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Ethnicity, voting and the promises of the independence movement in Mwanza, Tanzania

Ethnicity, voting and the promises of the independence movement in Mwanza, Tanzania This report explores influences of ethnicity on determining voters’ choices in Tanzania. It questions the dominant neo-patrimonial and hybrid approaches to African politics, which argue that primordial (traditional) ways of organising politics inform ethnic voting. This study deviates from ethnic structure theorists arguing that outcomes of elections are determined by the ability of ethnic groups to form minimum winning coalitions (MWCs). Instead, it looks at the ideational structure of nationalisation, driven mainly by the promises of the independence movement (PslM). The movement created an experiential and discursive framework that emphasises depoliticisation of ethnicity, peacefulness and national unity as ‘Tanzanian’ national values. The frame is intact despite Tanzania’s ethnic diversity and liberal socio-economic as well as political reforms it has undergone overtime. The report critically divulges this capacity to build a political organisation encompassing the political leaders, ideals of the independence movement and the people in informing voters’ choices. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Afrika Focus Brill

Ethnicity, voting and the promises of the independence movement in Mwanza, Tanzania

Afrika Focus , Volume 30 (1): 10 – Feb 26, 2017

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0772-084X
eISSN
2031-356X
DOI
10.1163/2031356X-03001011
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This report explores influences of ethnicity on determining voters’ choices in Tanzania. It questions the dominant neo-patrimonial and hybrid approaches to African politics, which argue that primordial (traditional) ways of organising politics inform ethnic voting. This study deviates from ethnic structure theorists arguing that outcomes of elections are determined by the ability of ethnic groups to form minimum winning coalitions (MWCs). Instead, it looks at the ideational structure of nationalisation, driven mainly by the promises of the independence movement (PslM). The movement created an experiential and discursive framework that emphasises depoliticisation of ethnicity, peacefulness and national unity as ‘Tanzanian’ national values. The frame is intact despite Tanzania’s ethnic diversity and liberal socio-economic as well as political reforms it has undergone overtime. The report critically divulges this capacity to build a political organisation encompassing the political leaders, ideals of the independence movement and the people in informing voters’ choices.

Journal

Afrika FocusBrill

Published: Feb 26, 2017

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