with the Kenyatta government in 1969. At the opening ceremony for a Soviet-funded hospital in Odinga’s home province of Nyanza, Kenyatta’s attendance provoked riots that ultimately led to the banning of the KPU. This effectively rendered Kenya a one-party state—and one committed purely to a capitalist path of development aligned with Western states. Speich 2009 recounts the history and ideological positions underlying the Mboya/Kenyatta versus Odinga split. Mohiddin 1981 compares ideologies and policies of “African socialism” in Kenya and “ujamaa socialism” in Tanzania, and concludes that Kenya produced capitalistic growth with inequality. Ngau 1987 discusses how state appropriation of an indigenous self-help practice called “Harambee” in the name of African socialism resulted in disempowerment and departicipation at the local level, while Migot-Adholla 1984 further shows how state Harambee programs exacerbated rural inequality. Himbara 1994 describes how state capitalistic enterprises failed for both political and economic reasons. Cliffe 1973 and Barkan 1994 make no mention of socialism in relation to Kenyan policies, which indicates how fleeting an ideological stance it was. See also the Oxford Bibliographies article “Kenya.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Barkan, Joel D., ed. Beyond Capitalism versus Socialism in Kenya and Tanzania. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1994.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Analysis of the contrasting approaches to economic and social development in Kenya and Tanzania that makes no mention of African socialism in Kenya. Instead, it associates Kenya with capitalist development, extreme inequality, and the continuation of colonial economic and political structures.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Cliffe, Lionel. Underdevelopment or Socialism?: A Comparative Analysis of Kenya and Tanzania. IDS Discussion Paper 33. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, 1973.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Early comparison of Kenya and Tanzania that details how, despite the grassroots Mau Mau rebellion against colonial capitalism and land alienation in Kenya, the entrenched system of settler-run plantation agriculture and the influence of foreign investors has produced an economy of underdevelopment.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Himbara, David. “The Failed Africanization of Commerce and Industry in Kenya.” World Development 22.3 (1994): 469–482.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1016/0305-750X(94)90136-8Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Argues that Kenyan efforts to develop a state capitalist sector and promote local entrepreneurs failed due to the strength of ethnic patron-client relations in Kenyan politics and the economic dominance of Kenyan Indians.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Migot-Adholla, S. E. “Rural Development Policy and Equality.” In Politics and Public Policy in Kenya and Tanzania. Rev. ed. Edited by Joel D. Barkan, 199–232. New York: Praeger, 1984.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Reveals how the socialist-inspired initiative to launch “Harambee” self-help programs only exacerbated rural inequality after Sessional Paper No. 10 directed that support for such programs be oriented toward resource-abundant areas, rather than areas in greater need.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Mohiddin, Ahmed. African Socialism in Two Countries. London: Croom Helm, 1981.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A comparative analysis of the ideologies and personalities underlying African socialism in Kenya (under Jomo Kenyatta) and Tanzania (under Julius Nyerere). Concludes that African socialism in Kenya was barely disguised capitalism, with economic control largely in the hands of foreign interests, and was thus responsible for the growing inequality that ensued, whereas Tanzania’s ujamaa socialism minimized inequality but did so at the expense of economic growth.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Ngau, Peter M. “Tensions in Empowerment: The Experience of the ‘Harambee’ (Self-Help) Movement in Kenya.” Economic Development and Cultural Change 35.3 (1987): 523–538.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Argues that the indigenous practice of self-help called “Harambee” (meaning “Let’s all pull together”) was appropriated by the government and distorted from being locally led mutual assistance initiatives to costly state-provisioned social amenity projects.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Speich, Daniel. “The Kenyan Style of ‘African Socialism’: Developmental Knowledge Claims and the Explanatory Limits of the Cold War.” Diplomatic History 33.3 (2009): 392–416.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Analysis of the ideological rift headed on one side by Tom Mboya favoring technocratic promotion of economic growth, and on the other by Odinga’s demands for redistribution of resources to address colonial inequality. Concludes that lack of resources made radical economic growth impossible, and that such policies only pushed forward the interests of Kenya’s elite, headed by Jomo Kenyatta.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Madagascar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Malagasy Republic obtained independence in 1960 under a government widely viewed as an extension of France. A 1971 peasant uprising followed by workers and students riots in 1972 led to a military coup in June 1975. The naval captain and former foreign minister Didier Ratsiraka was confirmed as president of the Democratic Republic of Madagascar in a December 1975 referendum, alongside the adoption of a new constitution and Charter of the Malagasy Revolution. Madagascar withdrew from the franc zone and French forces withdrew from the island. Ratsiraka declared Madagascar a scientific socialist state guided by the National Front for the Defense of the Malagasy Socialist Revolution (FNDR) and Supreme Revolutionary Council (CSR), both of which he headed. He instituted a planned economy; nationalized banks, insurance companies, and import-export trade; and established the Vanguard of the Malagasy Revolution (AREMA) party within the FNDR. Unusually for Marxist states, the FNDR comprised several political parties. Peasant communes called fokonolona were established throughout the country. Although committed to nonalignment, Ratsiraka formed ties with other African Marxist states, the Soviet Union, and North Korea. Emboldened by the high price of coffee, its primary export, the regime embarked on an industrialization drive, expansion of the military and educational system, and investments in transportation, communications, energy, and agriculture. Thus, the state’s external debt ballooned to US$1,372 million in 1981, accompanied by skyrocketing inflation. State control of agriculture furthered the crisis, provoking a black market, and Madagascar was transformed from a net exporter to importer of rice. IMF funding was negotiated in 1980. Populist riots protesting austerity measures ensued, and multiple organizations of unemployed youth (TTS, Kung Fu Clubs, ZOAM) threatened state stability. In 1987 the regime embraced economic liberalization, privatization, and democratization. A new president was elected in 1993, but Ratsiraka was re-elected in 1997. He lost in 2002 to Marc Ravalomanana, a supporter of neoliberal reform. Racine 1982 identifies the strength of the bourgeoisie as the primary obstacle to socialism. Covell 1987 highlights that Madagascar is a Marxist state with military origins but support of a civilian party and a functioning multiparty system. Gaudusson 1986 discusses how Marxism-Leninism was tailored to Malagasy realities. Mukonoweshuro 1990 argues that Malagasy peculiarities enabled Ratsiraka to retain power despite economic and political crises. Mukonoweshuro 1994 traces an increasingly repressive state. Tommasi 1999 outlines, sector by sector, Madagascar’s engagement with reform. Jackson 2013 analyzes political discourse in the Ratsiraka and Ravalomanana eras. See also the Oxford Bibliographies article “Madagascar.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Covell, Maureen. Madagascar: Politics, Economics and Society. Marxist Regimes. London: Pinter, 1987.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Provides a thorough history and analysis of the rise of the Malagasy Marxist state under Didier Ratsiraka through 1985, including its ideology, political structures, and economic initiatives.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Gaudusson, Jean du Bois de. “Madagascar: A Case of Revolutionary Pragmatism.” In Military Marxist Regimes in Africa. Edited by John Markakis and Michael Waller, 101–121. London: Frank Cass, 1986.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Discussion of Madagascar’s evolving engagement with Marxism and how the country frequently modified it according to local realities and priorities.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Jackson, Jennifer. Political Oratory and Cartooning: An Ethnography of Democratic Processes in Madagascar. Chichester, UK: John Wiley, 2013.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ethnographic study of political speech in Ravalomanana’s Madagascar through analysis of oratory and political cartoons and how they produce publics and construct democracy through sociolinguistic and semiotic means.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Mukonoweshuro, Eliphas G. “State ‘Resilience’ and Chronic Political Instability in Madagascar.” Canadian Journal of African Studies 24.3 (1990): 376–398.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Detailed analysis of the processes and events following Ratsiraka’s assumption of power in 1975 and the tentative hold he retained in the late 1980s following a long series of economic crises and popular protests, both urban and rural.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Mukonoweshuro, Eliphas G. “Madagascar: The Collapse of an Experiment.” Journal of Third World Studies 11.1 (1994): 336–368.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Rich and well-researched study of the crises and reforms experienced by the Ratsiraka regime, and its dim prospects in 1991 with a population that saw its purchasing power plummet and the national project of socialism abandoned.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Racine, Andrew. “The Democratic Republic of Madagascar.” In The New Communist Third World: An Essay in Political Economy. Edited by Peter Wiles, 254–277. London and Canberra, Australia: Croom Helm, 1982.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Reviews the colonial and revolutionary history of Madagascar, and how, with the continuing political and economic strength of the Merina ethnic bourgeoisie and continuing economic ties to Western powers, the socialist revolution is more rhetoric than reality.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Tommasi, Daniel. “Bureaucracy, Socialism and Adjustment: Congo and Madagascar.” In African Economies in Transition: The Reform Experience. Edited by Jo Ann Paulson, 68–119. Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan, 1999.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1007/978-1-349-27483-3_3Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Compares the socialist structures and practices of two former French colonies, Congo and Madagascar, and their experiences of reform in the 1990s, spanning political reform, financial stabilization, public enterprise reform, deregulation, and external investments/financing/debt.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mali

