University of Sussex
A'Zami, Darius Alexander.pdf (1.55 MB)

Citizen-peasants: modernity, international relations and the problem of difference in Tanzania

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posted on 2023-06-21, 06:02 authored by Darius Alexander A'Zami
A running difficulty in African Studies (and beyond) is the need to reconcile modernity with difference, arising in attempts to account for the impact of colonialism as well as unequal international relations without lapsing into erasure of the manifold realities of African difference. Identifying the peasant vis-à-vis modernity as a salient instance of the problem, this thesis proffers a historical sociology of post-colonial Tanzania, where Julius Nyerere insisted that ‘If Marx were born in Tanzania he would have written the Arusha Declaration’. In saying so he was, in effect, pointing to the need, both programmatic and intellectual, to reconcile modernity and peasant-difference. Drawing upon international relations and the framework of uneven & combined development in particular, modernity is theorised as a process of fission whilst the peasant is cast as a protean subject thereof; the promised reconciliation can be achieved by rendering each as interactive. Building on this framework the main body of the thesis proceeds, encountering and engaging with the peasant-modernity problem along the way, to show the historical process by which a ‘citizen-peasant’ social form emerged as combined development; an intellectual manoeuvre, moreover, that serves to conclude the reconciliation of ‘Marx’ with ‘Arusha’. Chapters 1 and 2 establish the terrain and Chapter 3 supplies the methodological framework. Thereafter Chapter 4 sets out an account of the unevenness confronting Tanzania in the 1960s, linking that to its international relations in general and with China in particular to establish a pattern of interaction that Chapter 5 builds upon, revealing the Arusha Declaration as the starting point of a historical process from which the citizen-peasant arose, which is the key to the thesis as a whole. Chapter 6 completes the argument, pointing to the entrenchment of that form beyond its origins in the era of Nyerere’s ‘African Socialism’ taking the account up to the conclusion of the 20th century. Chapter 7 concludes, reflecting on the implications of the argument for the contemporary conjuncture.


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