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In April 1959 the French colonies of Senegal and the Sudanese Republic (formerly French Sudan) formed the Mali Federation, which obtained independence on 20 June 1960. It was headed by Modibo Keïta of the Sudanese Republic as premier, Mamadou Dia of Senegal as vice-premier, and Léopold Sédar Senghor of Senegal as president of the Parti de la Fédération Africain (PFA). However, Keïta and Senghor differed on what federal system to implement, with Keïta wanting a communist-inspired government and Senghor a Western parliamentary system. Senegal withdrew from the federation after only two months, in August 1960, and the Sudanese Republic renamed itself the Republic of Mali, with Keïta as president. Keïta embraced Marxism, banned parties beyond his Union Soudanaise-Rassemblement Démocratique Africain (US-RDA), and instituted state control over banking, trade, transportation, utilities, communications, and mining. Agricultural cooperatives were established to facilitate communal work, extension services, and marketing. The US-RDA was a mass—not vanguard—party, with village- and neighborhood-level comités and an elected National Political Bureau. In March 1966 an even higher authority, the National Committee for the Defense of the Revolution (CNDR), was created, encompassing the most radical members of the government. In 1962, Mali withdrew from the franc zone and introduced its own currency to combat French economic control, but the ensuing economic crisis led to a reversal of policy and a financial bailout by France in 1967, costing Keïta credibility among the Left and leading him to suspend the National Assembly. Malian socialism ended in a 1968 coup. Keïta was offered the chance to continue as president, provided he renounce Marxian socialism, but he refused and died in prison in 1977. Martin 1976 provides an overview of Malian socialism and outlines the challenges faced by the bureaucratic class that it produced. Grundy 1964 outlines Mali’s socialist policies and how they benefited the ruling elite. Hazard 1967 compares the party structure, government policies, and laws of Mali and the Soviet Union, while Hazard 1969 identifies factors contributing to the fall of Modibo Keïta. Jones 1972 argues that despite ideological insistence on primordial African socialist practice, rural Malians resisted Malian socialism just as they had French colonialism. Hopkins 1969 highlights through ethnographic research the resilience of rural practices and institutions, but credits Malian socialism with successful nation-building. Bogosian 2003 examines Keïta’s national service program and shows how memories of colonial forced labor programs spelled its demise. See also the Oxford Bibliographies article “Mali.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Bogosian, Catherine. “‘The Little Farming Soldiers’: The Evolution of a Labor Army in Post-Colonial Mali.” Mande Studies 5 (2003): 83–100.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Analysis of the Service Civique, a national service program of socialist Mali that required all male youth to labor in public service efforts, including farming. Shows how the program was resisted because of institutional similarities to and communal memories of colonial forced labor programs.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Grundy, Kenneth W. “Mali: The Prospects of ‘Planned Socialism.’” In African Socialism. Edited by William H. Friedland and Carl G. Rosberg Jr., 175–193. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, 1964.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Provides an assessment of Mali’s efforts at socialist transformation in commerce, transportation, agriculture, industry, and foreign relations. Argues that socialism ultimately benefited the ruling elite.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Hazard, John N. “Mali’s Socialism and the Soviet Legal Model.” The Yale Law Journal 77.1 (1967): 28–69.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.2307/795070Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Comparison of similarities and differences between Malian and Soviet party and government structures, economic policies, laws, and judiciaries.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Hazard, John N. “Marxian Socialism in Africa: The Case of Mali.” Comparative Politics 2.1 (1969): 1–15.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.2307/421479Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Analysis of the fall of Modibo Keïta, attributed to his rejection of a vanguard party, his land policy that tolerated customary rights, the divide between youth educated in the Communist sphere and traditionalists at home, and the economic and political fallout of having withdrawn from the franc zone.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Hopkins, Nicholas S. “Socialism and Social Change in Rural Mali.” Journal of Modern African Studies 7.03 (1969): 457–467.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1017/S0022278X00018607Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ethnographic study of rural life during 1964–1965. Argues that even though villagers successfully used new socialist policies and structures to advance their own interests, socialism nevertheless succeeded in creating a new set of institutions that bound villages to the center and created a functioning nation.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Jones, William I. “The Mise and Demise of Socialist Institutions in Rural Mali.” Genève-Afrique/Geneva-Africa 11.2 (1972): 19–44.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Speaks to the strength of rural Malian institutional structures. Details how government plans to institutionalize socialist practices, party structures, and collective production at the local level were subverted by villagers intent on maintaining their traditional structures of leadership and agricultural production.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Martin, Guy. “Socialism, Economic Development and Planning in Mali, 1960–1968.” Canadian Journal of African Studies 10.1 (1976): 23–46.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Comprehensive overview of Mali’s socialist period (1960–1968). Also provides a class analysis of the failures of socialist policies in having produced a large and expensive bureaucratic class that, by monopolizing political and economic power, lost the support it initially had from the merchant class and the peasantry.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mozambique

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mozambicans in exile formed multiple resistance movements that in 1962 were united into the Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (FRELIMO). FRELIMO fought a liberation war against Portugal (1962–1975), and in 1975 it founded the People’s Republic of Mozambique, led by Samora Machel. FRELIMO launched a rapid nationalization policy to eliminate economic dependence on Portugal, South Africa, and Rhodesia, and a modernization campaign assailing both rural chiefs (viewed as colonial collaborators) and religious institutions. Education and health services were nationalized and expanded, and democratically elected Grupos dinamizadores (GDs, or “dynamizing groups”) were established to raise political consciousness and enact revolutionary practices at the local level. At the Third Party Congress in 1977, FRELIMO officially adopted Marxism-Leninism and reorganized accordingly, transforming itself into a vanguard party with restricted membership, founding youth, women’s and workers’ organizations, and establishing a single-party state. The flight of Portuguese staff caused industrial production to plummet; however, state-led agriculture stabilized and even grew, but at great cost. Rural discontent followed the nationalization (rather than redistribution) of large-scale Portuguese farms and the implementation of villagization. A series of natural disasters (drought, famine, floods) in the 1970s and 1980s further strained the economy. Despite ties to the Soviet bloc, Mozambique joined the Non-Aligned Movement and declared opposition to white rule in Rhodesia and South Africa. Those governments retaliated by founding and financing the Resistência Nacional Moçambicana (RENAMO). Mozambique devolved into a protracted civil war that lasted until 1992. In 1986 Samora Machel died in a suspicious plane crash and was succeeded by Joaquim Chissano. Chissano oversaw the adoption of multiparty democracy and free-market capitalism in 1990, and FRELIMO remains the ruling party today. Isaacman and Isaacman 1983 traces the history of Mozambique from precolonial times to the socialist reordering of society and international relations. Newitt 2002 offers a cogent overview of Mozambican political history that includes the postsocialist period. Alpers 1979 traces the history of FRELIMO’s adoption of scientific socialism. Ottaway and Ottaway 1986 highlight the challenges accompanying the shift from a war of liberation to one of communist transformation. Cahen 1993 disputes the idea that Mozambique was socialist in anything other than rhetoric. Pitcher 1998 analyzes how residents in one province experienced and responded to socialism, the war and privatization, while Saul 2005 argues that the RENAMO insurgency debilitated the Mozambican state and prevented socialist transformation. Finally, Machava 2011 describes the repressive politics of punishment employed in FRELIMO’s efforts to build a socialist revolutionary state. See also the Oxford Bibliographies article “Mozambique.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Alpers, Edward A. “The Struggle for Socialism in Mozambique, 1960–1972.” In Socialism in Sub-Saharan Africa: A New Assessment. Edited by Carl G. Rosberg and Thomas M. Callaghy, 267–295. Research Series 38. Berkeley: Institute of International Studies, University of California, 1979.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Analysis of FRELIMO’s development into a vanguard party and how its increased commitment to socialist transformation was enabled by the end of the military offensive against Portuguese colonial rule. A perspective written as events were unfolding.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Cahen, Michel. “Check on Socialism in Mozambique—What Check? What Socialism?” Review of African Political Economy 57 (1993): 46–59.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1080/03056249308704003Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cahen argues that Mozambique was not a Marxist-Leninist, but rather a Stalinist-Marxist, state, and that FRELIMO’s espousal of Marxism-Leninism simply masked elite capture. He takes the position that Mozambique remained a peripheral capitalist country.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Isaacman, Allen F., and Barbara Isaacman. Mozambique: From Colonialism to Revolution, 1900–1982. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1983.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A well-researched monograph on the precolonial, colonial, liberation, and socialist periods of Mozambican history. Discusses not only the roots of socialist policy, but also the economic and political restructuring of the state along socialist lines, as well as military and technical interventions from socialist nations.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Machava, Benedito Luís. “State Discourse on Internal Security and the Politics of Punishment in Post-Independence Mozambique (1975–1983).” Journal of Southern African Studies 37.3 (2011): 593–609.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1080/03057070.2011.602897Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Argues that even as FRELIMO aimed to build a revolutionary socialist society, it institutionalized a politics of punishment directed at enemies of the state strikingly similar to colonial forms of state violence.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Newitt, Malyn. “Mozambique.” In A History of Postcolonial Lusophone Africa. By Patrick Chabal, with David Birmingham, Joshua Forrest, Malyn Newitt, Gerhard Seibert, and Elisa Silva Andrade, 185–235. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Concise yet thorough overview of political and economic developments since independence in 1975.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Ottaway, Marina, and David Ottaway. “Mozambique.” In Afrocommunism. 2d ed. By Marina Ottaway and David Ottaway, 68–98. New York and London: Africana, 1986.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Analysis of the competing interests between a war of nationalist liberation and one of communist transformation, and how paradoxes and contradictions arise, such as the Marxist-Leninist commitment to collective agriculture versus the goals of most FRELIMO fighters to regain their individual landholdings.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Pitcher, M. Anne. “Disruption without Transformation: Agrarian Relations and Livelihoods in Nampula Province, Mozambique 1975–1995.” Journal of Southern African Studies 24.1 (1998): 115–140.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1080/03057079808708569Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Case study exploring how the three processes of implementing socialism, protracted civil war and ongoing privatization affected agrarian relations in Nampula Province causing only disruption rather than positive transformation. Considers ways in which rural actors were able to shape the impact of these processes to their benefit.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Saul, John. “Eduardo Mondlane and the Rise and Fall of Mozambican Socialism.” Review of African Political Economy 104.5 (2005): 309–315.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1080/03056240500329338Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Saul counters Cahen and other critics by arguing that FRELIMO, dating back to Eduardo Mondlane’s leadership during the liberation war, developed ever more successful socialist policies until destabilisation by RENAMO resulted in neoliberalization as the price of both peace and debt relief.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    São Tomé and Príncipe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In 1960 the anticolonial Comité de Libertação de São Tomé e Príncipe (CLSTP) was founded by Sãotomean exiles scattered across Portugal, Gabon, and Ghana. It died out, but in 1972 it was reconstituted as the Movimento de Libertação de São Tomé e Príncipe (MLSTP) headed by Manuel Pinto da Costa, who held a PhD in economics from East Germany. The MLSTP led São Tomé and Príncipe (STP) to independence in July 1975. Despite the peaceful transition, however, nearly all the skilled Portuguese left. Soviet-style socialism was pursued, with the MLSTP as a revolutionary vanguard party; mass organizations for children, youth, and women; and a heavy security apparatus. All other political organizations were banned, and state control of the media greatly limited freedom of speech and the press. Unlike other Lusophone countries, STP never declared itself Marxist-Leninist, instead claiming a “socialist orientation.” Officially nonaligned, the state retained ties to the West, the largest market for its primary export, cocoa. But it nurtured close ties to socialist countries, especially Angola, Cuba, and the Soviet Union, receiving military aid and scholarships for over seven hundred students. After independence, the government nationalized Portuguese-owned cocoa estates, which provided half the national employment and nearly all export earnings. In 1979 the government introduced central planning of the economy and launched state-owned enterprises in trade, transport, construction, energy, fishing, and light industries. Factionalism plagued the MLSTP leadership, and many were imprisoned, suspected of plotting against Pinto da Costa. Seibert 2002 traces the rise and fall of socialism in STP and how insufficient skilled labor and the expansion of clientelism generated economic crisis and escalating external debt. Unable to obtain sufficient economic aid from socialist nations, the regime in 1984 initiated political and economic liberalization, officially dropping socialism at a 1985 party congress, and signing IMF and World Bank accords in 1987. In 1989 the MLSTP endorsed multiparty democracy and a free-market economy. A new constitution was ratified in 1990, and in 1991 the MLSTP lost the first multiparty elections to the opposition Partido de Convergência Democrática-Grupo de Reflexāo (PCD-GR). Hodges and Newitt 1988 details the history of political and economic change in STP from Portuguese colonialism in the 15th century to an independent nation-state. Seibert 2006 extends the analysis to the petroleum economy of the early 2000s and attributes the demise of socialism to dual clientelism: the kinship-based networks that Pinto da Costa cultivated, and the socialist nations on whom he relied to remain in power. See also the Oxford Bibliographies article “São Tomé and Príncipe.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Hodges, Tony, and Malyn Newitt. São Tomé and Princípe: From Plantation Colony to Microstate. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1988.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Presents an overview of STP history and political changes from colonialism to postcolonial state, but with minimal discussion of socialist policies and orientation.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Seibert, Gerhard. “São Tomé e Princípe.” In A History of Postcolonial Lusophone Africa. By Patrick Chabal, with David Birmingham, Joshua Forrest, Malyn Newitt, Gerhard Seibert, and Elisa Silva Andrade, 291–315. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Concise summary of political and economic developments since independence in 1975.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Seibert, Gerhard. Comrades, Clients and Cousins: Colonialism, Socialism and Democratization in São Tomé and Princípe. 2d ed. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2006.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Comprehensive and detailed history of the political economy of STP from its origins as a Creole slave society, to a Portuguese sugar plantation colony, to a socialist client state of the USSR, to a multiparty democratic state.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Senegal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Senegal obtained independence from France in 1960, initially as part of the Mali Federation. After two months it withdrew and became an independent state. Senegal’s first president was the poet and négritude philosopher Léopold Sédar Senghor, and Mamadou Dia was appointed prime minister. “African socialism” was a key rhetorical cornerstone of the state, yet it was largely limited to philosophy rather than political or economic policy. Little attempt was made to centralize economic planning or political power. Senghor and Dia’s emphasis was on the communitarianism that they claimed had defined precolonial African life. Skurnik 1965 explores the political career and socialist philosophy of Senghor, from his membership in the Socialist Party of France, to his subsequent disenchantment and break with French socialists, to the policies he charted as president of Senegal. Skurnik characterizes Senghor’s African socialism as an expression of African cultural nationalism. According to Andrain 1964, Senghor and Dia invoked a humanistic Marxism derived from Marx’s pre-1848 writings, which focused on the need for both ethical and economic redemption. They were highly critical of Marx’s economic theory and found it primarily useful for understanding political and economic development in the West, but inapplicable to the African context. They were equally critical of Russian communism, which Senghor decried as “soul-less.” Senegal’s economy remained dominated by foreign interests, primarily Europeans and Lebanese. The ruling party, Union Progressiste Sénégalaise (UPS), was accorded primacy, but other parties were allowed—a significant deviation from other African socialist/Afrocommunist states. The industrial sector continued unaffected, but community development programs, called animation rurale, were launched to conscientize and organize the peasantry. By 1963, fourteen thousand rural cooperatives had been established, but they were handicapped by a lack of technical expertise and adequate resources. Consequently, the production of groundnuts, the country’s primary crop, stagnated. Muslim brotherhoods and their religious leaders (known as marabouts) have continued to exercise considerable political influence throughout Senegal’s postcolonial history. In 1962 Dia, whose more radical socialist views conflicted with those of Senghor, was imprisoned amid accusations that he was planning a coup. In 1976 the UPS changed its name to Parti Socialiste du Sénégal (PS), and President Abdou Diouf appointed Ousmane Tanor Dieng as the First Secretary of the PS. The PS has been a long-standing member of the Socialist International, a worldwide organization composed of political parties advocating democratic socialism. Dieng has served as vice president of the Socialist International since 1996. See also the Oxford Bibliographies article “Senegal.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Andrain, Charles F. “Guinea and Senegal: Contrasting Types of African Socialism.” In African Socialism. Edited by William H. Friedland and Carl G. Rosberg Jr., 160–174. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, 1964.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Compares African socialism as articulated and implemented in the states of Guinea and Senegal.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Skurnik, Walter A. E. “Léopold Sédar Senghor and African Socialism.” Journal of Modern African Studies 3.3 (1965): 349–369.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1017/S0022278X00006169Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Analyzes Senghor’s conception of African socialism as both method and myth. Key elements include négritude, primacy of the ruling party, socialization of select means of production and consumption, and humanistic universalism.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Somalia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Somalia acquired independence in 1960, riven by clan distinctions and colonial divisions, comprising the Italian-ruled South, British-ruled North (Somaliland), and French-ruled Northwest (Djibouti). Its first political party, the Somali Youth League (SYL), was founded in 1944, advocating for unification of all Somali territories (including those under Ethiopian and Kenyan control), universal education, Somali as the national language, and independence. SYL’s Aden Abdullah Osman Daar served as the country’s first president (1960–1967), but he lost the 1967 elections to Prime Minister Abdirashiid Ali Shermaarke, who, rejecting neocolonial influence, cultivated relations with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Shermaarke was assassinated in 1969 and a military coup followed, led by Major General Mohamed Siad Barre. A Supreme Revolutionary Council (SRC) was established, declaring a commitment to scientific socialism based on the Qur’an and Marx. Soviet advisors helped design policies to undermine the authority of clans, including forced settlement of pastoralists and elimination of clan rights to land, water, and grazing areas. A Three-Year Plan (1971–1973) nationalized banks, insurance companies, and petroleum and sugar plants, and also launched new manufacturing enterprises. In 1973, a standard orthography and a major literacy campaign were launched to address illiteracy (95 percent), and the Law on Cooperative Development allocated about 30 percent of total spending to the agricultural sector, mostly on establishing farming and fishing cooperatives. The 1975 Land Registration Act nationalized land ownership and gave government courts sole authority to adjudicate land claims. In 1976 the SRC disbanded and instituted the Somali Revolutionary Socialist Party (SRSP), led by a politburo. A terrible drought (1974–1975) increased foreign debt amid falling export earnings. A war against Ethiopia (1977–1978) to reclaim the Ogaden region resulted in defeat and loss of Soviet support. By 1980, socialism was in rapid decline, along with a shift in Cold War affiliations to the United States and acceptance of IMF-led structural adjustment programs. Siad Barre was overthrown in January 1991 by a coalition of opposition groups. Metz 1993 presents a detailed overview of Somalia’s economic and political history, including the socialist period. Davidson 1975 offers a firsthand account of Somali socialism’s implementation. Laitin 1979 evaluates Somali socialism in a number of areas, including economic and political measures. Lynch 1982 provides the context that explains the ultimate failure of Somali socialism. Cassanelli 2015 argues that land politics underlie today’s conflicts, while Besteman 1996 corrects standard explanations of clan rivalries by attending to race and class. Samatar 1988 thoroughly reviews the 1970s and 1980s and concludes that Somalia was not socialist, but rather a military petty-bourgeois state. See also the Oxford Bibliographies article “Somalia.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Besteman, Catherine. “Violent Politics and the Politics of Violence: The Dissolution of the Somali Nation-State.” American Ethnologist 23.3 (1996): 579–596.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1525/ae.1996.23.3.02a00070Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Besteman shifts attention away from conventional analyses that blame Somalia’s factionalism on kinship and clan groupings, and toward an understanding of the roles of both race and class in Somali politics.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Cassanelli, Lee. Hosts and Guests: An Historical Interpretation of Land Conflicts in Southern and Central Somalia. Rift Valley Institute Paper 2. London and Nairobi, Kenya: Rift Valley Institute, 2015.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Shows how land politics explain and underlie much of Somalia’s political and economic history, though underappreciated in conventional accounts of the collapse of the Somali state.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Davidson, Basil. “Somalia: Towards Socialism.” Race and Class 17.1 (1975): 19–37.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1177/030639687501700103Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Analyzes the class conditions of Somalia at the onset of Siad Barre’s socialist revolutions, specifically the petty-bourgeoisie, peasantry, nomadic pastoralists, and nonexistence of trade unions or a working class, and how the socialist organization of society into committees, facilitated by growing literacy, invited popular participation in government for the first time.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Laitin, David. “Somalia’s Military Government and Scientific Socialism.” In Socialism in Sub-Saharan Africa: A New Assessment. Edited by Carl G. Rosberg and Thomas M. Callaghy, 174–206. Research Series 38. Berkeley: Institute of International Studies, University of California, 1979.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Argues that a lack of coherence and systematic pursuit of socialist programmatic economic change would indicate failure, but that attention to the semiotic, symbolic impact of socialism on Somali policy has been substantial and transformative.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lynch, Barry. “The Somali Democratic Republic: The One That Got Away.” In The New Communist Third World: An Essay in Political Economy. Edited by Peter Wiles, 278–296. London and Canberra, Australia: Croom Helm, 1982.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Insists that owing to the strength of Islam, weakness stemming from the Ogaden War, and severed relations from the Soviet Union, Somalia is unlikely to experience socialist development.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Metz, Helen Chapin, ed. Somalia: A Country Study. Washington, DC: Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, 1993.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Provides a thorough overview of Somali history, covering the precolonial, colonial, and revolutionary socialist periods, followed by “IMF-ism” in the 1990s. Detailed attention is given to Siad Barre’s economic and political efforts to transform relations of production.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Samatar, Ahmed Ismail. Socialist Somalia: Rhetoric and Reality. London: Zed, 1988.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Samatar provides a trenchant analysis of the political economy of Somalia from colonialism to the 1980s. He links the rise of nationalism to the rise of a petty bourgeoisie, which prevented a true transformation of relations of production.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            South Africa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Although South Africa never declared itself socialist, it has the largest communist party in Africa: the South African Communist Party (SACP; formerly the Communist Party of South Africa, CPSA), established in 1921. And because it also has the largest proletariat base, it had ties to the Communist International (Comintern) from the beginning. The SACP has constituted a strong faction within the ruling African National Congress (ANC) for over fifty years. Most ANC leaders were SACP members, including Nelson Mandela, Joe Slovo, Govan Mbeki, Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma, and Chris Hani. SACP members also held key posts in the largest trade union confederation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). Thus, although the ANC never committed to communism, many of its platforms and policies were crafted by SACP members. The earliest history of the SACP is Lerumo 1987, written by a key leader using an alias. Lerumo points to various SACP origins, highlighting British Labour and Eastern European socialist traditions. Drew 1991 offers a history of the first three decade of the CPSA, when it had to overcome the challenge of advancing a class perspective in a context of severe racial oppression. Byrnes 1996 offers a broad overview of South African political and economic history, with attention given to the SACP. After the National Party was voted into power in 1948 on a pro-apartheid platform, it banned black trade unions and passed the Suppression of Communism Act (1950). CPSA subsequently disbanded to avoid criminal prosecution, but soon afterward it reconstituted itself underground as the SACP. The SACP forged a close partnership with the ANC, which was banned in 1960. In 1961 the ANC and SACP founded a joint military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), launching the armed struggle. Logistical support and weapons were provided by the Soviet Union and German Democratic Republic. The SACP-ANC alliance continued throughout the apartheid era, with SACP members securing resources from Eastern bloc governments and assisting in policy formulation. The bans on the two groups were lifted in 1990, but the SACP suffered major setbacks after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the 1993 murder of Chris Hani. The SACP decided against fielding its own candidates in the 1994 national elections, and instead supported the ANC candidates. Fatton 1984 argues that when the ANC placed nationalism above socialism, it lost its revolutionary potential. Johns 2007 and Lodge 2015 investigate the SACP’s underground period, while Ellis 1992 and Adams 1997 cover the post-apartheid period. See also the Oxford Bibliographies article “South Africa Post c. 1850.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Adams, Simon. “What’s Left? The South African Communist Party after Apartheid.” Review of African Political Economy 24.72 (1997): 237–248.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1080/03056249708704255Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Argues that the alliance of the SACP with the ANC and COSATU enabled its membership to grow substantially after it was legalized again in 1990, but that this has resulted in more conservative politics, tempering its formerly revolutionary agenda in favor of structural reform.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Byrnes, Rita M. South Africa: A Country Study. Washington, DC: Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, 1996.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A well-researched overview of South Africa’s history, economic development, and political development from precolonial to colonial times, the apartheid era, and the post-apartheid era.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Drew, Allison. “Events Were Breaking above Their Heads: Socialism in South Africa, 1921–1951.” Social Dynamics 17.1 (1991): 49–77.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1080/02533959108458502Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Attends to the organizational challenges that beset the SACP during its first three decades, especially between different internal factions, including variant Trotskyist groups representing different locales and constituencies (Johannesburg versus Cape Town workers, urban workers versus peasants, black workers versus white workers, reformers versus revolutionaries).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Ellis, Stephen. “The South African Communist Party and the Collapse of the Soviet Union.” Journal of Communist Studies 8.2 (1992): 145–159.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1080/13523279208415151Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Explores the ties that bound Moscow to the SACP and its objective to install a favorable government in South Africa, and the challenges this posed for the SACP after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Fatton, Robert, Jr. “The African National Congress of South Africa: The Limitations of a Revolutionary Strategy.” Canadian Journal of African Studies 18.3 (1984): 593–608.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Argues that once the ANC sacrificed its socialist aspirations to pursue a nationalist agenda, it lost its revolutionary potential, as evidenced by the 1980 expulsion of the Marxist wing from the party and the subsequent dominance by petty-bourgeois elements. Thabo Mbeki wrote a scathing response published in the same issue.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Johns, Sheridan. “Invisible Resurrection: The Recreation of a Communist Party in South Africa in the 1950’s.” African Studies Quarterly 9.4 (2007): 7–24.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Firsthand account and analysis of the SACP after it went underground and its intertwined relationships with the ANC.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Lerumo, A. [Michael Harmel]. Fifty Fighting Years: The South African Communist Party, 1921–1971. 3d ed. London: Inkululeko, 1987.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The authorized history of the SACP, written by one of its key members writing under a pseudonym.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lodge, Tom. “Secret Party: South African Communists between 1950 and 1960.” South African Historical Journal 67.4 (2015): 433–464.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1080/02582473.2015.1105861Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Uncovers much of the unknown history and key personalities of the SACP during its first decade underground.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tanzania

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tanzania is a united republic composed of two formerly sovereign states: Tanganyika and Zanzibar. Tanganyika achieved independence from Britain in 1961 through peaceful lobbying by the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) led by Julius Kambarage Nyerere. Nyerere studied economics and history at the University of Edinburgh (1949–1952), where he encountered Fabianism, a socialist ideology not predicated on class conflict or revolution. Nyerere started theorizing African socialism, which he considered intrinsic to traditional ways of life. Despite his socialist leanings, as prime minister (1961) and then president (1962) of Tanganyika, he acceded to foreign directives to pursue capitalist development. Yet in February 1967 he issued the Arusha Declaration, committing Tanzania to ujamaa socialism (familyhood) and self-reliance, and nationalizing the principal means of production and exchange. As in Mao’s China, Nyerere prioritized the peasantry as the motor of socialist development over the urban worker (there being so few at the time), launched a cultural revolution, and instituted the ten-house cell system to mobilize local development initiatives. He advocated villagization and collectivized agriculture, but the masses were slow to respond. So in 1974–1975, the government launched Operation Villagization, and within two years 90 percent of the population had been moved into villages. TANU, the sole political party since independence, not only tolerated but promoted religion and linked Tanganyika’s political destiny to the liberation of white-settler-ruled states to the south. In 1963 Nyerere helped found the Organization of African Unity (OAU), and in 1964 he forged a union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar as the first step toward Pan-African unity. A series of droughts, the 1979 oil crisis, declining terms of trade for agricultural exports, and resistance to collective agriculture produced a severe economic crisis in the 1980s. Nyerere stepped down from the presidency in 1985 when an IMF bailout proved inevitable, leading to the dismantling of the socialist economic and political system. Beinen 1970 offers a thorough account of TANU’s origins and ideology, while Mwansasu and Pratt 1979 explore debates over ujamaa at the time of its emergence. McHenry 1979 analyzes the policy underpinning villagization, while Freyhold 1979 provides detailed case studies of villagization efforts. Shivji 1976 presents a Marxist critique condemning the takeover of ujamaa socialism by a bureaucratic bourgeoisie, while Hyden 1980 critiques ujamaa for failing to capture the peasantry. McHenry 1994 assesses ujamaa on its objectives and outcomes, while Lal 2015 tackles the villagization program and its differential take-up by rural residents. See also the Oxford Bibliographies article “Tanzania (Tanganyika and Zanzibar).”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Beinen, Henry. Tanzania: Party Transformation and Economic Development. Expanded ed. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1970.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Extensive analysis of TANU—its formation, organization, ideology, and consolidation of popular support, as well as its struggle to direct an economy driven largely by foreign interests along socialist principles.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Freyhold, Michaela von. Ujamaa Villages in Tanzania: Analysis of a Social Experiment. New York and London: Monthly Review Press, 1979.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Historical and ethnographic study of villagization in Tanzania and the experiences and reactions of those it most affected: peasants and the lower-level government staff who had to implement it. Places blame for the failure of communal production on ruling elites and directive agendas set by the World Bank.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Hyden, Goran. Beyond Ujamaa in Tanzania: Underdevelopment and an Uncaptured Peasantry. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1980.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Trenchant and highly influential critique of Marxist analyses of the pre-capitalist mode of production as underestimating the power of African peasants to collectively withdraw from efforts to draw them into either capitalist or socialist modes of production.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Lal, Priya. African Socialism in Postcolonial Tanzania: Between the Village and the World. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9781316221679Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Interrogates the concept, ideology and program of ujamaa villagization. Deconstructs its three pillars—familyhood, self-reliance, and security—through historical analysis that includes oral histories with those who experienced it and remade it according to their own visions/needs.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • McHenry, Dean E., Jr. Tanzania’s Ujamaa Villages: The Implementation of a Rural Development Strategy. Berkeley: University of California, Institute of International Studies, 1979.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Detailed analysis of the policy underlying the villagization program, its implementation, and its outcomes.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • McHenry, Dean E., Jr. Limited Choices: The Political Struggle for Socialism in Tanzania. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1994.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Comprehensive overview of the political consequences and challenges met by Julius Nyerere and his policies of ujamaa socialism in the realms of leadership and ethics, democratic principles, social equality, state involvement in agriculture and industry, self-reliance in trade and international relations, and subnationalism (religious, ethnic, racial).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Mwansasu, Bismarck U., and Cranford Pratt, eds. Towards Socialism in Tanzania. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1979.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Outlines a series of debates concerning the strategies and results of socialist transformation in Tanzania.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Shivji, Issa G. Class Struggles in Tanzania. New York and London: Monthly Review Press, 1976.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Classic and highly influential analysis of class struggles in Tanzania, and how the rise of a bureaucratic bourgeoisie promoted underdevelopment in lieu of socialism.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tunisia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tunisian nationalism emerged in late-19th-century Islamic schools amid a growing rejection of French culture. The first nationalist party, Young Tunisians, was founded in 1908 advocating greater Tunisian autonomy. It was banned in 1912. The Destour (Constitution) Party was founded in 1920 by a former Young Tunisian leader and was banned in 1933 for organizing strikes and demonstrations. Some younger members, including the French-educated lawyer Habib Bourguiba, formed the Neo-Destour Party in 1934. It established cells throughout the country, uniting student, labor, and agricultural groups. Bourguiba was imprisoned, unrest increased, and on 9 April 1938, 122 Tunisians died in mass rioting. The Neo-Destour Party moved underground, and after his release Bourguiba went into exile. In 1956, Tunisia became independent, with Bourguiba as president and Ahmed Ben Salah, secretary-general of the Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT), as vice president. Bourguiba instituted radical policies promoting women’s rights, but he supported private-sector-led economic development. Ben Salah, however, advocated centralized state planning and was eventually forced out of office. Yet in 1961, facing a flagging economy, Bourguiba appointed Ben Salah as minister of state and planning. In 1962 Bourguiba announced “Destourian socialism,” a non-Marxist variant rejecting class struggle but promoting state-led economic and political planning for the common good (akin to Fabian socialism). The party officially endorsed centralized planning in 1964 and renamed itself the Destourian Socialist Party (Parti Socialiste Destourien, or PSD). All land held by non-Tunisians was nationalized, and an ambitious program of agricultural and commercial cooperatives followed. The government redistributed over 1 million hectares of formerly French-owned land, founded over 700 agricultural cooperatives (~38 percent of the nation’s cultivated land), and established 185 state-owned enterprises (SOEs) spanning industrial processing, retail and wholesale trade, manufacturing, transport, and restaurants. Yet opposition to collectivization by peasants and large landholders produced widespread rural-urban migration. Violent demonstrations broke out in 1969, resulting in Ben Salah’s ouster and the end of Destourian socialism. Nelson 1986 offers a comprehensive overview of Tunisian political and economic history. Alport 1967 compares socialist policies in Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco at the time of their implementation, while Micaud 1969 dissects the ideology of Destourian socialism. Entelis 1974 draws attention to the growing ideological divide in the early 1970s between governing elites and more radically inclined students. Tessler, et al. 1978 highlights the great strides made in female empowerment. Vandewalle 1988 and Murphy 1999 identify the weaknesses that undermined the Tunisian socialist experiment, while Ayubi 1992 rejects any depiction of Tunisia as socialist. See also the Oxford Bibliographies article “Tunisia.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Alport, E. A. “Socialism in Three Countries: The Record in the Maghrib.” International Affairs 43.4 (1967): 678–692.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.2307/2612805Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Comparative analysis of socialism in Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco. Views Destourian socialism as a pragmatic, not ideological, socialist-oriented nationalism, and documents the different forms of rural cooperatives instituted.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Ayubi, Nazih N. “Withered Socialism or Whether Socialism? The Radical Arab States as Populist-Corporatist Regimes.” Third World Quarterly 13.1 (1992): 89–105.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1080/01436599208420264Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Argues that state control of economic planning should not be viewed as the defining feature of a socialist system, because all Arab states, irrespective of ideology, are heavily involved in economic planning and investment, with public sector investments dwarfing private. Concludes that the lack of an ideology and a mass movement show that Tunisia and other radical Arab states are not socialist, even if they implement the socialist structure of cooperatives and claim socialism in their rhetoric for a period of time.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Entelis, John P. “Ideological Change and an Emerging Counter-Culture in Tunisian Politics.” Journal of Modern African Studies 12.4 (1974): 543–568.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1017/S0022278X00014257Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Quantitative study of a hundred or so university students in 1970–1971 that revealed a growing ideological divide between the Bourguiba administration and educated youth desiring more radical socialist policies (62 percent) than what Destourian socialism offered.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Micaud, Charles A. “Leadership and Development: The Case of Tunisia.” Comparative Politics 1.4 (1969): 468–484.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.2307/421490Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Analysis of the ideology of Destourian socialism and its three key articles: human dignity, human solidarity (hence opposing economic inequality and promoting political equality through democracy), and human rationality. Also distinguishes it from Marxism in its pursuit of the “social function of property” as opposed to ownership of the means of production.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Murphy, Emma C. Economic and Political Change in Tunisia: From Bourguiba to Ben Ali. Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan, 1999.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1057/9780333983584Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Detailed study of the rise and fall of Bourguiba, with attention to the economic policies of the socialist years.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Nelson, Harold D., ed. Tunisia: A Country Study. 3d ed. Washington, DC: Foreign Area Studies, The American University, 1986.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Comprehensive overview of Tunisian political and economic history, with helpful analyses of Destourian socialism and its policies.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Tessler, Mark A., with Janet Rogers and Daniel Schneider. “Women’s Emancipation in Tunisia.” In Women in the Muslim World. Edited by Lois Beck and Nikki Keddie, 141–158. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Argues that the great advances in empowering Tunisian women—such as eliminating polygamy, creating a minimum marriage age, repealing restrictions against interfaith marriages, prohibiting unilateral repudiation by a husband, and placing marriage and divorce under the civil court system—were the result of planned social transformation envisioned and implemented by the Destourian Socialist Party.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Vandewalle, Dirk. “From the New State to the New Era: Toward a Second Republic in Tunisia.” Middle East Journal 42.4 (1988): 602–620.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Analyzes Tunisian state politics from the 1960s to the 1980s, with attention to Ben Salah’s socialist experiment from 1962 to 1969, attributing its failure in part to inefficiency in and mismanagement of the public sector and the rise of a parasitic private sector on the margins of state enterprises.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Zambia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Under British colonialism, copper was the primary economic driver of Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), producing 95 percent of export earnings. It remains so today, largely foreign-owned, alongside foreign-owned commercial farms. Independence required facing the daunting challenge of how to extract some measure of economic autonomy from these foreign interests. Kenneth Kaunda, a teacher, founded the Zambian African National Congress in 1958, but it was banned the following year and he was imprisoned. The ZANC reconstituted itself as the United National Independence Party (UNIP), and when Kaunda was released in 1960, he was elected UNIP’s president. In 1964 he became president of independent Zambia. Kaunda’s vision for rural development centered on cooperatives, which would enable villagers to manage their own affairs, be democratic, and draw on “traditional” communalism. Esomba 1996 explores the development of this ideology termed “Humanism” that rejected orthodox socialism, articulated social development in largely moral and spiritual terms, and—like other variants of African socialism—idealized African traditions. However, Kaunda’s rural development program faced resistance within the UNIP, which catered to urban constituents. So, in January 1965, Kaunda issued the Chifubu Declaration, urging villagers to form cooperatives. Multiple problems ensued, as explored by Quick 1977, in terms of registering new cooperatives, distributing credit, and having sufficiently trained managers. Since the government also encouraged smallholder agriculture and state-owned farms, experienced farmers left the cooperatives for these more lucrative options. In 1970 the government passed a new Cooperative Societies Act, abolishing local control over cooperatives and placing them under state management. Yet in 1972 the government abandoned cooperatives entirely and committed itself to market-based private farming. With regard to industrial policy, Quick 1979 discusses how the state primarily promoted private enterprise but tried to minimize capital outflows by increasing control over international firms. In 1968 it introduced reforms that privileged parastatals and required any new ventures to include state shares. However, the influence of foreign partners was great, which shifted orientations ever further toward the market and away from the state. Pettman 1974 details the events that led to Kaunda’s decision to appoint a commission to establish a one-party state. This resulted in the banning of all other parties and making UNIP the sole political party from 1973 to 1990. Zambia designated itself a “one-party participatory democracy.” Shaw 1976 analyzes Zambian political economy as a classic case of underdevelopment in which foreign interests cultivated a collaborating bureaucratic bourgeoisie, which in turn has prevented real transformation from occurring. See also the Oxford Bibliographies article “Zambia.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Esomba, Stephen N. Zambia under Kaunda’s Presidency: The Conditions, Experiment with Socialism, and the Final Lap to Democracy. Hamburg: LIT, 1996.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A published doctoral dissertation analyzing the history and politics of Zambia from precolonial times through the end of Kenneth Kaunda’s presidency in 1991. Part II explores the ideological underpinnings of Zambian Humanism and the implementation of socialist policies, which the author argues were undermined by the dictatorial nature of the one-party state.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Pettman, Jan. “Zambia’s Second Republic—The Establishment of a One-Party State.” Journal of Modern African Studies 12.2 (1974): 231–244.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1017/S0022278X00009228Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Analyzes the steps taken to transform Zambia into a one-party state in response to rising opposition and a proliferation of new political parties.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Quick, Stephen A. “Bureaucracy and Rural Socialism in Zambia.” Journal of Modern African Studies 15.3 (1977): 379–400.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1017/S0022278X00002032Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Details the problems that plagued Kaunda’s policy to establish locally managed agricultural cooperatives, which eventually resulted in the state taking them over, transforming them into a small number of large unions.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Quick, Stephen A. “Socialism in One Sector: Rural Development in Zambia.” In Socialism in Sub-Saharan Africa: A New Assessment. Edited by Carl G. Rosberg and Thomas M. Callaghy, 83–111. Research Series 38. Berkeley: Institute of International Studies, University of California, 1979.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Argues that socialist development could only be pursued in the agricultural sector because the copper industry was controlled by foreign multinational corporations, but that the disintegration of the party and strength of elite interests undermined government attempts to develop agricultural cooperatives in rural areas.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Shaw, Timothy M. “Zambia: Dependency and Underdevelopment.” Canadian Journal of African Studies 10.1 (1976): 3–22.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A dependency analysis of Zambia that highlights the power of foreign entities over its political economy. Credits the Kaunda government and Humanism ideology for taking some steps toward state-control of the economy, but concludes that true transformation was thwarted by the entrenched position of the bureaucratic bourgeoisie.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Zanzibar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In December 1963, Britain ended its Protectorate over Zanzibar, a state comprised of two primary islands, Unguja and Pemba, located off the coast of Tanzania. It handed over power to a constitutional monarchy governed by the Zanzibar Nationalist Party (ZNP) and headed by Sultan Jamshid bin Adbullah (last of a line of Omani-descended rulers). However, in January 1964 a violent revolution occurred, forcing the sultan into exile and resulting in mass deaths. Accounts vary as to who led the revolution: the Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP), whose leader Abeid Karume emerged as president of the new People’s Republic of Zanzibar and Pemba; a breakaway faction of the ZNP, the Umma Party, led by the committed Marxist Abdulrahman Mohamed Babu; or a Ugandan migrant laborer, John Okello. After the revolution, Karume named Babu minister for defense and external affairs. Babu had spent time in China, and as general secretary of the ZNP he had secured hundreds of scholarships for Zanzibaris to study in socialist countries, including China, the Soviet Union, and Cuba. As on the Tanzanian mainland, Zanzibar’s socialist program was called ujamaa (familyhood). But with a revolution that overthrew a feudal system, Zanzibar could theoretically pursue scientific socialism. Consequently, it found eager development partners in the Eastern bloc. Chinese, Russian, and East German advisors came to lend technical expertise on military, medical, agricultural, public housing, and internal security matters. In April 1964 Presidents Karume and Julius Nyerere of Tanganyika formed a union of their countries, creating the United Republic of Tanzania. Yet Zanzibar continued to operate as a largely autonomous state. The government nationalized all land, schools, and many businesses. It banned trade unions and political parties beyond the ASP, and deployed “voluntary” labor brigades. After Karume’s assassination in April 1972, the mainland assumed greater control over Zanzibar, merging the ASP with the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) into the Chama cha Mapinduzi (“Party of the Revolution”). As on the mainland, Zanzibari ujamaa socialism fell prey to structural adjustment in the mid-1980s. Clayton 1981 and Hunter 2010 dissect narratives of the revolution’s origins. Askew 2006 offers an overview of Zanzibari socialism. Burgess 2010a examines Chinese engagements with Zanzibar following the revolution, while Burgess 2010b explores how ASP youth were deployed for socialist projects. Martin 1978 provides a close-up look at life in Zanzibar one decade after the revolution. Finally, Burgess 2009 provides biographies of two prominent Zanzibaries, one who supported efforts to institute a socialist society, and one who opposed it. See also the Oxford Bibliographies article, “Tanzania(Tanganyika and Zanzibar).”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Askew, Kelly M. “Sung and Unsung: Musical Reflections on Tanzanian Postsocialisms.” Africa 76 (2006): 15–43.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.3366/afr.2006.0002Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Comparative analysis of socialism as pursued on Zanzibar and on mainland Tanzania, coupled with a discussion of postsocialist outcomes in both sites.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Burgess, G. Thomas. Race, Revolution, and the Struggle for Human Rights in Zanzibar. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2009.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Historical biographies of two key Zanzibari political personalities: Ali Sultan Issa, who helped implement the ideology and policies of the socialist period, and Seif Shariff Hamad, whose opposition to the revolutionary government helped steer the shift to multiparty democracy.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Burgess, G. Thomas. “Mao in Zanzibar: Nationalism, Discipline, and the (De)Construction of Afro-Asian Solidarities.” In Making a World after Empire: The Bandung Moment and its Political Afterlives. Edited by Christopher J. Lee, 196–234. Global and Comparative Studies 11. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2010a.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Analysis of Chinese relations with post-revolution Zanzibar and, to a lesser degree, mainland Tanzania, and the ethos of discipline it offered as a mode of development.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Burgess, G. Thomas. “To Differentiate Rice from Grass: Youth Labor Camps in Revolutionary Zanzibar.” In Generations Past: Youth in East African History. Edited by Andrew Burton and Hélène Charton-Bigot, 221–236. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2010b.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1353/chapter.243335Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Study of youth labor camps in revolutionary Zanzibar and the production of disciplined socialist citizens.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Clayton, Anthony. The Zanzibar Revolution and its Aftermath. Hamden, CT: Archon, 1981.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Historical analysis of the revolution, with a substantial chapter on the Karume years, describing him as a populist autocrat, not a communist.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Hunter, Helen-Louise. Zanzibar: The Hundred Days Revolution. PSI Reports. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger Security International/ABC-CLIO, 2010.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Analysis by a former CIA political analyst of the Zanzibar Revolution and the struggle for control over the island by Western and Communist interests informed by recently declassified documents.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Martin, Esmond Bradley. Zanzibar: Tradition and Revolution. London: Hamilton, 1978.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A firsthand account of life after the revolution, written by a geographer who was the first academic allowed to do a study in post-revolutionary Zanzibar. Interview and ethnographic data collected in 1975–1976.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Wilson, Amrit. The Threat of Liberation: Imperialism and Revolution in Zanzibar. London: Pluto, 2013.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Revisits newly declassified documents to disentangle the Cold War interests implicated in the Zanzibar Revolution, and pays particular attention to the role of the Umma Party and Abdulrahman Mohamed Babu. Considers continuing US and foreign interests in Zanzibar today.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Zimbabwe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In Southern Rhodesia, two organizations that fought a liberation war against the white settler regime were the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU, est. 1962), led by Joshua Nkomo, and the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU, est. 1963), led by Robert Mugabe. Both had socialist leanings and patrons: the Soviet Union supported ZAPU, while China supported ZANU. ZANU’s official ideology was “Marxist-Leninist based on Mao Tse-Tung thought.” Both organizations were banned in 1964, and their leaders imprisoned. As Britain and the United States negotiated with the government to accept majority rule, Zambia and South Africa persuaded ZAPU and ZANU to form a coalition, the Patriotic Front (PF). The final settlement secured elections and independence for Zimbabwe in 1980, with white representation in Parliament, and guaranteed protection of white property rights (~75 percent of the land suitable for agriculture was under white ownership). The PF dissolved and both ZAPU and ZANU contested the elections, with Mugabe declared Zimbabwe’s first prime minister. In 1988, ZANU and ZAPU merged into the ZANU-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), with Mugabe now president. Socialist rhetoric aside, Mugabe pursued capitalist development, with most agricultural and industrial production carried out by the private sector, and the state controlling a few subsectors, including pharmaceuticals and copper, tin, and coal mining. Because land reform could only occur through voluntary sale of white farms, little redistribution occurred. The Zimbabwean Land Acquisition Act of 1992 empowered the government to appropriate land, but with financial compensation. A number of commercial farms were taken and held by Mugabe associates. In 2000, war veterans invaded white farms, fast-tracking land reform. Production plummeted and inflation skyrocketed. The economic crisis continued into the second decade of the 21st century, with Mugabe deposed in 2017 after nearly forty years in power. Sithole 1987 offers an overview of ZANU’s organization, ideological formation, and initial efforts at governance. Stoneman and Cliffe 1989 describes Zimbabwe as a case of national capitalism: philosophically socialist but capitalist in practice. Bratton and Burgess 1987 detail the nonradical nature of Zimbabwean socialism. Sachikonye 1995 discusses how international opposition to socialism and land redistribution thwarted ZANU-PF’s objectives. Astrow 1983 blames the petty bourgeoisie in the governing class for undermining the revolution, whereas Moore 1991 credits younger ZANU-PF members with establishing Marxism-Leninism as the party’s platform despite contradictions. Sylvester 1990 argues that four simultaneous revolutions occurred in Zimbabwe, and Moore 2012 reviews Thabo Mbeki’s and Wilfred Mhanda’s perspectives on Zimbabwe’s National Democratic Revolution and how/whether it could be successfully transformed into a socialist one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Astrow, Andre. Zimbabwe: A Revolution that Lost Its Way? London: Zed, 1983.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Faults the Zimbabwean governing elites for developing into a petty bourgeoisie and failing to remain true to the revolutionary ethos that motivated the popular masses who supported it.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Bratton, Michael, and Stephen Burgess. “Afro-Marxism in a Market Economy: Public Policy in Zimbabwe.” In Afro-Marxist Regimes: Ideology and Public Policy. Edited by Edmond J. Keller and Donald Rothchild, 199–222. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1987.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Analysis of the moderate, reformist, and market-based (rather than radical and revolutionary) approach to socialism by the Mugabe government in policy, state structure, and state-society relations.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Moore, David. “The Ideological Formation of the Zimbabwean Ruling Class.” Journal of Southern African Studies 17.3 (1991): 472–495.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1080/03057079108708288Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Draws on Gramsci to argue that a successful revolution occurred in developing an organic intellectual class that succeeded in fusing populism with Marxism and leaving their legacy on the state.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Moore, David. “Two Perspectives on Zimbabwe’s National Democratic Revolution: Thabo Mbeki and Wilfred Mhanda.” Journal of Contemporary African Studies 30.1 (2012): 119–138.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1080/02589001.2012.639655Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Comparison of how Thabo Mbeki and Wilfred Mhanda theorized the “National Democratic Revolution” in Zimbabwe and the extent to which it has facilitated or undermined the next stage of revolution: a socialist revolution.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Sachikonye, Lloyd M. “From ‘Equity’ and ‘Participation’ to Structural Adjustment: State and Social Forces in Zimbabwe.” In Debating Development Discourse: Institutional and Popular Perspectives. Edited by David B. Moore and Gerald J. Schmitz, 178–200. Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan, 1995.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1007/978-1-349-24199-6_6Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Describes the ideological incoherence in Zimbabwe’s simultaneous pursuit of developmentalism and socialism, and the shift the country underwent in the 1980s when aspirations to socialism and “growth with equity” were abandoned.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Sithole, Masipula. “State Power Consolidation in Zimbabwe: Party and Ideological Development.” In Afro-Marxist Regimes: Ideology and Public Policy. Edited by Edmond J. Keller and Donald Rothchild, 86–106. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1987.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Outlines the history of power consolidation in ZANU, its stated commitment to establishing a Marxist-Leninist one-party state, and the internal and external challenges it has faced.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Stoneman, Colin, and Lionel Cliffe. Zimbabwe: Politics, Economics and Society. Marxist Regimes. London: Pinter, 1989.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Analysis of the competing pressures of the mass liberation struggle, the white-dominated capitalist economy, and an aspiring black middle class that jointly undermined the Marxist-Leninist rhetoric of the independent postcolonial government.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Sylvester, Christine. “Simultaneous Revolutions: The Zimbabwean Case.” Journal of Southern African Studies 16.3 (1990): 452–475.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1080/03057079008708246Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Argues that Zimbabwe experienced not one but four simultaneous revolutions fought along different axes (consciousness, state, economy, class structure), led by different players (state, vanguard, masses), for different objectives (national liberation, socialism).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      African Postsocialism

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      While the standard manner of writing about contemporary Africa is to speak of its nations as “postcolonial” or “neoliberal,” a growing number of scholars are investigating how socialism and Marxism-Leninism have left their mark and contributed to contemporary experiences in Africa. These works take seriously the ideological commitments to socialism/communism made by African states, the policies and practices that materialized them, and the tangible and intangible effects that remained as states here, as elsewhere, moved away from state-directed economies. Some experiences that crosscut individual cases include new labor regimes as public sectors shrink and hegemonic discourses of entrepreneurship rise; altered subjectivities and relations to the state; civil sector–and private sector–led poverty reduction initiatives; liberalization and proliferation of the media; commercialized religions trading in new moralities; shifting commodity flows and international alliances; new forms of local autonomy and translocal networks (from diasporas to social media); widespread corruption in the privatization of social services, state-owned enterprises, and natural resources; and nostalgia for a less avaricious socialist past. A selection of pioneering studies in this vein follow. Askew and Pitcher 2006 charts a framework for analyzing African postsocialist states, one that contests the Soviet-centrism dominating conventional approaches to postsocialism. Webber 1992 analyzes transformations in Angola, attributing them more to internal dynamics than to the withdrawal of foreign (Soviet, Cuban) support. Clapham 1992 outlines the rise and demise of Marxism-Leninism in Ethiopia. James, et al. 2002 spans case studies in the afterlives of Marxism-Leninism in Ethiopia. Elyachar 2005 presents a nuanced analysis of craftspeople, NGOs, and the promotion of microenterprise in Cairo. Monson 2009 offers a fine-tuned history of the Tanzania-Zambia railway (TAZARA), China’s largest investment in Africa at the time and an overtly political project linking three socialist nations. Monson uncovers the continuing resonance of socialist rhetoric among local populations whose livelihoods have been impacted by the demise of the railway. Oppenheimer 2004 explores the fate of Mozambican workers in the former East Germany, their return home after the reunification of East and West Germany, and the demands they made on the government upon their return. Obarrio 2014 examines the reintroduction of traditional authorities in Mozambique and its effect on partisan politics and local dynamics. Pitcher 2002 investigates the substitution of the free market in Mozambique for Marxism-Leninism and the resulting consequences in multiple domains, including altered conceptions of modernity, impacts on both industrial and rural sectors, and rhetorical ruptures and continuities.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Askew, Kelly M., and M. Anne Pitcher. African Postsocialisms. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press, 2006.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Comparative case studies of African postsocialisms by scholars focused on Congo, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Tanzania. The introduction by Pitcher and Askew presents a broad overview of African postsocialist states, their characteristics and development, and the lack of legitimacy often ascribed to their prior socialist commitments. (Formerly released as a 2006 special issue of Africa [Vol. 76, No. 1].)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Clapham, Christopher. “The Socialist Experience in Ethiopia and Its Demise.” Journal of Communist Studies 8.2 (1992): 105–125.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1080/13523279208415149Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Explains how Marxism-Leninism provided a doctrine of revolution, development, and multiethnic nation-building all in one that was deployed by both the Mengistu regime and the forces that toppled it.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Elyachar, Julia. Markets of Dispossession: NGOs, Economic Development and the State in Cairo. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1215/9780822387138Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A rich ethnographic analysis of craftspeople in Cairo and how new conceptions of economic value being attached to their work, in a context of NGO-ization of microenterprise, has led to their economic, social, and cultural dispossession.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • James, W., D. Donham, E. Kurimoto, and A. Triulzi, eds. Remapping Ethiopia: Socialism and After. Oxford: James Currey, 2002.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Collection of essays assessing the socialist and postsocialist periods in Ethiopia, some providing thematic overviews and others offering microlevel analyses of how particular communities across the country experienced and responded to both periods.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Monson, Jamie. Africa’s Freedom Railway: How a Chinese Development Project Changed Lives and Livelihoods in Tanzania. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Social history of the TAZARA railway project (a joint socialist-framed venture involving China, Tanzania, and Zambia), and the transformative experiences it produced for those who labored to build it, as well as those who live beside it and whose livelihoods depend on it, both in the past and into the present.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Obarrio, Juan. The Spirit of the Laws in Mozambique. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226154053.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Analysis of the resurrection of tradition authority in postsocialist Mozambique and the forces promoting its return versus those upholding socialist modes of governance.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Oppenheimer, Jochen. “Mozambican Worker Migration to the Former German Democratic Republic: Serving Socialism and Struggling under Democracy.” Portuguese Studies Review 12.1 (2004): 163–187.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Describes the importation of Mozambican workers to the German Democratic Republic, their sudden repatriation after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and claims they subsequently made on their government upon return in regard to lost wages and pensions.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Pitcher, M. Anne. Transforming Mozambique: The Politics of Privatization, 1975–2000. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511491085Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Fine-tuned and wide-ranging analysis of political and economic transformation in Mozambique following the abandonment of socialist policy and embrace of a market economy.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Webber, Mark. “Angola: Continuity and Change.” Journal of Communist Studies 8.2 (1992): 124–144.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1080/13523279208415150Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Argues that political and economic reform in Angola should not be attributed simply to the collapse of its Soviet, Cuban, and Eastern European allies, but also to a long process of internal adaptation.

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